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Frank Lampard has talked to the media ahead of Chelsea’s Champions League clash with Bayern Munich on Saturday.
The Blues’ head coach also has some significant selection issues heading into what already seemed a rather daunting challenge against the Bundesliga side. Cesar Azpilicueta, Christian Pulisic, Billy Gilmour, Willian and Pedro are all confirmed absent through injury. Marcos Alonso and Jorginho are suspended.
N’Golo Kante has not played for a month because of a hamstring injury and if the Frenchman is not risked then there will be a surprise inclusion in midfield next to Mateo Kovacic.
Aside from team news and chat about the game, expect Lampard to field questions about Willian’s future.
Talking about the injuries, Chelsea boss said:
“Pulisic out, Azpilicueta, Willian, Pedro out. Ruben and Kante are in the squad. They are fit to start both. Christian is probably a six week injury with Azpilicueta hopefully three weeks. Pedro as we know is moving on but hopefully six weeks after an operation. Willian’s is improving but not right for this game.”
Lampard was also asked about their task in the Champions League, and here is what he said:
“I believe we can. We have to, the players have to. It’s a huge task. We have to understand the situation we’re in. Will be extremely tough. Games have turned to big degrees. We have to believe we have the opportunity to do something special. We’ve got to play with confidence. Can it free us up against a really good team? That’s what I expect to see from the team. We have to tackle this in the right way.
“The conversation is about getting the game right as a whole. You have to respect what they have on the ball. We can’t defend the way we did at Stamford Bridge. We have to trust and move the ball confidently. We need to get our game spot on to try and turn this around.”
Speaking about the Willian situation, the Blues’ manager said:
“Read a headline that mentioned disappointment. That doesn’t matter. Willian remains our player at the moment, he is injured. He’d have given everything to play. He’s carried this injury… as a club we’ve done everything we can to explain to Willian.
“Our relationship is really close but no disappointment if he moves on. A fantastic man and fantastic player. The club have acted very well in this. If he moves on I’ll wish him well.
“He’s been here for seven seasons. When I came in and we had issues with younger players, a transitional element, we relied on him for experience and quality. He has his own decision to make. Eden Hazard left last year, the club continues and tries to work forward. As we have done this season.”
Lampard was asked whether Pulisic will miss the start of the next season, to which he replied:
“Six weeks, I think so. We have to treat the injury right. When Christian reflects on the first season, from where he has gone in the start he should be very happy. We’ll get him fit and ready. If he misses the first one or two games, we’ll hopefully have him after that.”