Football News

First-team Chelsea duo Rudiger & Willian could return v Leicester City

By Harry Edwards

Published: 11:56, 17 August 2019

Chelsea manager Frank Lampard has revealed Antonio Rudiger and Willian could return to the squad to face Leicester City on Sunday.

Rudiger has been out since April after picking up a knee injury in a 1-1 draw with Manchester United, while Willian suffered his own knee injury while on Copa America duty with Brazil.

Are Willian and Rudiger fit? Five things to know…

  • Rudiger has been out since April after having surgery on a knee injury.
  • Willian also suffered a knee injury at the Copa America with Brazil.
  • The pair were unused substitutes in Wednesday’s Uefa Super Cup final
  • And Frank Lampard has revealed both are in contention to face Leicester on Sunday.
  • Chelsea will be looking to get their first win under Lampard at the third time of asking.

Both were named as substitutes in Wednesday’s Uefa Super Cup final with Chelsea able to name a 12-man bench, though neither came on in the penalty shootout defeat.

And Lampard has revealed the pair are in contention for Chelsea’s first home game of the new season.

“Rudiger is training,” he told reporters.

“Whether he is completely match fit is another thing, for the same reason as Callum [Hudson-Odoi]. A bit of condition.

“Same thing as Willian, Willian is probably closer. They are both in contention for the weekend.”

Lampard’s Chelsea have not had the best start to the season, losing 4-0 to Manchester United before the agonising Super Cup defeat at the hands of Liverpool.

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The new Chelsea manager received criticism for his team selection after the United defeat, with younger stars thrown in at the deep end.

Lampard has previously spoken about Chelsea’s injury problems, and the Englishman is happy to be welcoming back big players soon.

He added: “It is good news for us. Players are coming back. It has slightly gone amiss with the obsession with the transfer ban and the young players at the moment.

“We are missing five or six players at the moment. Big players and I include Reece James in that squad. As they come back, they are going to make us stronger.”

Lampard provides update on Hudson-Odoi fitness

Aside from Willian and Rudiger, Chelsea fans are also keen to see Callum Hudson-Odoi return after an achilles injury saw him miss the end of last season.

The teenager had only broken into Maurizio Sarri’s team and is expected to be a big part of Lampard’s plan to replace Eden Hazard.

And Lampard is hoping the teenager could be back after the September international break.

Lampard said: “He is getting closer, he has trained over the last week or two with the Under-23s, there is going to be a period of conditioning work for him.

“The injury looks good which is great news. Then he is going to have to be fitter than he has ever been because I want him to run.

“Probably next month, considering the international break. Maybe it has fallen at a good time for us, so we can see how he is getting on with his conditioning training.”