N’Golo Kante has returned to Chelsea training ahead of this weekend’s Premier League meeting with Liverpool, but Mason Mount did not join up with his teammates on Thursday after picking up an injury in midweek.
The Blues welcome Liverpool to Stamford Bridge on Sunday aiming to bounce back from their Champions League defeat to Valencia.
Could Kante play against Liverpool? Five things to know…
- Kante began the new season with a knee injury but has fully recovered from that.
- However, the Frenchman has missed the last three league games with an ankle problem.
- Frank Lampard got his wish when he called for Kante to be left out of the most recent France squad.
- And the midfielder has now returned to training ahead of a crucial clash with Liverpool.
- Mount and Anthony Rudiger did not train on Thursday, however.
Kane was instrumental in Chelsea’s Uefa Super Cup encounter with the Merseysiders last month, despite the Blues falling to a defeat on penalties in Istanbul.
And the 28-year-old appears to be ready to make his second appearance of the season against Liverpool this weekend after returning to full training.
Before Tuesday’s defeat to Valencia, Lampard revealed Kante was nearing the “final step” in his recovery.
“He still has issues with his ankle,” Lampard said. “The medical team are working with him. He is in a transition period and we are trying to get him on the pitch.
“He is doing some physical work but this game (Valencia) comes too soon for him.
“Hopefully he is close. I don’t want to jump the gun because we are waiting for improvements for that final step to get him where we want him to be on the pitch.”
Meanwhile, the ankle injury Mount picked up against Valencia isn’t believed to be as bad as first feared, but the England international is a doubt for the Liverpool game after failing to join Kante in training.
After the Valencia match, Lampard said: “He has got an ankle injury, we don’t know how bad it is.
“We are going to have to assess it in the next 24-48 hours to see the scale of the injury, to see how the injury is.”
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How will Chelsea line up without Mount?
Lampard has been experimenting with a back three of late, which worked well against Wolves but poorly against Valencia.
However, Mount’s absence in attack is the biggest concern. To replace him, Lampard may choose to bring Kante in to solidify the midfield against a dangerous Liverpool side.
Alternatively, Ross Barkley could be Mount’s replacement, though his missed penalty in midweek may have seen him fall down the pecking order.
With that in mind, Lampard might prefer a quicker attacker such as Pedro or Christian Pulisic to provide more width against Jurgen Klopp’s Premier League leaders.