Chelsea manager Frank Lampard has confirmed that neither Faccio Tomori nor Mateo Kovacic will be fit enough to feature in Saturday’s meeting with Watford.
The Blues suffered a humiliating 3-2 defeat at the hands of West Ham last time out, leaving them just two points clear of Manchester United in the race for fourth, so Lampard is expected to make some changes to his side. will when they face the Hornets
Chelsea lost 3-2 to West Ham last time out / Julian Finney / Getty Images
Defending proved to be a real problem for Chelsea, with Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen both failing to cover themselves brilliantly, but Lampard confirmed (via The Sun) that Tomori could also step in and be one of them. Not ready to replace
“Fikayo still won’t fit,” he said. “He’s still a lot of work, it’s just going to be hard to get him on the training ground.”
Tomori has not made the bench since returning to football as a result of a muscle injury, and will be alongside Kovacic, who picked up a minor Achilles injury in the loss to West Ham.
Tomori is still out with a muscle injury/Clive Mason/Getty Images
Nizaar Kinsella notes that Kovacic is expected to miss at least one more game, which comes against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park on Tuesday.
If Lampard wants to shake things up, he will obviously have fewer options to choose from. At the back, Kurt Zouma is ready to step in if needed, while on the right Cesar Azpilicueta could be moved in and Reece James could be replaced on the right.
As for Kovacic, he was replaced by Mason Mount shortly after half-time against West Ham, but Lampard is not short of other options in midfield. Jorginho, Billy Gilmour and Ruben Loftus-Cheek could all be promoted into the starting line-up, with Ross Barkley and N’Golo Kante looking to retain their places.
Kovacic picks up Achilles injury for last time / Robin Jones / Getty Images
As a result of their late kick-off on Saturday, Chelsea could go into the game sixth if United and Wolves both win, which would add to the pressure on an already important affair.
Fourth place is still in Chelsea’s hands, so victory over Watford would ensure they stay in the top four, and a poor result for Leicester against Palace could see Lampard’s men drop to third.
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