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Friday, August 14, 2020

Chelsea sweat from Kante’s injury after winning over Watford

N’Golo Kante has encountered a hamstring problem and may miss Chelsea’s Premier League trip to Crystal Palace.

The France midfielder came out of Chelsea’s 3-0 victory over Watford, and could now remain out of Tuesday’s trip to Selhurst Park.

Olivier Giroud, Willian and Ross Barkley all found the net as the Blues beat the Hornets, to return to the top four of the league and shake off Wednesday’s frustrating 3-2 defeat at West Ham.

Kante’s injury proved to be perhaps the only blow in Chelsea’s comfortable Saturday night victory at Stamford Bridge, leaving Lampard sweaty from the 29-year-old’s fitness.

“N’Golo Kante has a small hamstring injury, hopefully it’s small, that’s what I’ve been told so far,” said Lampard.

“But I guess Tuesday will be a problem for Palace.”

Italian midfielder Jorginho has not yet appeared for Chelsea since the league restart, but Lampard has insisted that the former Napoli man remain in his thoughts.

Jorginho could intervene if Kante were to lose the trip to Palace, although Billy Gilmour would be another option with the Scotsman who left the bench against Watford.

When asked about the latest of Jorginho, Lampard only said “Jorginho is in my plans”, before offering his assessment of Kante’s injury.

Chelsea temporarily – for just under five hours – left the league top four for the first time since October Saturday.

Manchester United’s 5-2 draw against Bournemouth saw the Blues slip into fifth place.

Lampard’s men returned in grand style to jump over United again, however, with the Champions League qualifying race continuing to offer regular shows.

The Chelsea boss admitted that the race until the end of the season will be increasingly full of pressure, admitting that his players must strive for combat.

“I think every game will be under pressure now,” said Lampard.

“West Ham was under pressure because we knew we could finish third. It’s a different kind of pressure but it’s always the same in the way you focus on the game and work at hand.

“You can’t be too involved in what everyone is doing right now. We did it tonight, there was no nonsense, the mentality was right.

“We started off brilliantly and went on and got the little details of the game right on both ends of the pitch, which I was happy with.”

Watford remains just above the relegation zone, leaving manager Nigel Pearson well aware of Vicarage Road’s precarious male stance.

“Of course, we are concerned about the situation we are in, we are not naive,” said Pearson.

“But the most important thing is to recognize who we are and make sure that our performances reflect that type of collective spirit. If we do that, we will find ways to win the games.

“It’s a situation we have now to keep control of our destiny and to do it we have to work as hard as tonight, if not more.”

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