The latest on Chelsea pair James & Ziyech ahead of Man City/Lampard confirms Covid cases at club

Chelsea boss Frank Lampard has provided a fitness update on his squad, ahead of the club’s upcoming meeting with Manchester City.

Chelsea host City

The Blues are set to welcome Pep Guardiola’s men to Stamford Bridge on Sunday, for the marquee fixture of the Premier League weekend.

Chelsea will of course head into proceedings in search of a bounce-back result, on the back of a concerning spell of form of late.

After looking as though they had finally found their stride following a disappointing opening to the campaign, the capital giants have since majorly struggled over the last couple of weeks.

The Pensioners have notched just a single win from their last 6 across all competitions, the latest of which saw Lampard and co. held to a 1-1 stalemate by Aston Villa.

The latest on Chelsea pair James & Ziyech ahead of Man City/Lampard confirms Covid cases at club

LONDON, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 28: (l – r) Mason Mount, N’Golo Kante,Jorginho, Cesar Azpilicueta and Edouard Mendy of Chelsea appeal to to match referee, Stuart Attwell after Aston Villa’s first goal scored by Anwar El Ghazi (Not pictured) during the Premier League match between Chelsea and Aston Villa at Stamford Bridge on December 28, 2020 in London, England. The match will be played without fans, behind closed doors as a Covid-19 precaution. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

In turn, Chelsea have slipped off the pace of the Premier League top-4, and could finish the weekend sitting as low as 9th in the English top-flight table.

Ziyech in/James out

As such, it goes without saying that Frank Lampard will be desperate to see his side get back to winning ways in 48 hours’ time, with a statement downing of Man City.

As confirmed by the Blues boss on Friday, however, his side’s efforts to do just that will come without the services of a key defender.

Speaking in a press conference this afternoon, Lampard was drawn on the current fitness levels of his squad.

And the English tactician’s first update surrounded Reece James, who is set to sit out versus City, having failed to recover from a hamstring problem:

‘Reece James is out, he’s got a small hamstring problem.’

The latest on Chelsea pair James & Ziyech ahead of Man City/Lampard confirms Covid cases at club

BRIGHTON, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 14: Reece James of Chelsea scores his sides second goal during the Premier League match between Brighton & Hove Albion and Chelsea at American Express Community Stadium on September 14, 2020 in Brighton, England. (Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images)

The news regarding Hakim Ziyech, on the other hand, proved of a more positive nature.

Moroccan creator Ziyech has not featured in any of Chelsea’s last 6 outings, since picking up a hamstring injury of his own versus Leeds earlier this month.

Lampard confirmed, however, that the summer addition to his squad has taken part in training over the last couple of days, and therefore looks set for a return to the club’s matchday squad on Sunday:

‘He’s fit to train and has trained the last two or three days so I’ll have to make the decision on whether he’s ready to start.’

The final noteworthy takeaway from Lampard’s press conference surrounded the Covid-19 situation at Stamford Bridge, with the Chelsea boss having confirmed that, though, unlike City, his playing squad have not been hit by the virus, a number of the club’s backroom staff have returned positive tests:

‘We know that Manchester City had some positives within their training ground. We have had a couple ourselves but not on the playing staff and that’s the current situation.’

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Premier League table

# Team MP D P
1 Liverpool FC 16 17 33
2 Manchester United FC 15 8 30
3 Leicester City FC 16 9 29
4 Everton FC 15 7 29
5 Aston Villa FC 14 14 26
6 Chelsea FC 16 13 26
7 Tottenham Hotspur FC 15 11 26
8 Manchester City FC 14 9 26
9 Southampton FC 16 6 26
10 West Ham United FC 16 2 23
11 Leeds United 16 0 23
12 Wolverhampton Wanderers FC 16 -6 21
13 Arsenal FC 16 -3 20
14 Newcastle United FC 15 -7 19
15 Crystal Palace FC 16 -9 19
16 Burnley FC 15 -11 16
17 Brighton & Hove Albion FC 16 -7 13
18 Fulham FC 15 -10 11
19 West Bromwich Albion 16 -24 8
20 Sheffield United FC 16 -19 2
Player Team Goals
Salah, Mohamed Liverpool FC 13
Son, Heung Min Tottenham Hotspur FC 11
Vardy, Jamie Leicester City FC 11
Calvert-Lewin, Dominic Everton FC 11
Fernandes, Bruno Manchester United FC 10
Bamford, Patrick Leeds United 10
Kane, Harry Tottenham Hotspur FC 9
Zaha, Wilfried Crystal Palace FC 8
Wilson, Callum Newcastle United FC 8
Rashford, Marcus Manchester United FC 7
Ings, Danny Southampton FC 6
Mane, Sadio Liverpool FC 6
Watkins, Ollie Aston Villa FC 6
Abraham, Tammy Chelsea FC 6
Grealish, Jack Aston Villa FC 5
Firmino, Roberto Liverpool FC 5
Maupay, Neal Brighton & Hove Albion FC 5
Barnes, Harvey Leicester City FC 5
Lacazette, Alexandre Arsenal FC 5
Soucek, Tomas West Ham United FC 5

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