Chelsea midfielder ruled out of Sheffield United clash


Kante
LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 24: N'Golo Kante of Chelsea during the Carabao Cup Semi-Final Second Leg match between Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur at Stamford Bridge on January 24, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)

Chelsea midfielder N’Golo Kante has been ruled out of his team’s upcoming fixture against Sheffield United due to an ankle injury. 

As reported by various media outlets, the 28-year-old World Cup winner has been struggling with an ongoing ankle injury which would keep him out of Saturday’s fixture.

Kante wasn’t a part of the Chelsea side which defeated Norwich away from home last week, and has also been omitted from the French squad which will face Albania and Andorra over the course of next fortnight.

With international break around the corner, manager Frank Lampard hopes that the extra week of rest afforded to Kante would allow him to regain full fitness.

Lampard confirms Kante's absence

Lampard as Derby Manager
LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 27: Frank Lampard, Manager of Derby County gives his team instructions during the Sky Bet Championship Play-off Final match between Aston Villa and Derby County at Wembley Stadium on May 27, 2019 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

Speaking to the press ahead of his side’s weekend clash, Chelsea manager Frank Lampard confirmed that his side would be without the services of the French midfielder. 

‘N’Golo Kante is not fit, so the continuation of his ankle problem and he won’t be travelling with the France squad either. I had a conversation with Didier Deschamps and we both agreed it’s the best thing for him. Let’s try and get him fit over the break.” Lampard said

‘It’s a setback, of course. My focus is then to make sure he’s okay. He’s had four years of constant football at an incredibly high energy and output level. We have to get that right.”

Chelsea will also be without defender Antonio Rudiger and winger Pedro, with the likes of Reece James and Callum Hudson-Odoi also unavailable for selection as they work as they train their way back to full fitness.

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How will Chelsea lineup vs Sheffield United?

BAKU, AZERBAIJAN - MAY 29: Jorginho of Chelsea gives his team instructions during the UEFA Europa League Final between Chelsea and Arsenal at Baku Olimpiya Stadionu on May 29, 2019 in Baku, Azerbaijan. (Photo by Alex Grimm/Getty Images)

With the French World Cup winner unavailable for selection for at least one more week, Frank Lampard has little choice but to turn to the same starting XI he fielded at the Carrow Road last weekend. 

That means that while Jorginho will play at the place of Kante in the defensive midfield role, the likes of Matteo Kovacic and Ross Barkeley will provide cover to the Italian in the Chelsea midfield.

Further forward, injury to Pedro and Callum Hudson Odi means that Lampard might once again select the young attacking trio of Mason Mount, Tammy Abraham and Christian Pulisic to spearhead the Chelsea attack.

As for their defense, it is expected that an Andres Christensen-Kurt Zouma pairing be in the heart of the Chelsea defense, with Azpilicueta and Emerson on either side of the two central defenders and Kepa Arrizabalaga in goal for the Blues.

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