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Ziyech boost for Chelsea as Lampard delivers squad injuries update

01-Jan-2021, 10:26 pm

Hakim Ziyech Chelsea 2020-21

Chelsea have been boosted by the news that Hakim Ziyech is back in full training and could feature against Manchester City on Sunday.

“He’s fit to train. He’s trained for the last two or three days,” Lampard said of Ziyech. “I will make the decision as to whether he is ready to start.”

It is not all good news on the injury front for Chelsea however, with defender Reece James ruled outwith a hamstring injury although Lampard says it is not too serious.

“Reece James is out,” added the Blues boss. “Reece has got a small hamstring problem.”

Sunday’s game was placed in some doubt when Manchester City were forced to postponetheir clash at Everton on Mondayfollowing an outbreak of Covid-19 among the squad.

Their training ground was briefly shut and the whole squad tested in an attempt to control the spread of the virus. However, there were no more positive cases and the players were able to return to training.

Lampard expects the game to go ahead butadmits the rapid rise of cases is only creating uncertainty.

“I haven’t been given the chances of the game being postponed. I’m just aware of the situation and at the moment the game is on,” he said. “We know that Manchester City had some positives within their training ground. We’ve had a couple ourselves, but not on the playing staff. That’s the current situation.

“Generally we are probably as safe as the public because of the new surge in numbers that we are seeing.

“What we are in is probably a more protected environment, certainly in the workplace. We are now being tested twice a week. I think that’s really important. I don’t understand why we went down to one so two is important.

“The situation at the minute is we go game-by-game in terms of the game being called off it’s because of positive tests around that game itself. I understand that. Let’s see how it goes because these are uncertain times.”

Tottenham’s game against Fulham on Wednesday was also postponed because of an outbreak among the Cottagers squad, with positive cases surging across the country.

This has led to suggestions that football could take a short 'circuit break' to try and bring cases back under control,although thePremier League saysit has no plans to pause the season.

Lampard has confidence in the safety measures currently in place butwould go along with whatever decision the authorities take.

“I have to say the Premier League and clubs themselves have done everything to make the environment as safe as possible,” he said. “As we are finding, that's not always easy to do when people are going home and leaving the building with the numbers going up. Particularly in London, where we are.

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