Reece James to miss Manchester City game

Chelsea have been dealt a massive blow as Frank Lampard confirmed Reece James will miss the game against Manchester City due to a minor hamstring injury. Chelsea will be hoping to start the new year with a win after picking up just four points from their last five games.

Lampard admitted there is uncertainty around games after a couple of them were recently called off due to increase in positive Covid-19 cases. Speaking to reporters ahead of the game, Lampard said “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. We know that Man 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.”

The Chelsea manager confirmed Reece James will miss the clash, but Hakim Ziyech might return to the squad after recovering from hamstring injury. Lampard added “He’s fit to train. He’s trained for the last two or three days. I will make the decision as to whether he is ready to start. Reece James is out. Reece has got a small hamstring problem.

After a bright start to the season, Chelsea have struggled to score goals in their recent games. Lampard admitted Chelsea have found it difficult to break down well organised teams. When asked about the reason for lack of goals, the Chelsea manager said “I don’t have an absolute answer from that. From our own terms, talking football it is hard to say but I think having no crowd has affected football. I am not sure how much or why.

Maybe things have settled down slightly but what I have seen in recent weeks from ourselves is that we are not as fluid as we were a few weeks ago and we have to get back to that.”

Particularly in terms of how quickly and well we move the ball. We have come up against teams who are very well organised and from our point of view it is very hard to break them down so much. You have to also try and be as secure as you can be. I don’t have an answer because it is not clear.

Lampard said his team should be at their best to have any chance of winning against Pep Guardiola’s side. He added “I am confident in us as a team. I know that when we play at Stamford Bridge, as well as we can, then we have an opportunity to beat anybody. Saying that, City are right at the top so when we beat them after the restart for instance, 2-1, that was a difficult game that we had to suffer at times because they are such a good possession-based team.”

I am confident in us, I know we have to be at our best to win because of the level of opposition. In terms of their weaknesses? I don’t see it. They are just a very strong outfit, very well managed, they have lots of threats so we will have to focus on ourselves and be at our best. If we are at our best then we can win against any team.”

The Chelsea manager emphasised on starting 2021 with a win and said “It’s important because we are coming off the back of a few games where we have not been at our best and we have dropped some points. We were fortunate that we had a really long and unbeaten run before that so the table doesn’t look terribly bad when you think that we are very close to the top four positions so it is important for us, yes.”

Mentally, we need to start winning regularly. In terms of the year ahead, we are still progressing and we have improvements to make, I knew that and I know that now and that’s what we have to do, work hard every day.”

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