December 8, 2021

Lampard confirms Pulisic return and backs USMNT star to get best out of Havertz, Ziyech and Werner at Chelsea

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The Blues pair are returning to match fitness with the American international fit for the bench against Crystal Palace this weekend

Chelsea are moving closer to a full-strength side after Frank Lampard confirmed Christian Pulisic and Hakim Ziyech are both getting near to full match fitness.

Pulisic should make his first appearance of the 2020-21 season from the bench against Crystal Palace on Saturday, although the game will come too soon for summer signing Ziyech.

American international Pulisic suffered a hamstring injury after scoring in August’s FA Cup final defeat to Arsenal, while Ziyech picked up a knee issue in pre-season.

“Pulisic is in the squad tomorrow,” Lampard said in his pre-match press conference. “He won’t start the match because of the injury he has had and it has been a difficult injury. I am very keen to get him back in there so it is great to have him back, he is an important player for us. Hakim Ziyech is getting closer but not quite fit enough to be on the bench.”

Chelsea have had an anticlimactic start to the season following their huge summer transfer outlay but, with more pieces of the puzzle becoming available to Lampard, he is confident things are looking up.

“I think they will all bring the best out of each other,” Lampard said of his forwards. “Of course, it is a shame that we have not had Hakim and Christian at this time of the season. Christian has been with us for a year so he doesn’t have that bedding in period that he had last year.

“Hakim will bring something completely different for us. I think they will help complement not just Kai [Havertz] and Timo [Werner], but the attacking players that we have because we will have to use different players over the course of the season.

“I am very excited to have those players fit. Timo and Kai don’t have necessarily positions themselves, but I have a clear idea of where I want them to play. At the moment injuries have not made that possible and they have had to be adaptable in those difficult times.”

Chelsea will be hoping for a positive start to October after crashing out of the Carabao Cup against Tottenham and drawing 3-3 at newly promoted West Bromwich Albion in the last week.