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Injury list extends but Loftus-Cheek to play for Under-23s tonight

Frank Lampard has reported Andreas Christensen has a small problem which means he will likely miss tomorrow’s FA Cup meeting with Liverpool, and the boss will not be able to call upon anyone else who was unavailable at the weekend.

The good news is that Ruben Loftus-Cheek will feature for our development squad against Everton at Aldershot tonight, a game you can watch live on the 5th Stand. It will be his first competitive match since May.

Lampard provided the injury update at his press conference at Cobham this afternoon, and also confirmed Kepa is in the frame to return between the posts.

‘Andreas Christensen has got a small issue which we are going to give another 24 hours, but probably puts him in out of the game,’ said Lampard.

‘There are no fresh returns from the injury list.

‘Ruben Loftus-Cheek is playing for the Under-23s this evening, to get 90 minutes or hopefully somewhere towards that, which will be great for him.

‘Other than that we have no Tammy Abraham, no Christian Pulisic, no Callum Hudson-Odoi and no N’Golo Kante.’

Abraham’s ankle was checked up on at the weekend

‘He went to Barcelona to get another set of eyes on it. He came back relatively positive, unfortunately he’s a bit unwell at the moment so he’s been off for a couple of days with a bit of a bug. There’s no update, no idea when he’ll be back.’

Lampard explained the uncertainty regarding Abraham and Pulisic’s return date

‘It’s certainly frustrating for them, particularly Christian who has had a big phase out and is desperate to get back.

‘When I’m not giving an answer [to their return date] it’s not like I’m looking into the distance and I can’t see the answer. I’m hoping they might be fit over the next week or two, I just can’t say it with clarity because they’ve both had their issues. It’s a difficult one and my concern remains the same.’

Lampard was asked what we can expect from his Chelsea side tomorrow

‘A team that gives everything to try and get through to the next round against a very strong Liverpool team.

‘I believe in the squad. Sometimes you have to make changes. Of course you go game by game, case by case on those. The team I put out should give everything to compete with Liverpool, as we have done twice this season. We competed very well against them and were probably unfortunate on both occasions to lose.

‘I will presume Liverpool will put out their strongest team, or there and thereabouts, knowing whatever team they put out will give us a very difficult match.

‘I don’t know if it’s a good time to play them. Maybe not, who knows. They have become relatively human for one game; it shows how competitive the Premier League is and how well they’ve done.’

Lampard considered if there was any extra pressure because the FA Cup is our best chance of silverware and we have won trophies in recent years

‘I feel only the usual pressure. Normally winning something is only really for Man City and Liverpool pretty much in the last couple of years.

‘We have to understand the landscape has changed, and try and bridge the gap. We want to win it, but realistically we’ll have to be at our best to first beat Liverpool tomorrow.

‘The FA Cup is a huge competition, evening games bring about a different atmosphere, and when you draw something like Liverpool it should be the game you all want to be involved in.’

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