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Havertz hopeful of featuring in France

Frank Lampard hopes that Kai Havertz will be fit enough to play some part in our Champions League trip to Rennes this week as the German continues his return from a spell of self-isolation after testing positive for Covid-19.

The 21-year-old last featured on Halloween in our 3-0 victory at Burnley, a few days prior to his positive test result. He missed our win against the Frenchmen at Stamford Bridge, a result that put us in a strong position in Group E, as well as encounters with Sheffield United, Newcastle United and international duty with his country.

However, after returning to Cobham last week and undertaking some fitness work to get back up to speed, Lampard believes the midfielder could be ready for some minutes at Roazhon Park.

‘I hope he is available,’ said the boss. ‘He’s been in for a few days now doing some individual work and he’s looked pretty good.  

‘Kai is a naturally fit boy so I hope to have him travelling with us to Rennes and maybe he’ll get some minutes. I’m not sure exactly how many because it was a two-week isolation but he looks in good shape.’

Lampard will be monitoring the fitness and freshness of his players closely ahead of our return to action in the Champions League group stage. 

‘I’ll make a decision whether to make changes or not depending on how the recovery looks,’ he added. ‘We have people like Ben Chilwell, who has had a back problem, and players who played a lot of international minutes so we’ll have to see how they are.

‘I have faith in the squad but when I pick the team, I’ll try to pick the strongest team possible with a view to where the freshness and legs are in the group. 

'We have five substitutes in the Champions League, which is obviously a big plus for us that we can make decisions during the game as well, but we know it’s going to be a really tough game out there.’

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