Frank Lampard has confirmed Kai Havertz and Thiago Silva will travel to France and could play against Rennes tomorrow.
Before departing for our fourth Champions League group stage fixture the boss answered questions from the media via Zoom, with the possibility of qualification among the subjects raised, along with plenty of focus on two of our strikers, Tammy Abraham and Olivier Giroud.
First up, though, Lampard reported the latest team news. His update was a positive one.
‘Kai and Thiago both travel and they are fit for selection,’ he said.
‘Christian stays back and doesn’t travel but the good news he has had good progression in the last week. The reason he is staying back is to get some physical work in to hopefully have him ready for selection for this weekend and onwards.’
If results go our way tomorrow we could qualify from our group with two games to spare
‘We are in a decent position, but the minute we drop levels or don’t prepare right it will change. Rennes are a very accomplished team, we found that out at the Bridge, and I have a lot of respect for them.
‘People are saying if we get the right result the group will be done in terms of qualification, but if we get the wrong result we make it a difficult couple of games in the group because we go to Seville next. We have to respect this game, and we have to keep focusing on ourselves to keep that form going.’
Lampard spoke about Olivier Giroud's future amid rumours he has asked for a January move
'Oli is a very important member of our squad. He played a lot of games last year, he will always want to play more, and he is a huge member of the squad for me. I know he will be important for us going forward so I want Oli to be here and to stay.
'I have a very good relationship with Oli and if ever he felt it was going to go a different way I would happily have that conversation with him. But I want him to stay here.
'There is competition in the forward areas at Chelsea. Everyone has to take that one. I saw Oli’s agent's quotes and I thought nothing of them. Oli and I have very open conversations. He wants to play. When he doesn’t play he is an incredible support for the other players. He trains brilliantly no matter what. We will cross that January bridge when it comes, but my thought has to be the strength of our squad.'
The boss also praised the recent performances of another striker, Tammy Abraham
‘I’m really pleased with him. He’s playing really well at the minute. His all-round game, off the ball work, link-up work, is good.
‘It got slightly forgotten he was a massive plus for us in the first half of last season and was a big reason we finished fourth.
‘The second half of last season was more difficult for him, that’s normal for a developing player, and now I’m seeing a mirror of how he trains. He is training brilliantly; he is enthusiastic which is when Tammy is at his best. That is coming out in his game and I hope that continues.
‘His next challenge is to remain consistent and if he looks at last season he will see that as well.’