Chelsea manager Frank Lampard has confirmed that N’Golo Kante won’t be fit enough to play in Blues encounter with newly-crowned Premier League champions Liverpool on Wednesday night.
The 29-year-old French international, who suffered a hamstring injury in Chelsea’s 3-0 win over Watford on July 4, is still sidelined.
Kante has missed three Premier League fixtures against Crystal Palace, Sheffield United and Norwich City plus Sunday’s FA Cup semi-finals win over Manchester United on Sunday night.
Speaking ahead of Chelsea’s penultimate Premier League game of the season against Liverpool on Wednesday, the Blues boss delivered a short answer when if Kante would be available for the trip to Merseyside.
‘N’Golo is not fit,’ Lampard said.
The absence of N’Golo Kante once again is a huge blow for Chelsea as it means they are without their tough-tackling midfield enforcer but it does mean that it will once again present an opportunity for Jorginho to retain his place in midfield and protect the back-four.
Chelsea’s midfield of Jorginho and Mateo Kovacic was highly effective against Manchester United at Wembley and Lampard will be tempted to continue with a similar 3-4-3 configuration against a Liverpool side who have slacked off a little since they secure the title.
Frank Lampard & co. still have plenty to play for including a top-four finish that would see them qualify for next season’s Uefa Champions League.
The Stamford Bridge outfit currently sit third in the table but are just a point ahead of Leicester City in fourth and Manchester United in fifth.
Dropped points against newly-crowned Premier League champions Liverpool could allow Manchester United to overtake them if Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side beat West Ham United at Old Trafford.
Chelsea will host Wolverhampton, who are themselves hoping to seal Europa League qualification, at Stamford Bridge on Sunday, the final day of the Premier League season.
The Blues will hope Kante, 29, regains match fitness in time for their FA Cup final meeting with Arsenal on August 1 and the second leg of their Champions League last-16 tie away to Bayern Munich on August 8.