Chelsea are likely to be without a number of key players when they welcome former manager Carlo Ancelotti’s Everton side to Stamford Bridge on Sunday.
Current boss Frank Lampard offered updates on the status of Christian Pulisic, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Tammy Abraham, Callum Hudson-Odoi, Mateo Kovacic and Willian, who have all struggled with fitness issues.
Pulisic has been missing since mid-November after suffering a muscle tear, while Loftus-Cheek is yet to feature at all this season as he continues his comeback from a serious Achilles injury.
Forward Pulisic recently claimed he is “super close” to full fitness but Lampard has insisted that both players are “short of match fitness” and still some way off starting.
Christian Pulisic has been struggling with a muscle tear
“We had an in-house game [on Friday] which Christian [Pulisic] and [Ruben] Loftus-Cheek played,” Lampard said at his pre-match press conference.
“I just watched it and they are trying to find match fitness. It’s great to see Christian get some minutes but he’s still short of match fitness.”
In a major boost to the Blues’ frontline, top scorer Tammy Abraham is expected to be back in action before the end of the month, with Lampard adding: “I hope so, he’s not training with us yet.”
Willian is a question mark for Chelsea’s clash with Everton while Tammy Abraham should be back by the end of the month
Winger Hudson-Odoi has not been in the squad since early February and looks set to miss more games, with Lampard saying: “Hudson-Odoi had another injury and is having a scan later today.
“It’s tough for him. He wasn’t rushed back. He did it training back with us. It’s another injury for us. We have had the worst injury list. We are working.
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Midfielder Kovacic has also been ruled out of the game against the Toffees…