Chelsea handed double injury boost ahead of Fulham and Leicester clashes

Chelsea have been handed a timely boost ahead of their upcoming trips to Fulham and Leicester in the Premier League, with Reece James and Andreas Christensen both involved in Tuesday’s training session.

England right-back James has had an outstanding start to the season but missed Chelsea’s recent clashes with Aston Villa, Manchester City and Morecambe due to a thigh injury.

The Blues have also been without defender Christensen, who has been struggling with a knee problem, and there are hopes the duo could return when Frank Lampard’s men travel to Craven Cottage on Saturday afternoon.

The club’s injury problems have only increased the pressure on Lampard and it remains to be seen whether N’Golo Kante will be available for this weekend’s London derby.

The former Leicester midfielder came off in the second half of Chelsea’s defeat to Manchester City complaining of a tight hamstring and has not featured since.

Lampard will be hoping his players are buoyed by their impressive performance against Morecambe in the FA Cup at Stamford Bridge, where Mason Mount, Timo Werner, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Kai Havertz all got on the scoresheet.

Speaking after Chelsea’s third-round victory, Lampard suggested youngsters Billy Gilmour and Hudson-Odoi could be handed more central roles for the second half of the campaign.

‘I think Billy is pushing and has been since he made his breakthrough last season against top-level opposition,’ the Chelsea head coach said at his post-match press conference.

‘His injury came soon after that but from those moments I knew Billy would be a very, very good player for this club, to say the least.

‘Today, he came in, his attitude was good, he moved the ball well. When you talk about the academy players, people talk about the youth of this squad.

‘But also the youth of this squad are performing very well for us. We can’t ask them to be absolutely consistent and killers like other players in the league.

‘That will come but at the moment I think they’re own contributions are good.’

Lampard added: ‘Callum is playing well and improving. He has improved and there’s much more to come from him.

‘But I think his application in training, his desire to look at his game, goals like today are a fantastic example.

‘In terms of how long until he makes that case [for a consistent run in the team]? He’s making it now.

‘When everyone is fit we have maybe three natural wingers and he’s one of them. There’s always going to be a time when I have to make selection decisions.

‘The way he’s playing now means he’s assisting, he’s scoring goals, he’s a threat every time he plays, it makes me really happy because that is definitely an uplift from Callum and as I say, there’s more gears he can go through.

‘Again, he’s another young player with lots to come. Don’t expect too much but it’s good to expect more from him because he’s showing a lot.’

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