Chelsea star midfielder ruled out of Crystal Palace clash


Chelsea have been dealt a massive blow ahead of their crucial Premier League clash against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park as they will be without their influential midfielder N’Golo Kante.

The French international was forced off the field with a hamstring injury in Chelsea’s 3-0 victory over Watford at Stamford Bridge.

‘Kante won’t be in the squad. He has a low-level hamstring injury. We’re hoping it’ll be a week or so. I would expect we’ll be very lucky to have him for Sheffield United,” said Frank Lampard.

With ‘The Blues’ looking to seal a top-four finish in the league in order to qualify for the UEFA Champions League, Kante’s absence in the middle of the park will be felt by Lampard.

Chelsea are fourth on the log standings, a point behind third-placed Leicester City and two points ahead of fifth-placed Manchester United.

Jorginho has not yet featured since the restart and with Kante injured, Lampard spoke about the possibility of the Italian international getting a start.

“He’s been very professional about it. He wants to play as every player does. One of the hardest parts of the job is telling a player they’re not playing, particularly when they train well, and Jorginho always trains well,” said the Chelsea coach.

“Jorginho has handled it professionally, and that’s what I would expect. It’s important players over the course of a long season, in a competitive squad like we have, are there to support other players when they’re playing and they’re out. We’ll see with my selection tomorrow whether he plays.

“[Mateo] Kovacic trained with us today, he’s not ready for this game, hopefully, the next. [Fikayo] Tomori is still not ready. He had a small setback in training so hopefully next week,” concluded Lampard.

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By Tokelo Martin Mokhesi

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