London (AFP) – Chelsea manager Frank Lampard has praised the professionalism of Jorginho as he looks set to recall the midfielder in place of the injured N’Golo Kante.
Kante suffered a hamstring problem in Saturday’s Premier League win over Watford and, while Lampard revealed it is only a “low-level” issue, the France star is expected to miss the next two games.
The Blues face Crystal Palace on Tuesday and Sheffield United on Saturday.
Italy international Jorginho is expected to replace the World Cup winner in the heart of the Chelsea midfield.
The 28-year-old was a regular in Lampard’s side ahead of lockdown but has yet to play a single minute since the season resumed.
Lampard would not be drawn on why the former Napoli player has seemingly fallen out of favour but has been pleased with Jorginho’s reaction.
“Jorginho always trains well but he has handled it professionally and that is what I would expect,” he said.
“It is important that players, over the course of a season, in a competitive squad like we have, are there to support players when they are out, and he has done that, to be fair.”
If they can win at Selhurst Park, Chelsea will move ahead of Leicester into third place — with the Foxes playing later in the evening away at Arsenal.
Three wins from four since the restart have seen Chelsea close the gap, while Manchester United are also pushing hard for a Champions League place.
Lampard said United’s form meant they are the main threat from the chasing pack to Chelsea’s top-four ambitions.
“They are a very strong team and have been in great form for a very long period of time,” he said of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side — who are two points adrift of Chelsea and will face the Blues in an FA Cup semi-final later this month.
“They’ve got really good individual players and you have seen the momentum they have gained at this part of the season, their front three are all scoring lots of goals.”
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