Chelsea have been dealt a triple injury blow with the news that Christian Pulisic, N’Golo Kante and Tammy Abraham will all miss the club’s trip to Bournemouth tomorrow.
Frank Lampard’s injury-hit side travel to the Vitality Stadium this weekend looking to continue their push towards a top four finish and Champions League qualification, though the Chelsea manager’s options are depleted by the absence of several key personnel.
US international Pulisic has not featured since the draw with Brighton on New Year’s Day as he recovers from a torn abductor muscle, whilst Kante limped off during the defeat to Manchester United last week with an adductor injury and is likely to miss three weeks.
Lampard’s plans have been further complicated by a fresh blow for top scorer Abraham, the England international coming off the bench against Bayern Munich in midweek only to suffer a recurrence of an ankle injury.
Lampard revealed his depleted options ahead of the club’s meeting with the Cherries, though there was more positive news on Ruben Loftus-Cheek who will again be involved in the match-day squad.
“[Christian] Pulisic is injured. [N’Golo] Kante injured and Tammy Abraham is injured. We are trying to find a solution with Tammy. It’s the same.
“Ruben [Loftus-Cheek] is in the squad again tomorrow. It would mean a lot for him. It is a lonely place to be injured. With the ability that he has got he is one of the most exciting English midfield players.”
Last weekend’s win over Tottenham extended Chelsea’s advantage over fifth to three points, though there are a collection of sides who remain firmly in the hunt to secure Champions League football.
Lampard admits as many as six teams could all finish fourth ahead of the final stages of the season, though is hopeful his side can beat off the competition and seal their return to Europe’s elite.
“When you look around, the form of United, who spent well and it’s similar with Tottenham and can’t write off Arsenal. Wolves and Sheffield United you have to respect them, they are good teams. We have a fight on. Anyone who is in range has a chance of finishing in the top four.”