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Chelsea Confirm Willian, Antonio Rudiger Return for Super Cup vs. Liverpool

Rob Blanchette@@_Rob_BFeatured ColumnistAugust 13, 2019

Willian of Chelsea in action during the UEFA Europa League Final between Chelsea and Arsenal at Baku Olimpiya Stadionu on May 29, 2019 in Baku, Azerbaijan. (Photo by Etsuo Hara/Getty Images)
Etsuo Hara/Getty Images

Frank Lampard has named Willian and Antonio Rudiger in his squad to face Liverpool in the UEFA Super Cup on Wednesday, but the Chelsea coach has admitted he doesn't know if the pair will play in Istanbul.

Willian and Rudiger missed the 4-0 defeat at Manchester United in the Premier League opener on Sunday because of injury, and the Blues appeared short on experience in Lampard's first competitive match at the helm.

Lampard also confirmed N'Golo Kante's involvement is in doubt. He sustained a knock at Old Trafford after coming on as a substitute.

"Kante has a small injury, and I will make a decision with that with him," Lampard told reporters. "Willian and Rudiger are here, and they are in different stages. Willian is not far from fit, to put him in a high-intensity match is tough. He will be working through this week on fitness. Tomorrow he will be on the bench. Similarly with Rudiger."

The Guardian provided video of Lampard's press conference on Tuesday:

Willian picked up a knee injury this summer while on international duty for Brazil at the Copa America. Rudiger hasn't featured for Chelsea since the end of last season after undergoing knee surgery.

Both players will be vital this season after the club were unable to bring in new signings because of a transfer ban. Chelsea will have to rely on their existing squad, and Willian and Rudiger will provide leadership to the Blues' youthful contingent.

Chelsea are chasing their second Super Cup win after their 1998 victory in the one-off match between the holders of the UEFA Champions League and Europa League.

Lampard added Chelsea are motivated to win the trophy, and his team hold no fear ahead of their battle with the Reds after Jurgen Klopp's side defeated Norwich City 4-1 in their Premier League opener on Friday.

"It means a lot to the club," Lampard said of the Super Cup. "I lost two, one in poor circumstances, having won the Champions League, and we were far off that game. We lost in Munich unfortunately, I believe. It is important to give everything to win it. It is another trophy for the club. But for the feeling that we can compete with Liverpool and go from there."

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - AUGUST 11: Christian Pulisic of Chelsea during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Chelsea FC at Old Trafford on August 11, 2019 in Manchester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images)
Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images

Despite the disappointing scoreline against United, Chelsea showed attacking flair which will excite the manager and supporters alike. The sale of David Luiz to Arsenal on transfer deadline day was a decision taken by Lampard, and a lack of experience in key positions might be a problem this term. However, Blues fans are likely to see their team attack with more vigour this season, and if Lampard has his way, Chelsea will quickly utilise the burgeoning talent at their disposal.

Christian Pulisic, Mason Mount, Tammy Abraham and Andreas Christensen represent a young core for Lampard, and all four could start against Liverpool.