Frank Lampard Rules out N'Golo Kante for Chelsea's Trip to Wolves

Rory Marsden@@roomarsdenFeatured ColumnistSeptember 13, 2019

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 18: NGolo Kante of Chelsea during the Premier League match between Chelsea FC and Leicester City at Stamford Bridge on August 18, 2019 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Craig Mercer/MB Media/Getty Images)
Craig Mercer/MB Media/Getty Images

N'Golo Kante will still not be available to play for Chelsea when they visit Wolverhampton Wanderers on Saturday in the Premier League, manager Frank Lampard has confirmed.

The Frenchman has been restricted to just two league appearances for the Blues so far in 2019-20 because of an ankle injury. He has missed their last two matches against Norwich City and Sheffield United.

Because of the international break, Chelsea have not played since August 31, so Kante has had two more weeks of recovery time, as he did not turn out for France. Per James Dale of Sky Sports, though, Lampard said the Wolves match has come "too soon" for the influential midfielder.

He added: "I don't want to jump the gun because we're waiting for improvement to fill that final step to get him to where we want him to be on the pitch again. But hopefully that will be in a week or so."

Wolves will pose a big enough challenge to Chelsea, who have managed only one victory so far this term. But the Blues then open their UEFA Champions League campaign at home to Valencia on Tuesday before facing Liverpool in the Premier League next Sunday.

If Chelsea are to have any chance of getting a result against the in-form Reds, who are currently on a 13-match winning run in the Premier League, they will need Kante in the side. The 28-year-old's intelligence and stamina, paired with incredible comfort on the ball, make him arguably Chelsea's most important player in both defence and attack:

In better news for Chelsea, Lampard has confirmed centre-back Antonio Rudiger will be available for the first time this season at the weekend:

Kurt Zouma has looked vulnerable in the Blues' back line this season, and he could be immediately replaced by Rudiger for the Wolves match:

Along with Leicester City, Wolves were touted ahead of the season as one of the potential candidates to break into the established top six. They have yet to win a match in 2019-20 but will view Saturday's home clash against a Kante-less Chelsea as an opportunity to break that run.

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