Frank Lampard on Christian Pulisic, Tammy Abraham; Will Field Strong XI vs. Reds

Gianni Verschueren@ReverschPassFeatured ColumnistMarch 2, 2020

BOURNEMOUTH, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 29:  Frank Lampard, Manager of Chelsea arrives at the stadium prior to the Premier League match between AFC Bournemouth and Chelsea FC at Vitality Stadium on February 29, 2020 in Bournemouth, United Kingdom. (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)
Marc Atkins/Getty Images

Chelsea manager Frank Lampard has said there is no clear timetable for the return of Christian Pulisic or Tammy Abraham, and he has vowed to field a strong XI in the FA Cup clash with Liverpool.

Per Goal's Nizaar Kinsella, the Blues boss provided injury updates on several key players:

"I am hoping [Callum Hudson-Odoi] will be fit for next Sunday. Christian is the same as Tammy; there is no clear answer. [Tammy] went to Barcelona to have a look at his ankle for some more advice on it.

"We will have to work around [Jorginho's suspensions in the league and Champions League], we have players who can play there. [Mateo] Kovacic finished in the holding role, Ross Barkley, Mason Mount, Billy Gilmour, there are solutions and there might be opportunities for other players.

"[Ruben Loftus-Cheek] may get in the under-23s game on Monday, he missed the opportunity here, he had a small calf injury a week or two ago which stopped him playing in the under-23s game that I wanted him to, and I would like to see him complete a whole game."

Chelsea's English head coach Frank Lampard (C) greets Bournemouth's Dutch defender Nathan Ake (L) and Bournemouth's English defender Jack Stacey at the final whistle during the English Premier League football match between Bournemouth and Chelsea at the V

Per George Flood of the London Evening Standard, he ruled out rotating his entire side for the cup match against the Reds:

"Cement and go for victory. It is Liverpool, our fans are coming in the FA Cup to try to overturn the best team in the land.

"It doesn't mean I might not change a couple of people. There might be something for freshness of legs or a couple of different options, but I won't pick a team to casually give minutes...(I'll) treat it like I would any Premier League game."

The Blues have been hit hard by the injury bug and have struggled of late as a result, with just one win in their last six Premier League outings. They couldn't get past Bournemouth at the weekend, playing out a 2-2 draw.

Both goals came from full-back Marcos Alonso, who had to make up for the struggles of the forwards:

Pulisic has been out since the New Year's Day match against Brighton & Hove Albion, while Abraham has been slowed by ankle pain.Β 

With Bayern Munich beating the Blues 3-0 in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League round-of-16 tie, the FA Cup presents Chelsea with their best chance of winning silverware.

A strong finish to the Premier League campaign is arguably a higher priority, however, with a top-four spot guaranteeing a trip to next year's Champions League, regardless of Manchester City's appeal against their UEFA ban.

Confidence remains high in the dressing room, despite the poor run of results:

Chelsea FC @ChelseaFC

'We are still confident that we will be in the top four in May.' - Andreas Christensen πŸ‘Š https://t.co/9bvL5LL1Dy

Chelsea will face Everton, Aston Villa and Manchester City in the league before the end of the month, but Lampard appears unwilling to prioritise those matches at this point.

Liverpool seem more vulnerable than at any point this season after suffering their first defeat of the Premier League campaign on Saturday against Watford. The Reds have lost two of their last three matches across all competitions.

Manager Jurgen Klopp is not expected to rotate his side too much for Tuesday's cup clash, but the Reds do have key fixtures against Atletico Madrid and Everton on the horizon within the next two weeks. One or two of his stars could get the day off as a result.