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Havertz could make return from coronavirus at Rennes, says Chelsea boss Lampard

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The Germany international has been out for two weeks after testing positive but he may be set to feature on Tuesday

Chelsea head coach Frank Lampard believes  Kai Havertz  will be in contention to face Rennes  on Tuesday after missing two weeks with the coronavirus.

The 21-year-old got a positive test for Covid-19 shortly before the last Champions League clash with the French club  and he was self-isolating at home until last week.

It is understood that the £62 million signing from Bayer Leverkusen has been training at home on an exercise bike after recovering from mild symptoms associated with the virus.

Despite his training being disrupted, Havertz could be set to feature as Blues could qualify for the knockout phase with a win in the match at Roazhon Park.

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“I hope he is available. He’s been in for two, three days training doing some individual work and he looks pretty good,” Lampard said of Havertz after his side’s 2-0 win away at Newcastle on Saturday.

“Kai is a naturally fit boy. I hope to have him travelling with us to Rennes on Tuesday. Maybe get some minutes. I’m not sure how many because it was two-week isolation but he looks in good shape.”

As teams cope with a condensed schedule this term, there has been a rise in injuries that has led to a host of top managers, including Lampard, to call for changes.

Lampard has asked for five substitutions to be re-introduced and for the early kick-offs to removed from the Premier League . Indeed, after an international break when Mason Mount played a lot of minutes  and Ben Chilwell suffered an injury scare, Lampard hinted that his team could look different for the midweek clash in France.

“It will be a big test and I will make the decision on making changes depending on how the recovery looks,” he added. “People like Ben Chilwell have had a back problem. Let’s see how he wakes up tomorrow.

“People who have played international minutes, Mason played a lot, let’s see how they are tomorrow over the next 48 hours. I certainly don’t underestimate Rennes. I understand the group is still in a position where we need to try to get results.

“I have faith in the squad but when I pick the team, I will try to pick the strongest team possible with a view of where the freshness and legs are in the team.

“We have five subs in the Champions League which is a big plus for us where I can make decisions in games as well so I will see. It is going to be a really tough game out there.”

Chelsea have won five matches in a row and went to the top of the Premier League for a few hours having played in the first match of the weekend at St James’ Park. Tottenham‘s win over Man City later in the day would see Spurs leapfrog the Blues.

Lampard has called upon his side to be humble about their league position and search for the kind of consistency that can truly rank them among the title contenders.

“I’m not going to smile too much at the league table,” he added. “It’s nice to have three points when you are the first game of the weekend. But I know the league table will change. We can only worry about ourselves and our form has meant we are in a decent position.

“But consistency and doing it over a big period is the next test for us.”



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