Antoine Griezmann urged France to immediately turn their focus towards Monday's date with Turkey after beating Iceland 1-0 in Reykjavik.

The Barcelona forward won the penalty Olivier Giroud converted midway through the second half to secure three points, inflicting a first home loss in a year on their hosts. 

World champions France stumbled to a 2-0 defeat against Turkey in June, well beaten in Konya and condemned by critics who had come to expect success. 

It remains the only blip in their campaign and France will book a place at Euro 2020 if they avenge that rare loss by beating Turkey at the Stade de France. 

Griezmann told TF1: "We've got an important match at home now. We suffered over there [in Turkey], so we’ll need to prepare well for this match."

He fell dramatically for the penalty against Iceland, but replays showed Griezmann was impeded and France were well worth their success against a home side who offered little attacking threat but defended doughtily. 

"It was very difficult, a really hard match," Griezmann added. "We needed to take the three points and now we have an important game coming up at home." 

Turkey and France sit on 18 points at the top of Group H, six clear of third-placed Iceland, meaning both are on the brink of qualification for next year's finals. 

Didier Deschamps was satisfied with his team's display as they followed up a 4-0 home win over Iceland in March with a more attritional away success. 

He told TF1: "Firstly that's a victory here, it wasn't easy. We had the chance to get a second, they've been good on set-pieces.  

"That was a man's match, there was commitment, we've responded by having a lot of the ball. We could have made it more comfortable by putting away the chances in the end. It's a good victory ahead of Monday's match." 

Asked about a pre-match knock that kept midfielder N'Golo Kante out of the game, with Moussa Sissoko his late replacement, Deschamps said: "I don't think it's too serious for 'NG'." 

As for whether Kante could face Turkey, Deschamps added: "I do not have the answer tonight."

N'Golo Kante was withdrawn from the France team to play Iceland because of injury prior to kick-off in Reykjavik.

The Chelsea midfielder had been named in the starting XI and was all set to play in the Euro 2020 qualifying match before reportedly suffering a muscle strain.

It meant Tottenham's Moussa Sissoko came into Didier Deschamps' line-up for the Group H fixture.

Deschamps had earlier surprised some observers by choosing Lucas Digne at left-back, when Lucas Hernandez had been tipped to recover from a knee problem to start.

Olivier Giroud was the focus point in attack, supported by Antoine Griezmann, with Kylian Mbappe on the injured list along with midfield playmaker Paul Pogba and Hugo Lloris, the goalkeeper and regular captain of Les Bleus.

Kante could also miss France’s qualifier against Turkey on Monday, and Chelsea boss Frank Lampard will hope the former Leicester man is fit for the Blues' next Premier League clash, their home game against Newcastle on Saturday, October 19.

The 28-year-old has started just three of Chelsea's opening eight league games after being troubled by an ankle injury in the early weeks of the season.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is said to be concerned that one more significant defeat could see him sacked as Manchester United manager.

Although Ed Woodward has given his backing to the former striker and insisted the club has faith in their longer-term plan, it seems the loss to Newcastle United on Sunday has caused particular concern.

AC Milan, meanwhile, could make a change in the dugout on Tuesday, while Real Madrid are considering a Chelsea midfielder.

 

TOP STORY – SOLKSJAER FACING SACK IF UNITED LOSE HANDSOMELY TO LIVERPOOL

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer may not survive at Manchester United if they suffer a significant defeat to Liverpool.

The Daily Mail and the Mirror claim executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward was very concerned by the manner of the 1-0 defeat to Newcastle United, despite giving the manager public support.

It is suggested Woodward could choose to dismiss Solskjaer if United are beaten heavily by league leaders Liverpool on October 20 - much as Jose Mourinho was sacked after a 3-1 loss at Anfield last year.

 

ROUND-UP

- United are in desperate need of goals but one of their targets, Moussa Dembele, could be stolen away from Lyon by Everton for £40million in January, according to Football Insider.

AC Milan are another major club ready to make a change in the dugout. Gianluca Di Marzio claims the Rossoneri could replace Marco Giampaolo with former Inter boss Stefano Pioli as early as Tuesday.

- Inter, meanwhile, are plotting a bid for out-of-favour Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic, according to Calciomercato.com.

Real Madrid appear to have turned a corner under Zinedine Zidane but the former France star still wants a new midfielder. Sport say he has sanctioned a possible January bid for Chelsea's N'Golo Kante.

- In France, Sylvinho paid the price for Lyon's poor form - particularly Sunday's derby defeat to Saint-Etienne - and the Ligue 1 side are considering former Valencia boss Marcelino as his replacement, according to Soccer Link.

Chelsea brushed aside Southampton 4-1 at St Mary's Stadium on Sunday to register back-to-back Premier League wins for the first time under Frank Lampard.

In-form striker Tammy Abraham broke the deadlock with his eighth league goal of the campaign to join Sergio Aguero at the top of the competition's scoring charts. 

Mason Mount and N'Golo Kante were also on target, either side of Danny Ings pulling one back, as Lampard's men netted three first-half goals for the second successive Premier League away trip.

Substitute Michy Batshuayi scored the only goal of a low-key second half to seal the win for Chelsea, who rise up to fifth in the table.

Abraham lifted Callum Hudson-Odoi's straight pass over a hesitant Angus Gunn to give Chelsea the lead 17 minutes in, the strike being awarded by goal-line technology despite Maya Yoshida's acrobatic clearance.

The visitors doubled their tally seven minutes later as Mount took Willian's pass in his stride and fired past Gunn, but Southampton were given a lifeline when Ings got in front of Kurt Zouma to divert the ball home.

Chelsea's two-goal lead was restored before half-time, though, as Kante's long-range effort deflected off Jan Bednarek past a wrong-footed Gunn. 

Ings rounded Kepa Arrizabalaga but could not find a way past covering Chelsea midfielder Jorginho on the line, while up the other end Gunn kept out Abraham and Hudson-Odoi, who was making his first league start of the season.

But Southampton ultimately offered little in the way of an attacking threat after the interval, with Chelsea instead adding to their tally a minute from time through Batshuayi's composed finish after he had exchanged passes with fellow substitute Christian Pulisic.

 

What does it mean? Lampard's Chelsea building momentum

Chelsea started the season slowly but they head into the October international break on the back of a four-game winning streak in all competitions.

Successive victories in the Premier League sees them move level with fourth-placed Leicester City and they do not face a side currently above them until travelling to Manchester City in late November.

Abraham maintains impressive form

In the week he was called up by England, Abraham scored his ninth goal of the season in all competitions - the joint-most of any Premier League player, alongside Raheem Sterling.

Southampton's defending was poor - and the less said about Gunn's part in the first two Chelsea goals the better - but Abraham deserves credit for continuing to take his chances when they fall to him.

Chelsea's defence still fragile

Southampton got in behind Chelsea on a number of occasions in the first half, most notably for Ings' goal after four visiting players failed to stop the run of Yan Valery.

In the 69 games that Lampard has managed between Derby County and Chelsea in all competitions, his teams have only kept a clean sheet 15 times.

What's next?

Chelsea host Newcastle United on October 19 when the Premier League returns, the same day struggling Southampton travel to Wolves.

Frank Lampard backed Tammy Abraham to score goals for England after the Chelsea striker was called up for the Three Lions' forthcoming Euro 2020 qualifiers against the Czech Republic and Bulgaria.

England boss Gareth Southgate named Abraham along with Blues team-mates Fikayo Tomori and Ross Barkley in his squad and Lampard said all three players "have big smiles on their faces" after impressing for Chelsea.

Abraham has scored seven goals in seven Premier League appearances for Chelsea this season and also found the net in his side's 2-1 win at Lille in the Champions League.

Lampard, who scored 29 goals in 106 appearances for England, tipped the 22-year-old forward – who has two caps for the Three Lions – for success at international level, saying of his call-up: "I think it is well deserved.

"[He has been] scoring goals regularly for us and everybody knows that his form is very good. I think he has been in the equation for Gareth all season with the way that he has played.

"It is a natural progression for him. So I'm delighted. He is a proud lad, as he should be, proud to get a call up.

"I don't want to put too much on his shoulders, but step by step he has shown that he can score goals in the Championship twice, now in the Premier League.

"Naturally when he goes to the England squad he has the attributes to go there and be successful. It is another step for him but I am sure that he has the attitude to take that challenge of being a goalscorer for England."

Abraham is expected to start as Chelsea's Premier League campaign resumes at Southampton on Sunday, where Lampard's men hope to secure back-to-back top-flight victories for the first time this season.

Lampard said the club would monitor the progress of N'Golo Kante ahead of the match as the midfielder continues his recovery from a hamstring injury.

Kante played all 90 minutes of Chelsea's win at Lille in midweek but he has been restricted to just two Premier League starts during a disjointed season so far.

The Chelsea manager indicated Kante's place against the Saints is not guaranteed, saying: "That's something we will have to watch over the next 24 or 48 hours to make sure he is still on a semi-recovery, as they all are from the trip to Lille and the game.

"The fact he hasn't played much obviously. In terms of the injury, he is fine. There is no fall out from that from the game.

"It is just making sure he is fit and ready and that's a call for myself."

Didier Deschamps has joked Frank Lampard should consider playing Olivier Giroud more often for Chelsea in exchange for the France boss leaving N'Golo Kante out of his last squad.

Kante was recalled by Les Blues on Thursday for their upcoming qualifiers against Iceland and Turkey, having been overlooked for selection in September to recover from niggling hamstring and ankle injuries.

Deschamps revealed Lampard has previously spoken to him about not selecting the 28-year-old, who returned to action with 90 minutes against Lille on Wednesday.

However, the World Cup-winning coach wants the favour to be repaid, telling reporters at Thursday's news conference: "Lampard asked me not to pick Kante at the last break.

"If that's still the way I'm going to call him later to tell him it would be nice if you play Olivier Giroud a little bit!"

Giroud is Deschamps' preferred striker but has struggled to get a look in at club level, the 33-year-old playing just 100 minutes of Premier League football this season due to the form of Tammy Abraham.

Deschamps admitted Giroud's lack of playing time for Chelsea could work against him.

"I do not want to take away from what Olivier has done with us," said Deschamps. "He has put in some very good performances, not to mention that he is the third-best active French scorer. However, I hope his situation develops.

"Beyond his efficiency with us, it is a matter of rhythm too. He has already gone through spells where he has played less, but now it is not sufficient physically - he cannot be at his best."

Like Kante, Paris Saint-Germain star Kylian Mbappe is back in the France squad after missing the wins over Albania and Andorra last month because of a hamstring injury.

Mbappe has featured as a second-half substitute in PSG's last two matches after missing more than a month and Deschamps will take no risks over his fitness.

"Kylian is back from his first significant injury, so the worst is now behind him," said Deschamps. "I am not going to take risks with him, despite our two important matches.

"He has a match with PSG this weekend and then we will see his physical condition. Two 90-minute matches in three days is unlikely."

Kylian Mbappe, N'Golo Kante, Presnel Kimpembe and Steve Mandanda have been recalled to France's squad for their Euro 2020 qualifiers against Iceland and Turkey, but Paul Pogba is out through injury.

After missing last month's victories over Albania and Andorra due to a hamstring problem, Mbappe has returned to action with two substitute appearances for Paris Saint-Germain and regains his place in Didier Deschamps' selection.

Kante is also included after injury issues led to him missing September's qualifiers, while defender Kimpembe and veteran goalkeeper Mandanda have been rewarded for strong starts to the season with PSG and Marseille respectively.

However, there is again no place for Pogba, who is facing further treatment on the ankle injury that hampered him earlier in the season.

The Manchester United star was initially named in the group for the September internationals but sat out - replaced by Matteo Guendouzi - before returning to club duty in an EFL Cup tie against Rochdale last week.

Pogba then played 90 minutes against Arsenal on Monday, but he was left out of United's squad for Thursday's Europa League meeting with AZ as manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer confirmed the midfielder required "further treatment and rest".

World champions France sit second in Group H, their only qualifying loss so far having come at the hands of Turkey in June.

Deschamps' men face Iceland in Reykjavik next Friday before hosting Turkey, the group leaders, at the Stade de France the following Monday.

 

France squad: Alphonse Areola (Real Madrid), Hugo Lloris (Tottenham), Steve Mandanda (Marseille); Lucas Digne (Everton), Leo Dubois (Lyon), Lucas Hernandez (Bayern Munich), Presnel Kimpembe (Paris Saint-Germain), Clement Lenglet (Barcelona), Benjamin Pavard (Bayern Munich), Raphael Varane (Real Madrid), Kurt Zouma (Chelsea); N'Golo Kante (Chelsea), Blaise Matuidi (Juventus), Tanguy Ndombele (Tottenham), Moussa Sissoko (Tottenham), Corentin Tolisso (Bayern Munich); Wissam Ben Yedder (Monaco), Kingsley Coman (Bayern Munich), Olivier Giroud (Chelsea), Antoine Griezmann (Barcelona), Jonathan Ikone (Lille), Thomas Lemar (Atletico Madrid), Kylian Mbappe (Paris Saint-Germain).

Martin Odegaard is enjoying a stellar season at Real Sociedad.

On loan from Real Madrid, Odegaard's starring performances are attracting interest from across Europe.

A Norwegian connection at Manchester United could see Odegaard move to Old Trafford.

 

TOP STORY – UNITED WANT ODEGAARD

Manchester United have joined the race to sign in-form Real Madrid midfielder Martin Odegaard, according to The Sun.

Odegaard is currently on loan at LaLiga side Real Sociedad, where the 20-year-old has scored two goals and supplied two assists this term.

The Norway international, who joined Madrid from Stromsgodset in 2015 but only has two appearances to his name for the Spanish giants, has also been linked to Premier League rivals Manchester CityLiverpool and Arsenal.

 

ROUND-UP

- The Daily Mail reports manager Mauricio Pochettino wants to leave struggling Tottenham. It comes after Spurs' season hit a new low following Tuesday's embarrassing 7-2 Champions League loss to Bayern Munich. Former Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho has been linked to the London club.

- As doubts grow over Pochettino, The Sun claims ex-Juventus head coach Massimiliano Allegri will wait until the end of the season before taking a Premier League job. Allegri, who left Serie A champions Juventus at the end of 2018-19, has emerged as a possible target for Tottenham and United.

Arsenal have the chance to sign RB Leipzig centre-back Dayot Upamecano for £53million (€59.4m) at the end of the season, claims L'Equipe. The Gunners were heavily linked to the 20-year-old during the recent transfer window and they could return for the defender, whose release clause is reportedly set to drop.

- Bayern Munich are interested in Birmingham teenager Jude Bellingham, says The Sun. The 16-year-old has impressed in the Championship this season with two goals in six matches. Bundesliga champions Bayern have an eye on English talent following their unsuccessful pursuit of Chelsea star Callum Hudson-Odoi.

- Sport Bild claims Bayern will "resume talks with Leroy Sane's management in the coming weeks". The Manchester City star was targeted by the German giants before suffering a serious ligament injury in the Community Shield.

- According to Calciomercato, Juventus are hoping to agree a new deal with midfielder Blaise Matuidi. The Frenchman, who was linked with a move away before the transfer window closed, is out of contract at the end of the season. Meanwhile, the Daily Mail reports Juve boss Maurizio Sarri is keen on reuniting with Chelsea star N'Golo Kante.

Inter are set to launch a shock January move for Burnley forward Jay Rodriguez, says Calciomercato. Antonio Conte's list of attacking options to add to Romelu Lukaku, Lautaro Martinez and Alexis Sanchez reportedly includes Chelsea's Olivier Giroud, Real Madrid striker Luka Jovic, Udinese's Kevin Lasagna and Andrea Petagna of SPAL.

Chelsea boss Frank Lampard has accused Ross Barkley of being "naive" after getting involved in a row with a taxi driver during a night out in Liverpool at the weekend.

Barkley was filmed arguing with the driver late on Sunday after chips were spilled in the back of his cab.

The incident took place three days before Chelsea's crucial Champions League clash away at Lille but Lampard will still consider the midfielder for selection.

"He is travelling with the squad," said Lampard. "In terms of permission from Ross [to go out on Sunday], I don't expect to be asked for that. 

"To address the issue, he hasn't breached a club code – the lads were given a day off. He hasn't committed a crime, but I think he has been naive to be out before a Champions League game. 

"He has admitted that. I like Ross, I have had no problem with him and he has admitted he made a mistake. I will take that at face value and move on."

At 25 years old, Barkley is now one of the more experienced players in Lampard's travelling party for the clash at Stade Pierre Mauroy.

However, Lampard insisted he is not concerned about his youngsters being embroiled in off-field incidents.

"It is my responsibility to tell them about their responsibilities," he said. "I do it constantly, as do the staff in the academy. 

"They live in a modern day. I don't understand why, but people pick up their phone and video what happens. We have a very good bunch, good lads. 

"I made mistakes as a player. I have confidence in them and they have to take on responsibilities on the pitch."

N'Golo Kante missed Chelsea's 2-0 loss against Brighton and Hove Albion on Saturday due to a hamstring complaint, but he took part in training on Tuesday and will undergo a fitness test ahead of the clash with Lille.

"He got through [Tuesday's session] okay," said Lampard. "It's one that we have to assess. We are positive. 

"It doesn't relate to his injury from the Europa League final. The fallout of that meant he has had a broken pre-season. 

"He has had a few niggles, some bad luck. Everyone is working to getting him fit."

The Blues suffered a 1-0 defeat to Valencia in the Group H opener.

N'Golo Kante took part in Chelsea training on Tuesday and is back in contention to face Lille in the Champions League.

The France star missed the 2-0 win over Brighton and Hove Albion on Saturday due to a hamstring complaint.

Kante has only started three matches under Frank Lampard in all competitions in 2019-20 due to a succession of injuries and has only played in three of their seven Premier League games.

The 28-year-old took part in a session at Cobham and could be available for the meeting with Lille on Wednesday at Stade Pierre Mauroy, where Chelsea will look to record their first Champions League win of the season.

Lampard's side were beaten 1-0 at Stamford Bridge by Valencia on matchday one and face a tough trip to last season's semi-finalists Ajax on October 23.

Jurgen Klopp accepted Manchester City make winning look easy after Liverpool's battling 2-1 victory at Chelsea, which came a day after the Premier League champions hammered Watford 8-0. 

The Reds enjoyed a straightforward first half at Stamford Bridge, taking the lead through Trent Alexander-Arnold's powerful 20-yard strike and doubling their lead when Roberto Firmino crashed in a close-range header. 

Chelsea slowly grew into the game and N'Golo Kante's superb second-half solo effort gave them hope of a point before Michy Batshuayi and Mason Mount missed late chances to equalise. 

After watching his side claim a 15th consecutive Premier League victory, Klopp hailed Liverpool's determination while tipping his hat to their free-scoring title rivals. 

When asked about his side's spectacular run of form, Klopp told Sky Sports: "It's exceptional but we have to keep on going, we don't really think about it. 

"We don't have to try to make any series longer. We fight for each yard, for each ball. From time to time we score, that helps to win the games but it's always really hard work for us. 

"It's completely normal that you come under pressure but we defended well. That's how the Premier League is: if you don't finish the game then it's open until the end. 

"It never looks as easy as for City yesterday – they did it brilliantly, it was unbelievable – we have not had these games yet so we have to really work for it. The boys are ready for that." 

Liverpool's goals at Chelsea both came from set-piece situations, Mohamed Salah rolling a free-kick to Alexander-Arnold for the opener and another dead ball allowing Andy Robertson to deliver an incisive cross for Firmino to get the second. 

Klopp could not hide his satisfaction after work on the training ground bore fruit in a crucial match, while he was unperturbed by Chelsea's late pressure. 

"[It was] a really good performance, with passionate defending in the second half," said Klopp. 

"It was a good game. Two good sides. We were in control in the first half and we scored two wonderful goals after set-pieces. 

"We work on set pieces. All the things we do in training I love to see on the pitch. 

"Big fight from everybody. You can never win at Chelsea without putting a proper shift in and we did that today so I'm really happy." 

Liverpool made it six wins from six with a 2-1 triumph at Chelsea, who are still without a home win in the Premier League this season.

Frank Lampard's men failed to contain the European champions, who benefited from two first-half injuries to a Chelsea defence that never looked comfortable.

Trent Alexander-Arnold scored a thunderbolt before Roberto Firmino rose unmarked to double Liverpool's lead and there was no way back for Chelsea, despite N'Golo Kante's sensational solo effort preceding a late rally.

Injuries to Emerson Palmieri and Andreas Christensen compounded Lampard's woes, while opposite number Jurgen Klopp enjoyed a problem-free afternoon as he became the first Liverpool manager to win three times at Stamford Bridge in the Premier League.

Willian had a penalty appeal turned down after seven minutes when Virgil van Dijk appeared to bundle him over without touching the ball.

The referee blew his whistle without hesitation when Christensen brought down Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah used the free-kick to tee up Alexander-Arnold for a thunderous 20-yard shot into the top right corner

Cesar Azpilicueta thought he had equalised from close-range 12 minutes later but his effort was ruled out for offside and Liverpool promptly doubled their lead, Andy Robertson's curling free-kick finding Firmino to head home.

Chelsea, who had already lost Emerson to a thigh injury, saw Christensen limp off with a knee problem to cap a torrid first half, but Kepa prevented further misery for Lampard when he saved well from Firmino after the interval.

With Tammy Abraham misfiring, the hosts' most potent attacking threat came from Kante who weaved his way to the edge of the box before scoring with a deft finish after 71 minutes.

Abraham's replacement Michy Batshuayi and Mason Mount both missed glaring late chances as a miserable afternoon for Chelsea ended with groans around Stamford Bridge.

What does it mean? A gulf in class

Less than 18 months ago, Liverpool lost 1-0 to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge and finished just five points above them in the 2017-18 Premier League table.

The Blues look unlikely to get anywhere near as close to catching Liverpool this season, especially with their resources so stretched and transfers unavailable to them.

Fab protects Reds' back four

Fabinho bossed the first 45 minutes of this game, driving the visitors forward and providing Liverpool's defence with steely protection.

Alonso at fault in patchwork defence

Chelsea were on the cusp of getting back into the contest when Alonso let Firmino roam free in the box, the Brazil international taking full advantage of the loose marking as he put the Reds 2-0 up.

What's next?

After a trip to Milton Keynes Dons in the EFL Cup, Liverpool return to Premier League action at Sheffield United, while Chelsea head into home games against Grimsby Town and Brighton and Hove Albion.

Cheslea head coach Frank Lampard remains optimistic midfielder Mason Mount will be fit for their Premier League clash with Liverpool.

Mount, 20, sustained an ankle injury sustained in Chelsea's defeat to Valencia in the Champions League on Wednesday.

Chelsea's medical staff will make the final call on Mount's involvement but Lampard is hopeful he will be available to face Jurgen Klopp's side on Sunday.

"He has got a chance. The image of the tackle made it look really bad," Lampard said, at his media conference ahead of the match at Stamford Bridge.

"Hopefully it is not so bad, we are trying to get him moving today, it is one that I will have to call later on before the game. 

"We are trying, the good thing about Mason is his attitude is so good that he will give everything to play for this club. We will have every opportunity to try to get him there.

"There was a lot of swelling, it didn't look the best. Injuries with the ankle, from my experience, if there is proper damage there is not much you can do. If it's swollen you strap it up. 

"We won't take any risks, there is a bigger picture, we will do our best."

 

Chelsea's midfield options for the visit of the Premier League leaders have been strengthened by N'Golo Kante's return to training.

Kante has not featured since Chelsea's 1-1 draw with Leicester on August 18 and has missed their last three matches with an ankle injury.

The 28-year-old France midfielder struggled with injuries in recent months having been absent most of Chelsea's pre-season with a knee problem.

"It is a boost, we know the importance of him for any team that he plays in. The quality that he brings," added Lampard.

"The question is how fit he is. He has had a long time out now since the back-end of last season.

"He has played a couple of games, but you can't count that as much because he missed pre-season.

"Now we have to manage him, similar to Mason, with the bigger picture. It's great to have him back around us."

Antonio Rudiger is ready to return from the knee injury he suffered in April and could feature against Wolves on Saturday, head coach Frank Lampard confirmed.

Germany international Rudiger needed surgery on the meniscus of his left knee after suffering the injury in a 1-1 draw with Manchester United on April 28, subsequently ruling him out of the final month of the 2018-19 season.

Although Chelsea managed to secure a third-place finish in the Premier League and won the Europa League without Rudiger, their start to the new campaign suggests they have missed his influence at the back.

Chelsea have conceded nine goals in just four matches, with only Norwich City shipping more, and claimed a solitary win in the process.

But having featured in a couple of Chelsea Under-23s games, Rudiger is ready for first-team action.

"Rudiger is fit to play," Lampard told reporters at his pre-match news conference on Friday. "That's obviously a choice for me [if he starts], but he'll have an important role because of his personality, character and quality as an international defender.

"We have missed him, as we have with a few more frontline players. It is important as a team, everyone talks about how young we are and becoming, I don't want a young team for the sake of it.

"I want leaders within that. Rudiger isn't old but he certainly needs to take on the responsibility of being a leader.

"I see it in his personality that he has. It has to be channelled in the right direction and he can then be very influential for the team and also for the likes of [Callum] Hudson-Odoi, [Mason] Mount and [Fikayo] Tomori. This happens when you become more experienced and he is ready to take on those roles."

N'Golo Kante remains sidelined, however, having suffered an ankle injury against Leicester City in Chelsea's second league game of the season.

"[Mateo] Kovacic is fit to play, N'Golo is not fit yet," he added. "He still has issues with his ankle. The medical team are working with him.

"He is in a transition period and we are trying to get him on the pitch. He is doing some physical work but this game comes too soon for him.

"Hopefully he is close. I don't want to jump the gun because we are waiting for improvements for that final step to get him where we want him to be on the pitch.

"Hopefully that will be in the next week or so, and again, alongside Rudiger, Willian, Callum and Ruben [Loftus-Cheek].

"They are big players who are really going to up our level because they will compete to play. Pedro is fine too, yes."

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