Chelsea will clash with London rivals Tottenham Hotspur at Stamford Bridge on Saturday afternoon, with the hosts hoping to complete a back-to-back over Spurs and strengthen their place in the Premier League top four.
The Blues have had a massive slump in form, with a 2-0 defeat to Manchester United on Monday night making it two losses and two draws in their last four games.
Chelsea are currently just a point ahead of Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham side, who are on a three-match winning run, meaning the Pensioners must avoid defeat in order to maintain their present league position.
Frank Lampard’s Blues side will not find it an easy task as their star midfielder N’Golo Kante is ruled out for three weeks after suffering an injury against United as per the London Evening Standard.
The Frenchman limped off the field after just 12 minutes in the last Chelsea game and now he is set to be out for a lengthy spell.
Chelsea boss Lampard confirmed the bad news in his pre-match press conference on Friday.
“N’Golo is not fit,” he said.
“He has got a muscle injury, similar to the one he came off recently against Arsenal with. Hopefully, he will be [back] in three weeks, something around that.”
The Chelsea midfielder’s injury is a big blow for Lampard, who is already having to cope with injuries to several of his players.
Tammy Abraham, who sustained an ankle injury against Arsenal in January, has not fully recovered but Lampard has admitted he is in the Blues squad and could feature.
Chelsea will be without Christian Pulisic, but Andreas Christensen will wear a face mask if he plays with a broken nose.
Meanwhile, a hamstring problem kept Callum Hudson-Odoi out of the match against United and it looks unlikely that the talented winger will be featured against Spurs, with the important Champions League match against Bayern Munich coming soon.
Chelsea have an excellent record against Tottenham in the Premier League era and beat they 2-0 in December.
The Blues fans will hope that victory would open up a gap between the top four and the chasing pack, which also includes Sheffield United and Manchester United.
Chelsea have been inconsistent this term but the battle for Champions League qualification could hinge on Saturday’s result.