Chelsea manager Frank Lampard has explained that centre-back Thiago Silva missed out on the squad for the Blues’ 2-0 win over Newcastle on Saturday due to fatigue.
The 36-year-old had played twice for Brazil during the international break, and it was decided that the defender needed to be rested after only returning to England 48 hours before the game at St James’ Park. Lampard said it was right to keep him on the sidelines:
“He travelled back from South America, it was a long journey and he arrived back on Thursday afternoon. I think it was a smart thing.”
Christian Pulisic is stepping up his return from a hamstring injury. The American international has not been seen since pulling up in the warm-up before the 3-0 win against Burnley last month. It’s unlikely he’ll feature against Rennes but if he gets a full week’s training behind him, the winger may be back on the bench for Sunday’s clash versus Tottenham.
Kai Havertz has recovered from the virus and has been back in training over the last few days. However, after making his last appearance against Burnley over three weeks ago, Lampard has hinted he will only be used as a substitute for the Rennes fixture.
Billy Gilmour should be very close to returning to the first-team fold after a knee injury. As well as playing for Scotland’s Under 21s, he played for Chelsea in the EFL Trophy versus Bristol Rovers last week and scored for the Under 23s against Manchester City yesterday.