Frank Lampard gives positive injury update on Chelsea midfielder Mateo Kovacic
Chelsea host Newcastle United on Saturday afternoon in the Premier League and should be looking to pick up some momentum after the international break.
The Blues have to be aiming for three points at Stamford Bridge and they should be confident following the positive impact of manager Frank Lampard.
Lampard has ruled out the senior trio of N’Golo Kante, Andreas Christensen and Antonio Rudiger against Newcastle through injury, which is a significant blow to the team.
But there is still enough talent in the squad to step up and the players were beginning to find form before the break.
Mateo Kovacic is someone that hasn’t quite managed to force his way into the starting XI on a regular basis yet and has been used as a substitute in the last three consecutive club matches.
The 25-year-old midfielder linked up with Croatia during the break and had to be substituted off at half-time against Wales with a suspected injury problem.
Lampard has confirmed that the deep-lying playmaker did have an issue, but he’s recovered enough to compete for his spot against Newcastle.
“Kovacic had a knock on his thigh but has trained the last couple of days so he’s in contention,” Lampard said in his press conference, as quoted by the club’s official website.
Kovacic has had to be patient so far this campaign and he should be rewarded against Newcastle by being promoted to the starting XI, as he’s a skilful individual with a lot of talent on the ball.
With Kante watching on from the sidelines, Chelsea could do with his energy in the centre of the park alongside Jorginho and Mason Mount.
Ross Barkley is another option for the midfield and had a great international break by scoring twice for England, but Kovacic may be the smarter pick.
Newcastle are going to have plenty of energy in the midfield with highly-rated young brothers Sean and Matty Longstaff, but a Jorginho-Kovacic pivot should be enough to take control of the game.