Lampard requests delay to Chelsea's start to new season over injury concerns
Chelsea manager Frank Lampard has appealed to the Premier League to delay Chelsea’s start to next season over injury concerns.
The Blues will travel to Germany for the second leg of their Champions League round of 16 against Bayern Munich.
A comeback is very unlikely after the 3-0 loss at Stamford Bridge back in February, but Chelsea players will not have their summer break until August 9 at the earliest.
Lampard believes such a short break before the start to the Premier League new campaign on September 12 is not ideal, especially with Chelsea’s injury problems.
Cesar Azpilicueta and Christian Pulisic suffered hamstring injuries in the FA Cup final, in addition to Billy Gilmour, N’Golo Kante, Ruben Loftus-Cheek’s injuries prior to the match.
The manager has requested that Chelsea are given a fair start to the new season regardless of the result of their game against Bayern, so they can avoid the risk of further injuries.
He told the media (via Sky Sports): “I am guessing we will be told when we start and that will be dependent on how we will go against Bayern Munich
“Even in a worst-case scenario, we don’t go through against Bayern, the 12th feels too early for me for the players to start playing again.
“The players need a break. That is why we have pulled two hamstrings and had players pull out of the game before this.”
Lampard urged the Premier League to take into account how the busy schedule since the Premier League restart has affected the players.
“Hopefully they give us a fair start next season,” he added.
“We deserve to be [given a fair start] as a Premier League club competing in the Champions League.”
Chelsea will have just 35 days before the new season is due to begin if they fail to pull off an unlikely comeback against Bayern.
Should they somehow manage to beat the odds and make it all the way to the final, the break drops to just 20 days.