Kante hamstring injury confirmed by Chelsea

The midfielder was adjudged to be a risk for the Clarets match but his manager’s pre-match comments allayed fears of a long-term lay-off

Chelsea have announced that N’Golo Kante missed the chance to feature in Saturday’s home clash against Burnley at Stamford Bridge due to picking up a hamstring injury in a training session the previous day.

With the World Cup winner out, Blues boss Frank Lampard opted for a midfield three of Ross Barkley, Jorginho and Mason Mount, with Mateo Kovacic starting from the bench.

Chelsea fans can at least take solace in the fact that they would remain in fourth place in the Premier League regardless of the result against Burnley, starting the match four points ahead of Sheffield United and eight behind third-placed Man City.

“He reported some feeling in his hamstring yesterday after training,” Lampard said of Kante ahead of the Clarets clash. “We gave him overnight to see how it was but it wasn’t good enough this morning so not good enough to play.

“Everybody knows how important N’Golo is for us but these things always give an opportunity and it opens the door for Ross Barkley to come in and play.”

The manager’s comments will come as music to the ears of the Stamford Bridge faithful, who will hope to see their midfield dynamo return to the pitch for next weekend’s trip up north as Lampard’s charges take on Steve Bruce’s Newcastle.

One player who may well not make that trip, however, is Olivier Giroud, with the French striker having been in talks over a possible move to Antonio Conte’s Inter after finding playing time hard to come by following the emergence of Tammy Abraham – and Michy Batshuayi being used as the Englishman’s back-up.

“There’s no update on Ollie, but I’ve spoken with him,” Lampard said of Giroud. “If the conditions are that it’s something he really wants to do and it works for the club, for me and the squad then it’s something that could happen. 

“But only when all of those bases are covered. So we’ll see if we’re there.”

In terms of outgoings, Danny Drinkwater has linked up with Aston Villa for the remainder of the season, 19-year-old defender Marc Guehi has joined Swansea City on loan, while Tariq Lamptey is stalling over signing a new deal as big European clubs such as Paris Saint-Germain circle the youngster.

Any clubs keeping tabs on veteran forward Pedro will be left disappointed, however, with Lampard making it clear that the former Barcelona man is not for sale.

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