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Rudiger returns for Chelsea's...
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Rudiger returns for Chelsea's Champions League showdown with Lille

Richie McCormack
Richie McCormack

15:45 9 Dec 2019

Chelsea manager Frank Lampard's been handed a boost ahead of their Champions League meeting with Lille with a return to fitness for Antonio Rudiger.

The German defender has managed just 45-minutes under Frank Lampard this season - away to Wolves on September 14 - before succumbing to a groin injury.

However, Fikayo Tomori and Olivier Giroud will both miss the make-or-break Group H clash at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea will go into the game third in the group, and needing a win if they're to make the last-16.

The Blues have lost three of their last five games, last keeping a clean sheet on November 9, so Rudiger's return is a timely one for Lampard, "He’s been training really well. He’s got a lot of his fitness work done, his injury has healed.

"It will potentially be difficult for him [after a long time out], but our guard against that was to give him a lot of work.

"We have managed to create some things behind the scenes here in training that look like matchplay, and some pure running as well. He has come through all that.

"You can only speak as you look at him, and he looks fit and ready to go, and I know he’s hungry.

"In terms of building him up, rightly so, he’s a good defender.

"People maybe overlook the fact we started the season with five big players all injured for a period of time.

"You do miss those individuals, so let’s see what he can add to us."

England defender Tomori misses the game due to what Lampard describes as "a tiny strain around his hip area".

Chelsea began Group H with a 1-0 defeat at home to Valencia, and have drawn each of their last two games in the group.

Despite their stuttering European form, Lampard is happy his young squad still have the opportunity to progress within their grasp, "There are expectations we that would get through the group, I get that, but it was a tough group.

"The slightly young feel to our team, the fact we lost the first game, the few difficulties we have had, I think we have dealt with them very well to get into this position.

"There is still work to be done so we have to go out to win the game."

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Ajax Antonio Rudiger Chelsea Fikayo Tomori Frank Lampard Olivier Giroud UEFA Champions League Valencia

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