Lam­pard’s tryst with youth at the Bridge

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - Times Sport -

Lon­don: Frank Lam­pard is proud to be lead­ing Chelsea back into the Cham­pi­ons League but will be without de­fender An­to­nio Rudi­ger for Tues­day’s clash with Va­len­cia at Stam­ford Bridge.

The club’s record scorer is pre­par­ing for his first game in the com­pe­ti­tion as a man­ager, hav­ing re­placed Mau­r­izio Sarri. “Toni is in­jured. He has a groin prob­lem and will have a scan later to­day,” Lam­pard said on Mon­day.

Lam­pard is also without fellow de­fender Emer­son Palmieri while mid­field­ers N’Golo Kante and Cal­lum Hud­son-Odoi are not yet match fit de­spite re­turn­ing from in­juries.

Chelsea did not fea­ture in the Cham­pi­ons League last sea­son but won the Europa League un­der Ital­ian Sarri be­fore he parted ways with the Lon­don club in the close sea­son to join Ju­ven­tus.

Lam­pard, scorer of one of the penal­ties in the shootout against Bay­ern in Mu­nich in 2012 when Chelsea mem­o­rably won the Cham­pi­ons League for the first and so far only time, said he was look­ing for­ward to a re­turn to Europe’s elite com­pe­ti­tion.

How­ever, the for­mer Eng­land mid­fielder is un­der no il­lu­sions about the size of the task. Barcelona: Barcelona cap­tain Lionel Messi will be part of the squad to face Borus­sia Dort­mund in the Cham­pi­ons League on Tues­day as he pre­pares to make his comeback from in­jury.

The Ar­gentina striker has not played since sus­tain­ing a calf in­jury in pre­sea­son but Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde named him in the group which was on its way to Ger­many on Mon­day.

Messi trained on Sun­day and Mon­day af­ter miss­ing the first three La Liga matches of the sea­son. Messi sus­tained a soleus in­jury, a mus­cle in the back part of the lower leg, on Au­gust 5.

Striker Ansu Fati, 16, has also been in­cluded in the squad and may make his Cham­pi­ons League de­but af­ter two goals in three ap­pear­ances.

Chelsea man­ager Frank Lam­pard en­joys a light mo­ment dur­ing a train­ing ses­sion

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