‘Hungry’ Rudiger returns to Chelsea fold ahead of crucial Champions League clash

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BetOdds Chelsea UEFA Champions League Lille Chelsea v Lille Antonio Rüdiger


Frank Lampard has revealed that the Germany international defender is back in consideration for a European encounter with Lille on Tuesday

Chelsea have been handed a welcome fitness boost ahead of their crucial Champions League clash against Lille, with Frank Lampard having confirmed the return of “hungry” Antonio Rudiger.

The Germany international defender has endured a wretched run on the injury front of late.

He was forced back onto the treatment table after an outing against Wolves in September and has seen just 45 minutes of competitive football since April 28.

A knee injury laid him low in 2018-19, while a groin problem has prevented him from making the desired impact this season.

Rudiger is, however, ready to step back in at a very timely juncture in Chelsea’s campaign.

The Blues need to beat Lille on Tuesday to guarantee themselves a place in the last 16 of Europe’s premier club competition.

Lampard is yet to decide on whether he will risk throwing Rudiger straight back into action at Stamford Bridge, but is pleased to have the talented 26-year-old at his disposal.

“Potentially [it will be] difficult [for him] but our guard against that was to give him a lot of work,” Lampard told reporters when asked for an update on Rudiger’s condition.

“We’ve managed to create some things behind the scenes here in training that look like matchplay.

“He’s done some pure running as well to be fair and he’s come through all that. You can only speak as you look at him and he looks fit and ready to go. I know he’s hungry.

“In terms of building him up, probably rightly so.

“He’s a good defender. I think maybe people have overlooked the fact that we had... everybody spoke about youth at the start of the season, all these things and transfer bans. 

“The idea that we started with five big players all injured for a period of time and carrying on that now, Rudi is back and Ruben [Loftus-Cheek] is a big player for us as well.

“You do miss those individuals so let’s see what he can add to us now.”

Chelsea could do with somebody to step in and provide inspiration at the back, as they have gone six-games in all competitions without keeping a clean sheet.

Lampard’s side have also won just one of their last five and will be hoping to rediscover their spark in what promises to be an intriguing continental clash in west London with Ligue 1 opposition.

Rudiger could be the man to aid their cause, with it revealed that Fikayo Tomori will not be available to fill one of the Blues’ defensive berths against Lille.

Lampard added: "The other news I suppose is that Tomori is out.

“He's got a small tiny strain around his hip area and it's been bothering him so I've taken him out for a few days.”

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