English Premiership

Chelsea hit by injuries over international break

Frank Lampard (Supplied)
Frank Lampard (Supplied)

Cape Town - Chelsea manager Frank Lampard could be missing up to four players due to injuries they picked up while on international duty.

Players leaving for the best part of a fortnight is always tough for managers, who cross their fingers that they return unscathed - but that is not the case for the Blues.

The quartet of Andreas Christensen, N'Golo Kante, Mateo Kovacic and Reece James have suffered problems and Lampard will now have to wait until the dust settles to see who he has fit to face Newcastle United on Saturday.

Defender Christensen limped off with a groin problem in Denmark's win over Switzerland having played 78 minutes of the match.

The 23-year-old has started in seven of Lampard's first eight matches as Chelsea boss, while the former England man may also be without Kante for the visit of Steve Bruce's Magpies.

The France midfielder did not face Iceland on Friday after feeling a hamstring twinge during the warm-up but the good news is that coach Didier Deschamps kept him out of that contest as a "precautionary" measure.

Kovacic lasted until half-time of Croatia's 1-1 draw with Wales on Sunday but was injured in a challenge from Tottenham's Ben Davies.

It is not clear how serious that particular problem is but there was also bad news from the England Under-21s as Reece James and Trevoh Chalobah withdrew last week.

The fitness issues have come at a bad time for the Stamford Bridge outfit, with a Champions League clash against Ajax following hot on the heels of the Newcastle game before a trip to Burney and an EFL Cup clash with Manchester United as the games come thick and fast.

Punters looking to use a might fancy Chelsea to rise above the adversity and finish in the top four while also qualifying for the knockout stage of the Champions League.