Belfast Telegraph

Chelsea's strikers will discover golden touch, maintains Lampard


No return: Olivier Giroud has yet to score in the league
No return: Olivier Giroud has yet to score in the league

By Nick Purewal

Frank Lampard has backed Chelsea's strikers to deliver in front of goal despite so far drawing a Premier League blank.

Olivier Giroud found the net in Chelsea's European Super Cup loss to Liverpool in Istanbul, but the Blues' frontmen have failed to hit the net in two league matches.

Tammy Abraham, Giroud and Michy Batshuayi are Chelsea's three strikers for the campaign, with the club unable to add any recruits given their transfer ban.

And head coach Lampard insists he believes those three are all pushing each other hard.

"As I said before, if we'd have been more clinical in front of goal we possibly could have had three wins," said Lampard. "The competition is there and that's the challenge for the strikers.

"I've got no problems with their attitude and training. We work hard on the training ground as a team to create and also to finish. I used to love practicing my finishing in training.

"What I have got is great attitude in the three strikers. But others in the squad also always want to stay out, to work harder.

"If Tammy's shot goes in off the post against United, different story for him, different story for the game. But we can't get too down about that, we've got to stay positive and it will come.

"We've got some great attacking players and it will come."

Belgium striker Batshuayi scored twice in Chelsea's development squad's 3-0 win over Liverpool earlier this week, but is still working towards full match fitness.

Lampard praised the 25-year-old's showing, insisting Chelsea need him to contribute at first-team level this season.

"I thought it was a good performance and he got the fitness work he needed out of the game," said Lampard. "They were two good goals; two very good finishes. He worked hard and that's exactly what the game was for.

"We need Michy, we need the competition up front. I thought the team performance was really good."

Chelsea will head to Norwich today with Lampard not only hoping his strikers come good, but also that N'Golo Kante can shake off an ankle sprain.

Antonio Rudiger is not ready to feature as he closes in on a return after long-term knee trouble, but could be ready for the Stamford Bridge match against Sheffield United on August 31.

Pedro missed training earlier in the week but was rested after a hectic fixture schedule and is expected to be fit for today.

"Kante has got an injury he has carried all week, so we'll assess that over the next 24 hours," said Lampard. "Rudiger's not fit yet, hopefully for next week. That's the only changes from where we were last week."

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