Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 24 November 2020

Chelsea prepare for trip to Newcastle with Frank Lampard worried about early kick-off - in pictures

Blues manager wants Premier League to help preserve players' health

Chelsea trained for the return from the international break with the news Thiago Silva is unlikely to feature against Newcastle United.

Frank Lampard's team, fifth in the league, will have to manage without Silva who was away with the Brazil squad for their games against Venezuela and Uruguay and didn't return to the UK until Thursday afternoon. He missed training when the group returned to Cobham.

"Thiago Silva has just landed so he probably won't go to Newcastle because of the length of the journey and timings," Lampard said.

Antonio Rudiger could return to the back line after he made his way back into Lampard's side prior to the international break.

The situation has forced Lampard to call on the Premier League to scrap early kick offs on Saturdays to protect player welfare amid a congested schedule.

The match against Newcastle is in the early lunch-time slot and Lampard is concerned with the lack of preparation time afforded to his players, many of whom were only returning from international duty on Thursday.

"It's not the best. When you look at the scheduling it is a common sense factor. That 12.30 pm slot, how often does it need to be there," Lampard said.

"It's absolutely not the optimum way to have players preparing for a Premier League game. You want the best of the brand. I want us to play to our best but it is very difficult circumstances."

Updated: November 21, 2020 07:30 AM

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