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Chelsea’s Kante faces late fitness test for Lille game

N'Golo Kante faces a last-minute fitness test ahead of Chelsea’s Champions League away game against Lille, coach Frank Lampard said

Chelsea midfielder N’Golo Kante took part in training but still faces a last-minute fitness test ahead of their Champions League away game against Lille, coach Frank Lampard said on Tuesday.

The France international missed last Saturday’s Premier League game against Brighton & Hove Albion because of a hamstring problem as his stop-start beginning to the season continued.

“He has trained and got through it okay. One that we have to assess. We are positive,” Lampard told a news conference at the Pierre-Mauroy stadium.

“He has had a broken pre-season. He has had a few niggles, some bad luck. Everyone is working to getting him fit.”

With or without Kante, Chelsea are under pressure after losing 1-0 to Valencia in their first Group H game.

“We have to be honest, I didn’t think Valencia was the worst game for us, we should have got a result,” said Lampard.

“With Lille they have a lot of threats, speed and quality. It is not the be-all and end-all, we have to see it in the big picture, but it’s a game we have to be ready for.”

Lille usually rely on counter attacks, but after being humbled 3-0 by Ajax Amsterdam in their first outing, they may need to take the fight to Chelsea.

“We will have to play, play and play. In the Champions League, if you don’t play you don’t stand a chance,” said Lille coach Christophe Galtier.

“If you don’t have the initiative, talent will make the difference. There’s nothing more frustrating than not showing your potential.”

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