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Sport

Chelsea's top-four fate in own hands, says Lampard

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Premier League - Crystal Palace v Chelsea - Selhurst Park, London, Britain - July 7, 2020 Chelsea manager Frank Lampard, as play resumes behind closed doors following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) REUTERS / Peter Cziborra / Pool

(Reuters) - Chelsea’s Champions League hopes are firmly in their own hands and winning their final four Premier League games will cap off a successful season, manager Frank Lampard said on Friday.

Chelsea, third in the standings with 60 points, two ahead of fifth-placed Manchester United, travel to Sheffield United on Saturday looking to strengthen their top-four credentials with a fifth win in six league games since the season’s restart.

“It’s easy to bring up momentum but I don’t believe in it. You’re only as good as your next game,” Lampard told reporters in a virtual news conference.

“I didn’t know what the expectations would be at the start of the season but our destiny is now in our hands. I’m pretty happy with where we are. We can’t jump the gun though because we have seen in the last few weeks how things can change.”

Billy Gilmour, who has had an impressive breakthrough season, sustained a knee injury during Tuesday’s 3-2 victory at Crystal Palace.

Lampard confirmed the 19-year-old, who has made 11 appearances for Chelsea in all competitions, would be sidelined for up to four months after undergoing surgery on Friday.

“I am disappointed, as is he. I spoke with him yesterday and gave him some support. He is a tough boy but he should be pleased with what he has done this season. His attitude will get him back as soon as he can,” the Chelsea boss said.

“His character for me is fantastic, especially with his age. He will put in the work and the rehab. We will be there for him.

Lampard confirmed France midfielder N’Golo Kante will sit out a second straight game as he continues to battle a hamstring problem but Mateo Kovacic is set to make his return after missing the victories against Watford and Palace.

Reporting by Arvind Sriram in Bengaluru, editing by Pritha Sarkar

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