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Chelsea boss Lampard handed fresh injury headache

FOOTBALL By Mirror | September 9th 2019
Chelsea left-back Emerson Palmieri [Courtesy]

Frank Lampard has been left sweating over Emerson Palmieri after the Chelsea defender picked up a hamstring injury on international duty.

The 25-year-old has impressed at left-back for the Blues so far this season.

He has been Lampard’s No.1 choice on the left side of his back four, with the new Stamford Bridge boss having preferred him to Marcos Alonso.

But Emerson lasted just eight minutes of Italy’s Euro 2020 qualifier against Finland on Sunday night.

Having played the full 90 minutes in Thursday’s win over Armenia, Emerson handed both Lampard and Roberto Mancini a headache after attempting to chase down Teemu Pukki.

The Norwich striker streaked clear of Emerson, who slumped to the pitch before limping off and being replaced.

Now the Brazilian-born defender looks a major doubt for next weekend’s trip to Wolves.

Blues boss Lampard will also be concerned with games coming thick and fast for the west London club, as both Valencia in the Champions League and Premier League leaders Liverpool visit Stamford Bridge after the meeting at Molineux.

They also face a Carabao Cup tie against either Grimsby or Macclesfield and a home encounter with Graham Potter’s Brighton before September ends.

Emerson has made 39 appearances in total for the Blues since arriving from Roma in January 2018.

During the last 18 months he has seen both Antonio Conte and Maurizio Sarri prefer Alonso - the latter despite the Spaniard's defensive struggles when operating as part of a back four.

Lampard has preferred Emerson thus far, but now faces turning to Alonso, who has been out of favour since his manager's arrival from Derby County.

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