Bayern Munich have received a boost ahead of their Champions League clash against Chelsea with Christian Pulisic, Cesar Azpilicueta and Pedro ruled out with injuries picked up during the FA Cup final.
Azpilicueta and Pulisic made the starting lineup to face Arsenal at the Wembley Stadium on Saturday, but they were substituted in the first and second half respectively with hamstring issues.
The Blues started the final promisingly as Pulisic scored the opening goal after just five minutes on the clock, but the day ended in disappointment as the Gunners came from behind to win 2-1.
Speaking after the game, Lampard confirmed that both Azpilicueta and Pulisic will be assessed over the next few days, but they are unlikely to return in time for the second leg of the Champions League round of 16 tie at the Allianz Arena.
“I don’t know the full extent of the injuries. But I know the hamstrings with Azpi and Christian – they have to be scanned and assessed over the next few days. They clearly won’t be fit for next week [against Bayern Munich in the Champions League],” Lampard told in the post-match press conference.
Meanwhile, Pedro, who had come in as a replacement for Pulisic in the second half, was stretchered off the field in the closing stages of the final after dislocating his shoulder. The Spaniard, who has signed a pre-contract with AS Roma, is also expected to miss the Bayern clash.
Bayern are holding a comfortable 3-0 lead over Chelsea after the first leg of the Champions League round of 16, which was played at Stamford Bridge. The Blues would require something extraordinary to turn things around and two of their best players in Pulisic and Azpilicueta are now on the sidelines.
Ahead of the second leg, Lampard will be hoping that Willian and Ruben Loftus-Cheek, who missed yesterday’s game with minor injuries, will be available. N’Golo Kante was not deemed fit enough to make an appearance despite making the bench for the FA Cup final. He is another player, who Lampard will be hoping to count upon.
Elsewhere, Billy Gilmour will miss the game after his surgery for a knee ligament injury last month while Jorginho and Marcus Alonso won’t take any part as they are serving one-game suspensions.
Over the past few years, there have been extraordinary turnarounds in the Champions League and last season was a prime example as Liverpool came from three goals down in the semi-final first-leg against Barcelona to win 4-3 on aggregate.
As such, Bayern can’t underestimate their opposition despite their 3-0 away advantage. They have definitely been boosted by the fact that the west London side won’t be at full strength for the second leg of the last 16 tie on August 8.
Stats from Transfermarkt.com