Giroud not guaranteed starting spot

Giroud not guaranteed starting spot

LONDON • Olivier Giroud’s recent performances have given Frank Lampard food for thought but the Chelsea boss yesterday said that it was difficult to offer the French striker the assurance that he will spearhead their attack.

The 34-year-old has yet to start a Premier League game this season, with Timo Werner and Tammy Abraham preferred over him, and Les Bleus coach Didier Deschamps urged the striker to sort out his club future ahead of Euro 2020 next year.

Giroud underlined his importance in the Champions League on Wednesday when he scored all of Chelsea’s goals in a 4-0 demolition of Sevilla.

“It’s not a case of giving players reassurances over game time, it’s difficult to do. You want players out of the team to train well and perform,” Lampard said ahead of today’s home game against Leeds.

“It gives me nice problems… Playing like the other night, clearly, (Giroud) will get plenty of opportunities.”

After a mixed start to the season, Chelsea are third in the standings – two points behind leaders Tottenham – and can go top with a win today.

They have scored a joint league-high 22 goals in 10 games and Lampard said his squad are bonding after the club spent over £220 million (S$395.5 million) in a close-season rebuild.

“It takes consistency. We’re playing well but we can get better for sure,” he added.

“There will be tests along the way when players play well and aren’t in the team the next match because of competition.”

Elsewhere, Pep Guardiola revealed he had no new injury concerns other than Sergio Aguero, who will miss Manchester City’s home game against Fulham today.

The striker returned to light training earlier this week but the Spaniard confirmed the Cottagers clash will come too soon for him.

This will be Guardiola’s 700th game in the dugout and although most pundits expect City to brush aside their opponents, 17th-placed Fulham have shown more fight in recent games, notably upsetting Leicester last week.

“I’ll do 700 more then retire. I never expected it,” the Spaniard said. “It’s a great number.”

REUTERS

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