Chelsea FC manager Frank Lampard has confirmed the absence of defender Reece James ahead of the club’s Premier League clash against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday.
The England youth international was absent from the matchday squad to face Southampton on Boxing Day where the Blues suffered a disappointing 2-0 defeat.
Ahead of the derby this weekend, Lampard has confirmed that James will definitely not feature, considering he has an ankle problem which he has not completely recovered from.
However, Marcos Alonso would be available for the game after overcoming a minor muscular injury which kept him out of the Saints clash earlier in the week.
“Marcos Alonso picked up a muscle injury against Tottenham but hopefully he’ll be back for Arsenal. Reece James won’t [be fit to face Arsenal]. He has an ankle issue at the moment,” he told.
James has largely played second fiddle to Cesar Azpilicueta for the right-back role but Lampard has shown on a few occasions that he trusts the teenager to feature from the beginning.
Lampard has chosen the option of fielding Azpilicueta in the left-back spot whenever James has been offered the chance from the starting XI but he won’t be able to bank on the youngster’s services for the weekend.
Meanwhile, Alonso’s return should provide a boost for Chelsea FC, considering Emerson looked out of sorts against the Saints, where he was nowhere involved in the defensive point of view for both the goals conceded.