Frank Lampard admitted Chelsea have been missing Hakim Ziyech’s ‘chance creation’ after the side’s 1-1 draw with Aston Villa but suggested the winger could return to face Manchester City this weekend.
Villa’s Anwar El Ghazi cancelled out Olivier Giroud’s trademark header in the first half and the points were shared at Stamford Bridge which saw Chelsea move up to sixth in the Premier League table.
Ziyech was at the heart of Chelsea’s success as Lampard’s men went on a 14-match unbeaten streak earlier this season but the club have struggled in the Moroccan’s absence, winning just one of their last six games in all competitions.
However, Lampard provided a positive update on Ziyech’s thigh injury on Monday evening and said he was hopeful the 27-year-old could return on Sunday afternoon, should the Blues’ clash with Manchester City take place.
‘I don’t think it’s a coincidence,’ Lampard said at his post-match press conference.
‘You can’t rely completely on it. But with Hakim, the way he was playing, he was very effective in terms of assists, chance creation, and we were very fluid at the time when he got injured against Leeds.
‘Where is he at? There’s a possibility he could be fit for Man City if it goes ahead.’
Chelsea’s display against Villa was a slight improvement on their dismal performance at Arsenal on Boxing Day and Ben Chilwell claimed Lampard was ‘more pleased’ in the dressing room.
‘He is more pleased than he was the other day,’ the England left-back told Chelsea’s official website.
‘It is a draw at home and we want to be winning these games but the effort and the performance was a lot better in this game.
‘I know it is disappointing we have drawn the game but we have to look at the positives, which is 48 hours later after a pretty poor performance we have played well and shown good character.’