Frank Lampard backs Kurt Zouma to be ‘very important’ for Chelsea this season

Frank Lampard backs Kurt Zouma to be ‘very important’ for Chelsea this season

Newcastle vs Chelsea

Chelsea are set to return to action this weekend.

The Blues will kick off week nine of the 2020/21 Premier League season away to Newcastle United in Saturday’s early fixture.

Chelsea head into the game on the back of a fine spell of form, which has seen them go unbeaten in eight outings across all competitions.

The Londoners’ defensive record has also improved markedly over recent weeks, with Frank Lampard’s side having conceded just once in their last six ties.

As for Newcastle, they are currently 13th in the Premier League table, following a rather inconsistent start to the campaign which has seen the Magpies win three, lose three and draw two of their league outings.

Frank Lampard backs Kurt Zouma to be ‘very important’ for Chelsea this season

LONDON, ENGLAND – NOVEMBER 09: Frank Lampard, Manager of Chelsea gives his team instructions during the Premier League match between Chelsea FC and Crystal Palace at Stamford Bridge on November 09, 2019 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images)

Lampard on Zouma

Ahead of his side’s return to action, Frank Lampard spoke to the media on Thursday.

The Chelsea boss discussed a number of topics in his pre-Newcastle presser, including Kurt Zouma.

The Frenchman has been a mainstay in Chelsea’s backline this term, missing just one league game, in which the Londoners shipped three goals vs West Brom.

As well as playing a big role in Chelsea’s defensive resurgence, Zouma has also been chipping in at the other end, scoring three goals in seven league appearances.

All of Zouma’s goals thus far have come from corners, with his aerial presence crucial both offensively and defensively.

As such, when drawn on the fact that Zouma has won more aerial duels than any player in Europe’s top 10 leagues this season during his latest press conference, Lampard was unsurprisingly full of praise for the stopper:

“I saw that stat and I am not surprised. It is a fantastic stat and the level he is at, he will be very important for us and he has been very important for us this season at both ends of the pitch.

“It is something we looked at in the off season, we could have been better at times, certainly in terms of defending our own box.

“That’s the standard we need to keep. There are reasons we have had a decent run of clean sheets and not conceding many goals and Kurt is a factor in it.

“He has been a big part of that, every centre back and player in our team need to be switched onto the aerial threat against teams with individuals who can be dangerous in games.”

For the latest Chelsea fitness news ahead of Newcastle, check out the article linked below:

See also: Aston Villa vs Brighton betting tips: Premier League preview, predictions & odds

Championship betting tips: Gameweek 12

This article was edited by Conor Laird.

Chelsea betting odds, next game:

Chelsea vs Leeds odds: result, both teams to score, correct score & goalscorers

Chelsea vs Leeds Full time result
Chelsea vs Leeds Result/Both teams score Yes No
Chelsea 15/8 2/1
Leeds 17/2
Draw 15/4 16/1
Chelsea vs Leeds Correct Score
Chelsea vs Leeds Goalscorers First Last Anytime
Timo Werner13/8 13/8 4/5
Tammy Abraham21/10 21/10 1/1
Olivier Giroud12/5 12/5 11/10
Patrick Bamford3/1 3/1 11/5
Callum Hudson-Odoi10/3 10/3 8/5

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1 Tottenham Hotspur FC 10 12 21
2 Liverpool FC 10 5 21
3 Chelsea FC 10 12 19
4 Leicester City FC 9 6 18
5 Southampton FC 10 3 17
6 Wolverhampton Wanderers FC 10 0 17
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8 Manchester United FC 9 0 16
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10 Manchester City FC 9 4 15
11 West Ham United FC 9 5 14
12 Leeds United 10 -2 14
13 Newcastle United FC 10 -3 14
14 Arsenal FC 10 -2 13
15 Crystal Palace FC 10 -3 13
16 Brighton & Hove Albion FC 10 -2 10
17 West Bromwich Albion 10 -11 6
18 Burnley FC 9 -13 5
19 Fulham FC 9 -9 4
20 Sheffield United FC 10 -12 1
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Player Team Goals
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Vardy, Jamie Leicester City FC 8
Salah, Mohamed Liverpool FC 8
Kane, Harry Tottenham Hotspur FC 7
Fernandes, Bruno Manchester United FC 7
Wilson, Callum Newcastle United FC 7
Bamford, Patrick Leeds United 7
Watkins, Ollie Aston Villa FC 6
Grealish, Jack Aston Villa FC 5
Zaha, Wilfried Crystal Palace FC 5
Ings, Danny Southampton FC 5
Jota, Diogo Liverpool FC 5
Ward-Prowse, James Southampton FC 4
Werner, Timo Chelsea FC 4
Mahrez, Riyad Manchester City FC 4
Mane, Sadio Liverpool FC 4
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