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Frank Lampard says Christian Pulisic deserves Chelsea starting place

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Frank Lampard admits Christian Pulisic's performances from the bench in recent weeks mean he is in contention for a starting role at Chelsea

Chelsea boss Frank Lampard says Christian Pulisic deserves a starting place following his "brilliant impact" from the bench in recent games.

The American winger, who was signed from Borussia Dortmund over the summer, has not started a Premier League or Champions League game since Chelsea's 2-2 draw with Sheffield United in August, after which he wasn't used in the next five matches in those competitions.

However, the 21-year-old has worked his way back into Lampard's plans, making a positive impact from the bench in Chelsea's last three games, including an assist for the goal at Ajax on Wednesday that extended their winning streak to six matches.

"The way he's played he deserves a starting place regularly in the last few weeks, but so do others and that's what I keep saying is the nice problem that I have," Lampard said ahead of Chelsea's trip to Burnley on Saturday.

Christian Pulisic agreed to join Chelsea from Borussia Dortmund last January
Image: Pulisic agreed to join Chelsea from Borussia Dortmund last January

"But it's brilliant that he's coming on and making the impact that he's making and of course he'll get his starts, that's the reason he's come here.

"But we've got Callum Hudson-Odoi, who was top class against Newcastle last week at home, in terms of creation, Willian, I think I declared him our best player in the great patch we had of four-or-five games.

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"So they're good options for me and Christian is getting stronger and he's getting more in the group.

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"With players that come here and some of them you have to give them a bit of time, particularly young players, but he's playing well, so he's certainly in strong contention."

Has Chelsea's winning run increased expectations?

Chelsea and Lampard have earned plaudits for the six-game winning streak that has seen them turn around an inconsistent start to the season and climb to fourth in the Premier League table.

Saturday's trip to Burnley, which is live on Sky Sports, provides an opportunity for a fourth straight league victory, but Lampard is wary of allowing his players to lose focus.

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Frank Lampard is not getting carried away with Chelsea's run of six successive wins in all competitions as he prepares his side to face Burnley at Turf Moor

"Whether we win, lose or draw my thoughts always go instantly to the next game and I don't go too far ahead," Lampard said.

"It's nice. It's a good feeling at the moment and I want to keep that and temper it with a little bit of edginess where we know that if we drop the standards we'll fall back again.

"I'm not getting overly excited by it. It actually just makes me want to work a bit harder to see that the work we've done has given us some nice results recently."

Injury update - 'I just want Kante fit'

Chelsea will once more be without N'Golo Kante for their trip to Turf Moor, as the French midfielder attempts to overcome a spate of injuries that have limited him to just six appearances this season.

N'Golo Kante during training on the eve of Chelsea's UEFA Champions League match against Lille
Image: N'Golo Kante has made just four Premier League appearances for Chelsea this season

Lampard revealed he will also be without Antonio Rudiger, Andreas Christensen and Ross Barkley, with the latter expected to be available next week.

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"N'Golo won't be ready," Lampard said. "He's training on his own with some physical work because he's had a few issues and we need to get him right now because he's been in and out.

"I just want him fit. He's played a lot of football for four years. He's had a big injury off the back of last season so I think maybe we, I, he is suffering from that big injury and the little fall out from that.

"So I think it's now time to take a small step back just to get his fitness up and be confident that we won't have the domino effect with small injuries."

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