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Chelsea will be without defenders Antonio Rudiger and Emerson Palmieri for Tuesday’s clash with Valencia at Stamford Bridge.

Rudiger, widely-regarded as Chelsea’s best central defender, lasted just 45 minutes on his return to action from knee surgery against Wolves after suffering a groin problem.

The Blues had looked to be on their way to a first clean sheet of the season at the break, but Rudiger suffered a groin problem, exacerbated when he tripped on some metal between the dugouts on his way off. He was replaced by Kurt Zouma at the break.

“He’s had a groin issue which he bothered as he came off the pitch near me actually, Lampard said after the match. “He slipped on some metal which made him adjust himself so he has bothered his groin. It was just before half-time, where the ball was bouncing and he came off the pitch, unfortunately he bothered it then.”

Meanwhile, left-back Emerson, who has usurped Marcos Alonso as Chelsea’s starting left-back, missed the victory at Wolves with a muscle injury sustained on international duty with Italy.

Neither player was spotted in training on Monday morning raising fears that they will be absent for the visit of Valencia on Tuesday night. The likely absence of Rudiger and Emerson will hand Lampard a selection headache as he seeks to get Chelsea’s Champions League campaign off to a winning start.

In more positive news for Chelsea, N’Golo Kante returned to training on Monday following a three-week lay-off with a sprained ankle and he could be in contention to play.




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