Frank Lampard says Chelsea will be “looking in the mirror” rather than worrying about how their potential Premier League title rivals fare this weekend.
Chelsea are fourth in the table, eight points behind leaders Liverpool but six clear of fifth-placed Arsenal.
Liverpool face champions Manchester City, who are currently in second, on Sunday, presenting the opportunity for Chelsea and Leicester City – who are third – to make up ground on the top two.
And Leicester play Arsenal, meaning four of the top five will face off.
Yet head coach Lampard is determined his team will not be concerned by results elsewhere, keen to keep their focus on improving throughout the season.
“We’re looking in the mirror at ourselves,” he told a news conference ahead of hosting Crystal Palace on Saturday.
“Up and down are things you can’t always control – what will be will be with those teams. They have their problems or strong points or whatever.
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) November 8, 2019
“What we have to do is look at ourselves week in, week out, look at Crystal Palace tomorrow, go away for the internationals, and then we come back and we play Manchester City. Every week brings the challenge of a game.
“At the moment, we’re happy with what we’ve done but I think we can always get a lot better. That’s the only way: I don’t think we should look too much anywhere else, rather than within.”
Chelsea are managing injury issues in the centre of midfield, with Ross Barkley out since the win over Newcastle United last month while Mason Mount hobbled off against Ajax in midweek.
Both players were named in Gareth Southgate’s England squad for the upcoming international break, yet Barkley will not feature at home to Palace, and Mount is a doubt.
“Ross has an ongoing issue, so he’s not in the squad for tomorrow,” Lampard said.
“It’s a conversation I’ll have with Gareth or Steve [Holland, England assistant] with Ross and everyone to see how it pans out for him over the next 10 days. I’m not sure on that one, but he won’t be in our squad.
“With Mason, he’s in the squad, and we’re giving him another 24 hours. We’ll make a call on that one in the morning [Saturday].”
Chelsea should at least have N’Golo Kante back after he returned to the bench against Ajax and was later named in the France squad. He has not featured since an injury in the previous international break.