Hakim Ziyech pictured in Chelsea training ahead of Manchester City clash

Frank Lampard is confident Hakim Ziyech will be available for Chelsea’s match with Manchester City (Picture: Getty)

Chelsea star Hakim Ziyech appears to be winning his race to be fit for the side’s heavyweight clash with Manchester City after being pictured with the rest of his team-mates in training on Thursday.

Ziyech missed the start of the campaign after suffering a knee injury in pre-season – following his summer move from Ajax – and the 27-year-old’s frustrations continued earlier this month as he was forced off with a thigh problem in Chelsea’s win over Leeds.

It means Chelsea have been without Ziyech for their last six games and Frank Lampard has been reluctant to rush the Moroccan back too early, despite the club’s struggles without him.

Lampard has been without Ziyech for Chelsea’s last six games (Picture: Getty)

However, speaking after the Blues’ draw with Aston Villa, Lampard said he was confident Ziyech would be available to take on City, should the much-anticipated Premier League encounter get the go-ahead this weekend.

‘I don’t think it’s a coincidence,’ Lampard said when asked whether there was a strong correlation between Ziyech’s absence and Chelsea’s poor form.

‘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 are yet to officially confirm whether Ziyech will feature at Stamford Bridge on Sunday but fans breathed a collective sigh of relief as the winger was spotted back at Cobham on New Year’s Eve.

The former Ajax star reposted Emerson Palmieri’s Instagram story of the pair of them in training earlier that day.

Chelsea defender Palmieri uploaded a picture on Ziyech in training (Picture: Instagram)

Ben Chilwell returned from his ankle issue and played the full 90 minutes of Chelsea’s 1-1 draw with Aston Villa, providing the assist for Olivier Giroud’s 34th-minute header on Monday night.

However, Reece James missed the match due to a hamstring injury and it’s unclear whether the England right-back will be fit to face City.

‘Reece James has got a small hamstring issue,’ Lampard explained after the game.

‘I am not saying that’s why [Cesar] Azpi played because I probably would have played him anyway.’

Chelsea will be desperate to get 2021 off to a positive start when they face Pep Guardiola’s side this weekend.

The west London outfit have won just one of their last six games in all competitions and Lampard reportedly ‘lost it’ while addressing his players at half-time against Arsenal.

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