Ahead of Chelsea’s clash against FC Barcelona, former Blues star Frank Lampard believes that N’Golo Kante will play a crucial role in stopping Barcelona star, Lionel Messi.
Chelsea has faced a lot of problems in the midfield with the transfer of Nemanja Matic at the start of this season. Tiemoue Bakayoko has failed to replicate the mighty Serbian and deadline day signing Danny Drinkwater is yet to hold his place in the line-up. Amidst this, N’Golo Kante remains the only reliable pillar in the Blues midfield set-up.
The former Chelsea midfielder went on to discuss how the Blues should approach this big game given the fixture will be played at Stamford Bridge. “There will be periods when you just have to back off. The problem is that being at home, there will be people wanting to see Chelsea have a bit of a go at them. But their players are that good, you have to back off to deny them the space where they can really hurt you.”
Lampard also singled out Lionel Messi as the threat, giving his own personal experience to validate the point. He stated: “Whoever is nearest to him has to take the responsibility to take that space because the minute you let him get his head up and run freely at you, you won’t get near him. I can say that from experience.”
Kante the antidote to Messi
Frank Lampard believes that the PFA Player of the year has got what it takes to restrict Lionel Messi in the upcoming fixture. The England International feels that Kante can trouble Messi due to his ability to tackle quickly. Lampard said:
“It is a fine line for Chelsea. They need to sit back but at the same time put pressure on him so he doesn’t become relaxed on the ball. This is where I think N’Golo Kante will be key. He is the one in Chelsea’s midfield with the abilities you need because he is so quick into the tackle.”
Kante has definitely proved his worth in the Premier League to be one of the best defensive midfielders in the world. The French midfielder will be a huge boost to the Chelsea defence who are braced for a tough night. Kante at his best can stop Messi but it won’t be enough for the Premier League champions to secure their victory over the La Liga leaders.