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.

"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.

Frank Lampard denied Antonio Rudiger is fit to return for Chelsea, revealing the Germany centre-back is set to see a consultant on Monday.

Rudiger was forced off at half-time in Chelsea's 5-2 victory over Wolves on September 14, which remains his only appearance for the first team since sustaining a knee injury in April.

The 26-year-old was widely reported as saying he was "itching" to play after returning to fitness following the groin issue suffered against Wolves.

However, Lampard insisted Rudiger will not be available for Saturday's meeting with Watford and there is no timetable for his return.

"He's not fit. I saw the quotes, whether there was a miscommunication I don't know," said the Chelsea head coach.

"He's going to see a consultant on Monday because he's got an ongoing issue in the pelvic area. We'll have to wait for the appointment to see how long he'll be out. I was surprised by the quotes because he's not fit."

Lampard had more positive updates on N'Golo Kante and Ross Barkley, both of whom he said could "possibly" return to face Ajax in the Champions League on Tuesday.

"Every player in the squad that's not available is disappointing but it comes with the territory. [Rudiger] and N'Golo have had a domino effect in injuries from last season," said Lampard. "N'Golo's close, he's working with the team now.

"Ross Barkley is still not quite right and he's another possibly answer, but he's not far away. Andreas Christensen is pretty much fit as well. It's the finishing touches now."

Watford are winless at the bottom of the Premier League this season but Lampard warned the Blues, who saw a run of seven straight victories end with a 2-1 loss to Manchester United in the EFL Cup on Wednesday, against complacency.

Asked if the circumstances made the meeting with Watford more dangerous, Lampard replied: "Without a doubt. I'm very much of that mindset.

"First, I look at us, and since we've been on the winning run, the game became more dangerous because of the idea of overconfidence.

"We saw what Watford did last year and the personnel are very similar. We cannot underestimate a team that will be hurting because they haven't won for a while."

Chelsea will be without Ross Barkley, N'Golo Kante and Antonio Rudiger for Wednesday's Champions League clash with Ajax, head coach Frank Lampard has confirmed.

The Blues face Ajax in Amsterdam having claimed three points from their first two games and they will be well aware of the test Erik ten Hag's men pose.

Injuries will make Chelsea's challenge even trickier against opponents who have won successive games at the start of the group stage, as Barkley, Kante and Rudiger are all absent from the squad.

Kante suffered a groin injury on international duty with France, Barkley sustained a "nasty" ankle problem against Newcastle United on Saturday and Rudiger is still out with a pelvic issue.

Lampard expressed concern for Barkley after the Newcastle win, though he expects the England midfielder to be back in training this week.

"They're obviously all not here," Lampard told reporters. "Ross will hopefully be fit to train by the time we get back on Thursday.

"Rudiger has trained with us today [Tuesday], which is part of a small programme to have him fit. He's going to be out of contention for the weekend but hopefully soon [he'll be back].

"N'Golo similarly, he's training but we'll see how he is for the weekend. Not clear yet on that one."

Chelsea head into the match having won five on the spin in all competitions, with much of the squad hitting form.

Lampard has an abundance of talent on the flanks in particular and has recently been encouraged by Callum Hudson-Odoi, who starred at the weekend and could make his first Champions League start.

"I think he is [ready] but so are other players," Lampard added. "There comes my problem for selection for games because I have a competitive squad of players that some are fresh to the Champions League, some have been before.

"Isolating Callum, I thought his performance against Newcastle showed huge signs of what we want to see. We know the talent there. It's great his contract is signed now, weeks ago.

"I thought the problems he gave Newcastle consistently were things that I really want to see from him, which are: end product, delivery into the box, getting at people and running behind people. All those things are what we all know Callum has as a young talent.

"There's no guarantees there, but I think for all the young players, the extra level that the Champions League is – in terms of detail, focus, concentration for 90 minutes, making the most of tiny moments – will be a test for all the young players, not just Callum."

Chelsea boss Frank Lampard admits Ross Barkley's injury "looks a bit nasty" but he is waiting for a doctor's assessment on Sunday.

Barkley was forced off after 43 minutes of Saturday's 1-0 Premier League defeat of Newcastle United, hobbling off the pitch with an ankle problem to be replaced by Mateo Kovacic.

The England international, who started in place of the injured N'Golo Kante, is now expected to have tests ahead of Wednesday's Champions League trip to face Ajax.

Cesar Azpilicueta also suffered a knock in the closing stages, but Lampard is hopeful the defender has not sustained any serious damage.

Speaking after the match, which was settled by Marcos Alonso's 73rd-minute strike, Lampard told reporters: "I think Azpi was alright, he didn't say anything when he came off.

"Ross turned his ankle. It looks a bit nasty at first glance, but the doctor wants to have a look at it tomorrow. I have no more on that."

When asked if he could be fit to face Ajax, Lampard replied: "I genuinely don't know. We will assess tomorrow."

Chelsea's win, their fifth in a row in all competitions, means they are fourth in the Premier League after nine matches.

Frank Lampard hailed Jorginho for his leadership qualities and confirmed the midfielder will replace Ross Barkley as Chelsea's first-choice penalty taker.

The Italy midfielder scored from the spot in Chelsea's 2-0 win over Brighton and Hove Albion on Saturday after Mason Mount was fouled by Adam Webster inside the box.

Jorginho was back on spot-kick duties a week and a half on from Barkley missing a crucial penalty in the 1-0 Champions League defeat to Valencia.

Lampard stood by Barkley following that miss but he was also overlooked on Wednesday as Pedro stepped up from 12 yards in the 7-1 win against Grimsby Town in the EFL Cup.

Asked if Jorginho is now top of the pecking order after his emphatic penalty against Brighton, Lampard told reporters: "Yes he is, end of story.

"I'm surprised about the obsession with penalty takers. Jorginho took it and he scored. He's a penalty taker."

Jorginho has now scored as many goals in nine appearances for Chelsea in all competitions this season as he did in 54 games in 2018-19, having also converted from the spot in August's UEFA Super Cup clash with Liverpool. 

The 27-year-old endured an indifferent first season at Stamford Bridge under Maurizio Sarri but has been a key player for Lampard, who reserved special praise for the ex-Napoli man.

"He is a leader in his personality and whatever happened last year I wasn't here and for whatever reason people will make judgements," Lampard said at his post-match news conference.

"All I can judge is what I see in front of me and from pre-season he has been one of the leaders clearly in the dressing room and on the pitch and he wants to win. 

"That should be the basis and is for everyone but to show it in everything you do is important and he does that so I'm pleased with him and the young players need to look up to that attitude he has daily."

Another of Chelsea's more experienced players was on target to seal the win, with 31-year-old Willian's deflected strike finding a way past the impressive Mat Ryan 14 minutes from time.

"The young players are playing because they deserve to so I don't really consider age but they will always need that experienced player around them," Lampard said.

"Jorginho with the coolness of head to score that penalty, Willian who not only created chances for himself and got his goal but his work ethic was fantastic today and those are the standards and some of those experienced players can set that standard and the youngsters must follow."

Victory for Chelsea was their first at home in the Premier League under Lampard at the fourth attempt and was also their first clean sheet of the campaign.

Lampard added: "The reason we haven't won at home is because we haven't put together a 90 minutes to win at home.

"Today we put in a good performance. It was solid, comfortable, professional, it lacked more goals because we created enough chances to score three, four or five goals but we got our clean sheet which is something we've been striving for, so it was a good day all round and good for confidence in the dressing room."

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