Lampard explains why Chelsea duo needed rest

Chelsea boss Frank Lampard says resting veteran defender Thiago Silva for the thumping 4-0 Champions League win over FK Krasnodar was a decision purely based on player “maintenance”.

The recalled Antonio Rudiger replaced Silva to partner Kurt Zouma in central defence and helped the Blues keep a third consecutive clean sheet.

But Silva, 36, is fit and ready to return for Saturday’s Premier League fixture against Burnley at Turf Moor.

Lampard said managing Silva was about trying to get the best out of the player and prolong an already distinguished career.

“Taking him out of the Russia trip was a maintenance issue for him, rather than him having any problems,” Lampard said. “Thiago is fit.

“In this schedule, where we have game after game after game, it made sense for Thiago to sit out.

“I spoke with Thiago and if he had to have played, of course he could have. But we want to manage Thiago slightly differently because of the circumstances.

“He has ambitions to keep playing for a good couple of years and rightly so the way he looks and condition he is in.

“It proved to be a good exercise because we won the game and Toni Rudiger came in and did very well. We need competition for places and we’ve certainly got that.”

Christian Pulisic is also looking like starting against the Clarets after being left out of the starting line-up following three games in quick succession following his return from injury.

The American winger shone after coming on as a late substitute in Russia, winning the penalty for the second goal, helping create the third for Hakim Ziyech and then scoring the fourth himself.

“Christian is important player for us,” Lampard said.

“He came on last night and we saw his qualities. It was important he had some rest because he’s played three games in a week since he’s come back from injury.”