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Chelsea boss Frank Lampard asks Premier League for 'fair start' to 2020-21

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Frank Lampard has urged the Premier League to give Chelsea "a fair start" by delaying their first match until after the proposed Sept. 12 date for the new season.

The Blues were beaten by Arsenal in Saturday's FA Cup Final after losing three players to injury, in addition to Willian withdrawing 48 hours before the game due to a muscular problem. N'Golo Kante was only able to make the bench at Wembley due to a hamstring complaint.

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Chelsea's season continues this weekend with their Champions League, last 16, second-leg clash in Germany against Bayern Munich. They are 3-0 down from the first leg and therefore likely to exit the competition, but Lampard is still concerned about the lack of recovery time ahead of the new season.

The Premier League clubs voted to give all teams a 30-day break, meaning there will be a staggered start for those engaged in European competition into mid or late August, but Lampard pleaded with administrators to ensure Chelsea are among those to begin the 2020-21 campaign later.

"I am guessing we will be told when we start and that will be dependent on how we will go against Bayern Munich," he said. "I am not forgetting the game against Bayern as that is a big game for us. I am caught up in today.

"The players need a rest before we prepare for that game. It is not ideal if we carry on against Bayern, possibly further on, the players need to be given a break to play at the level and the quality product that the Premier League is.

"Even in a worst case scenario we don't go through against Bayern, the 12th feels too early for me for the players to be start playing again. The players need a break. That is why we have pulled two hamstrings [Christian Pulisic and Cesar Azpilicueta] and had players pull out of the game before this.

"I would like to think the Premier League would look seriously at that and hopefully give us a fair start next season. We deserve to be as a Premier league club competing in the Champions League."

Willian's absence fuelled speculation he could leave Chelsea upon the expiry of his contract, with Arsenal among the clubs interested in signing the Brazilian.

His agent Kia Joorabchian, who has strong ties with the Gunners, claimed Willian's decision would be made public in the week after the FA Cup Final, but Lampard insisted he was in the dark over what the winger will decide.

Chelsea have offered Willian a two-year deal, but although the 31-year-old is open to staying at Stamford Bridge, he has been holding out for a three-year contract for several months.

"It is his decision," said Lampard. "I have not got that answer. I know the situation from the club's end. I have a great relationship with Willian. I actually do not know what that decision is.

"And if that happens over the next whatever days as he said then that will be good for me either way. Of course I am very happy with Willian, as he has been brilliant for me this season with his input and work ethic within the squad.

"But it is his choice and I respect his choice. He has been a great servant for Chelsea if he decides to move on. And if he does decide to move on then Chelsea moves on as well and we have to look forward ourselves."