Antonio Rudiger back in from the cold as Frank Lampard hands Chelsea outcast a start away at Krasnodar

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Antonio Rudiger back in from the cold as Frank Lampard hands Chelsea outcast a start away at Krasnodar in the Champions League after heart-to-heart talks
Antonio Rudiger in Chelsea’s starting XI for Wednesday’s clash with Krasnador
The German defender had been left out of the squad for six out of seven games
Rudiger looked certain to leave the club in January, to either Spurs or PSG
But following heart-to-heart talks with Lampard, he will have another chance

Chelsea fans found themselves doing a double take when Wednesday’s team to face Krasnador was announced, defender Antonio Rudiger returning to the side for the first time since the FA Cup final defeat at the start of August.

Sportsmail revealed on Monday that Frank Lampard was ready to re-integrate Rudiger into his first-team plans following heart-to-heart talks with the central defender.

The Germany international’s future under the Chelsea boss had appeared to be over after he was left out of the squad for six of the club’s first seven games of the season.

However, he has now been given a second chance, beginning with Wednesday’s Champions League game in Russia.

Rudiger looked certain to leave Chelsea in January, with Paris Saint Germain and Tottenham both interested in taking him on loan.

But a move never materialised and the 27-year-old stayed at Stamford Bridge and following constructive talks with Lampard, it is understood he will be involved in first-team matters with more regularity.

There was never an issue between manager and player – and with Rudiger staying at the club until at least January manager Lampard will now count on the former Roma man.

Lampard was satisfied enough with Rudiger’s contribution last week to name him as a substitute in the goalless draw against Manchester United on Saturday.


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