It was Chelsea who proposed the rule change on Premier League substitutes, and Frank Lampard believes that having increased options on his bench will help their bid to finish the season strongly and secure the qualification for the Champions League.

The Blues have called for the number of substitutes allowed to be increased from seven to nine for the rest of the season.

The plan has been debated by clubs and decided on following the provisional change to the law by the International Football Association Board.

Chelsea is one of the clubs that have the most to play for when the Premier League resumes next week, which could go some way to explain their desire for further strengthening.

As Lampard bids close the gap to Liverpool and Manchester City next season, Chelsea can not afford to miss out on qualifying for the Champions League. They are in the race for the top four three points above fifth-placed Manchester United, and five ahead of Wolves and Sheffield United.

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Like all coaches, during the run-in, Lampard knows his squad will be strained: Jorginho is suspended for Chelsea’s first game back against Aston Villa; N’Golo Kante.

Just resumed full contact training on Tuesday with his team-mates and both clubs are concerned about a higher risk of injury after a long break. Both Mateo Kovacic and Christian Pulisic are back from injury and Lampard’s ability to make five subs ensures Ruben Loftus-Cheek can be provided with more minutes in practice after recovering from an Achilles injury. Loftus-Cheek hasn’t played for more than a year but he could play an important role in Chelsea’s run-in, particularly if Willian and Pedro leave on free transfers on June 30.

Olivier Giroud was in fine shape pre-lockdown and scored Chelsea’s last goal before the season was suspended in March’s 4-0 win over Everton. And the increased number of substitutes will mean Lampard will be able to look more to his bench to settle close games as his Champions League side chase qualifications.

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