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After a manic start to the campaign two games without a goal at either end have perhaps been cause for reassurance for Chelsea and Frank Lampard.

Conceding three goals against West Bromwich Albion and Southampton seemed to suggest that the defensive problems that had dogged Lampard last season, where Chelsea conceded more league goals (54) than any campaign since 1996-97, had not been resolved.

Whilst it is too soon to say for sure that Chelsea's leaky backline has been plugged holding Sevilla and Manchester United goalless at least indicated that there is a group of defenders Lampard can deploy to keep things tight. Central to that have been two summer signings, goalkeeper Edouard Mendy and center-back Thiago Silva, who in particular excelled anchoring the Blues' three-man defense at Old Trafford with Kurt Zouma and Cesar Azpilicueta flanking him.

Lampard will have to do without Silva in Krasnodar on Wednesday. The 36-year-old does not have an injury but his fitness is being carefully managed and he did not fly to Russia.

Still Zouma insists they do not need their veteran center-back to keep clean sheets.

"He brings experience. We know that he's been winning trophies, a lot of trophies," he said. "As soon as he came in he was already in the group trying to talk to players, help people -- which is great for us. We know that he brings calm and all his experience. We can learn a lot from him.

"We've got quality everywhere. Of course Thiago Silva has been doing good since he came but before he was here we were doing good too. There's nothing to prove."

Kurt Zouma, left, with fellow Chelsea defenders Ben Chilwell and Cesar Azpilicueta Getty Images

The cohesion Chelsea have found in recent games may lie in improved communication between a defense that was guilty of too many clumsy errors such as the chaotic mix-up between Zouma and goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga that handed Danny Ings a goal in Southampton's 3-3 draw at Stamford Bridge earlier this month.

The contrast between Kepa and Mendy could not be greater. Four matches into his Chelsea career the latter has three clean sheets to his name and made crucial late saves against Marcus Rashford and Mason Greenwood to earn his side a point at Old Trafford.

Certainly it cannot hurt to have center-backs and a goalkeeper all of whom speak the same language. Silva is still learning English but with Zouma and Mendy alongside him the trio can liaise in French instead.

"Defensively we've done a great job," Zouma said. "In the last two games we've been doing great. Communication has been better too. 

"The lads made an unbelievable effort, to keep the same way, everyone we're all going the same way. We know each better now I think, a lot of new players came in with the players who were here last year. 

"The mix has to come quicker but we've not had a lot of time to prepare with many, many games but we'll get there soon hopefully."

Lampard's challenge in Russia may just be adding a degree more attacking impetus to his more solid base. In the draw at United a front three of Kai Havertz, Timo Werner and Christian Pulisic had only scraps to feed on, the latter registering his side's solitary shot of the game. Similarly against Sevilla Yassine Bounou went largely untested.

Christian Pulisic had Chelsea's only shot on target in their 0-0 draw with Manchester United Getty Images

"We've played high-level opponents in the last two games," the Chelsea boss noted. "Sevilla and Manchester United in their own ways offer a lot of threats. Going into a Champions League game against Sevilla you have to respect what they can do, they won the Europa League and took Bayern Munich to extra time in the Super Cup.

"I wanted to get both sides of our game right. We got a lot of our defensive game right, I didn't like every bit of it because we are still improving.

"We have to try to organise the team. We did it well in those two games. The balance of us going forward wasn't as great as I wanted it to be.

"I said after the last game the least of my worries in the big picture [is the attack] because I know we have a lot of talent in this team. Getting both sides of our game is something we're working on every day. We want more but that will take time."