Latest team news as Blues take a short trip to the London Stadium to play West Ham United in the opening match of the Premier League weekend.
Chelsea Online News:
Raheem Sterling has reportedly suffered a new injury, but he is back in training ahead of the trip to West Ham.
The England international is now questionable to play on Saturday at the London Stadium after taking a kick in training.
A prolonged period of poor fitness in Graham Potter‘s squad, lasting more than three months, resulted in the Blues having 12 players out in the height of an injury crisis.
While Joao Felix is back from a three-match suspension and could start, Wesley Fofana, Mateo Kovacic, and Denis Zakaria all returned to training this week but are unlikely to play against the Hammers. Ben Chilwell and Reece James both made a comeback last week.
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Four more Blues players are now sidelined with injuries, while one is away on international duty.
While Edouard Mendy is still sidelined with a broken finger, Christian Pulisic is still recovering from a knee injury and is hopeful to play again soon. N’Golo Kante is working alone on the grass as he recovers from hamstring surgery.
Andrey Santos, who has not yet obtained a work permit, is currently representing Brazil’s Under-20 team internationally. Armando Broja, who tore his cruciate ligament, may also be sidelined for the remainder of the season.
With 28 players to pick from, Potter is now faced with a difficult decision.
After Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Ruben Loftus-Cheek were ineligible for last week’s match against Fulham, four more players may be left out of the 20-man squad heading to east London.
Although Potter is known to occasionally make tactical surprises, it is expected that he will select a team that is similar to the one that drew with Marco Silva’s team. Hakim Ziyech’s replacement might be one of Felix or Noni Madueke.
Benoit Badiashile, Mykhailo Mudryk, and Enzo Fernandez, who are all recent signings, are all likely to play right away.
Predicted starting lineup for Chelsea (4-2-3-1): Kepa; James; Silva; Badiashile; Cucurella; Gallagher; Enzo; Mount; Felix; Mudryk; Havertz.
• Date and time: Saturday 11 February at 12.30pm GMT • Venue: London Stadium • TV channel and live stream: BT Sport • Referee: Craig Pawson, Neil Swarbrick (VAR)