Chelsea have enjoyed a fantastic start to the new Premier League season.
Although they did drop two points against Liverpool at Anfield, it felt more like a point gained as Thomas Tuchel’s 10-men put in a resolute, well-shaped defensive display to keep Jurgen Klopp’s side at arm’s length.
The Blues will be hoping to get back to winning ways after the international break against Aston Villa on September 11 at Stamford Bridge.
They do have a few fitness concerns going into that fixture, but boosted by the arrival of Saul Niguez on deadline day, Chelsea have a squad more than capable of picking up three points.
Here’s who could miss out.
Kante left the France squad early on Wednesday as the ankle injury he suffered against Liverpool at the weekend hasn’t properly healed.
The 30-year-old initially picked up the injury in the warm-up ahead of the UEFA Super Cup clash against Villarreal in August and was not involved in Chelsea’s season opener against Crystal Palace as a precaution.76659595577
After making an appearance off the bench in the Blues’ 2-0 win over Arsenal at the Emirates, Kante started at Anfield the following weekend.
But Tuchel was forced to take him off after just 45 minutes following a challenge with Sadio Mane, and Kante hasn’t shaken off the injury, making him a doubt for the game with Villa.
Despite scoring in the 3-0 win over Crystal Palace, Pulisic tested positive for Covid-19 and as a result had to miss the trips to Arsenal and Liverpool.
However, now that his quarantine period has ended, he should be available moving forward.
It’s unlikely Loftus-Cheek will play now that Saul has arrived as another midfield option, but following his own battle with Covid-19, the 25-year-old is available for selection once more.
Chelsea were unable to sort a move for the midfielder in the transfer window and it’ll be interesting to see if Tuchel has any long-term plans to use him.
Although the Moroccan did come off the bench against Arsenal on August 22, he had returned off the back of what looked like quite a painful shoulder injury sustained in the UEFA Super Cup win over Villarreal earlier in the month.
He found himself on the bench again the following week and was an unused substitute against Liverpool.
Nevertheless, Reece James’ red-card meant that Tuchel had to change a few things, and because Chelsea weren’t getting much possession, he was never going to get on in that scenario.
We could see him in action on September 11.
James was sent off for a handball on the line against Liverpool.
Mo Salah scored the resulting penalty, and Chelsea were later charged for failing to keep their players in line.
He will miss one game through suspension.Follow Football London
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