Chelsea are set to host Manchester City in the Premier League on Thursday, January 5.
Ahead of the game, let's take a look at the numerous injury issues that manager Graham Potter is currently dealing with in his squad (via Football.London).
Edouard Mendy picked up a shoulder injury during the FIFA World Cup in Qatar. The Senegalese shot-stopper wasn't in the squad for Chelsea's games against AFC Bournemouth and Nottingham Forest over the past week. However, he is expected to return against Manchester City.
Speaking about Mendy's injury, Potter said:
"Mendy we are not sure, we’ll have to see in the next few days. He has a problem with his bone [around his shoulder] that he picked up at the World Cup. He may still need a bit of time."
Reece James missed the FIFA World Cup due to an injury. He returned to action for Chelsea during their 2-0 win against Bournemouth but had to be subbed off with another injury. The English right-back is expected to return next month.
Speaking about James' injury, Potter seemed concerned, as he said:
"It's the same area [as the previous injury], so we are concerned. It's really too soon [to tell]. We'll have to see over the next 24-48 hours. He felt something there and we will have to find out the extent of it and keep our fingers crossed."
N'Golo Kante has had a torrid season due to injury. He suffered a hamstring injury in Chelsea's second game of the season and hasn't returned since. The French midfielder had a setback in training as well and is now expected to return in February or March.
Speaking about Kante, Potter said:
''He’ll be [returning at the] end of Feb [or the] start of March. It’s a surgery, so it’s a minimum period of four months. My focus is to help him get back fit as soon as possible."
Wesley Fofana also had a setback on his return from injury and is now expected to feature later this month. The former Leicester City defender is unlikely to be a part of the squad against Manchester City on Thursday.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek is another player who is expected to be back in action soon but is unlikely to feature against Manchester City.
Armando Broja is out for the season after picking up an ACL injury, while Ben Chilwell could return to action in February.
Chelsea face a big test up next in Manchester City
While it is never easy to face Manchester City, Chelsea fans will be even more anxious this time due to their underwhelming form this season.
The Blues are currently ninth in the Premier League table and come into the game on the back of a 1-1 draw against Nottingham Forest. They are 11 points behind second-placed City, who also played out a 1-1 draw against Everton in their previous game.
The two sides will incidentally clash twice this week when Pep Guardiola's team host Chelsea in the third round of the FA Cup on Sunday (January 8). They have already played each other once this season in the third round of the EFL Cup, with Manchester City winning that match 2-0 at the Etihad Stadium.
Paul Merson predicts Man City vs Liverpool and other Premier League GW 29 fixtures! Click here