Chelsea boss Pochettino sweating on four stars as six others miss Arsenal clash

Chelsea have been ravaged by injuries throughout Mauricio Pochettino’s short tenure in charge so far. The Argentine is currently sweating on four players ahead of this weekend’s Premier League match at home to Arsenal, while six others have already been ruled out.

Chelsea welcome Arsenal to Stamford Bridge on Saturday evening. The Blues have won three matches in a row in all competitions but haven’t won a home league match against the Gunners since August 2018.

Pochettino would ideally want a full-strength squad to choose from against Mikel Arteta’s side, who are yet to lose a top-flight game this term. But there are as many as 10 players in the Chelsea squad who are either ruled out already or potentially unavailable.

Wesley Fofana suffered an ACL injury before the season started and faces a fight to play at all this term. Christopher Nkunku is also yet to play since his summer arrival, with his own knee injury set to keep him out until the new year.

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Ben Chilwell won’t return until December due to a serious hamstring problem, while the Evening Standard says this weekend is too early for Benoit Badiashile who suffered a similar problem at the back end of last season. Axel Diasi has started every Premier League match since joining Chelsea but pulled out of the France squad with what was described as a “tear in his quad”.

The Standard says he likely won’t return until next month. The sixth player already set to miss the visit of Arsenal is Romeo Lavia, whose ankle injury is set to rule him out until early December.

Pochettino will now be sweating on the condition of four other players. Captain Reece James could be set to return after a two-month lay-off.

He has served his one-game suspension for confronting an official in the tunnel after last month’s loss to Aston Villa. James hasn’t played since the opening weekend of the season against Liverpool.

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Cole Palmer struck his first Chelsea goal before the international break in the win over Burnley. However, he was forced off at half-time of England under-21s’ win over Serbia last week.

Manager Lee Carsley confirmed the injury was not serious but Chelsea will do their own assessment this week. Armando Broja has also suffered another injury while with Albania.

The striker, only recently back from a ruptured ACL, was forced to miss his country’s match against Czech Republic. Mykhaylo Mudryk, meanwhile, was substituted after receiving treatment in Ukraine’s win over North Macedonia but there’s hope the issue is only minor.

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