Chelsea will be playing host to Red Bull Salzburg at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday evening and Graham Potter has a number of injury concerns to deal with. The Blues lost 1-0 to Dinamo Zagreb in the Champions League group stage opener last week in what proved to be Thomas Tuchel’s final game in charge and now sit bottom of Group E.
Despite suffering defeat in Croatia, AC Milan and Salzburg drew leaving it all still to play for. The west Londoner now has a new boss in the shape of Graham Potter after Thomas Tuchel was sacked hours after the loss to Zagreb.
The clash with Salzburg had initially been thrown into doubt after the Premier League took the decision to postpone and reschedule several fixtures this weekend as a mark of respect following the death of Queen Elizabeth II on Thursday. But, the Champions League, Europa League and Conference League games fall under UEFA jurisdiction, so the tie is going ahead.
In Chelsea’s clash with West Ham, Mendy was caught in the ribs by Jarrod Bowen as part of a controversial collision that saw a late equalizer denied by VAR. The Senegal international subsequently missed the clash with Zagreb, though last weekend’s game was postponed granting him time for recovery.
What Tuchel said: “He was in a lot of pain, and we have to see. It’s too early to comment on that. I think at the moment he is a bit unlucky in what he is doing. In training, he is fantastic, and he is, in general, a very calm and self-reflective guy who is aware that he lacks a little bit of luck at the moment.
“Things do not go in his favour. If he has maybe a situation where his action isn’t 100% clear, he gets punished for it massively. He is just in this moment, and it feels like it’s not so much his fault. I have the feeling because he tries everything, he is very calm and focused. We will keep on supporting him.”
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Aubameyang’s jaw was broken by house robbers just days before swapping the Camp Nou for Stamford Bridge. According to The Times, the Blues flew the 33-year-old out to Milan to be fitted with a mask so that he could feature as soon as possible.
His treatment obviously worked, with Aubameyang featuring for Chelsea versus Zagreb last week. Again, with a number of days extra recovery without action, the striker could be match fit and raring to go.
What Tuchel said: “Yes, he trains tomorrow, but I cannot tell you if he trains with full contact or individually. We’ll need to see. He has the mask, and the doctors tell me the mask is good and he feels comfortable with it.
“So he would be ok, but we need to check it, and we need to check it with no contact, half-contact, and then full contact. We need to see how he feels about it. It’s too early to make a prediction, but he’ll be in training tomorrow morning, and we’ll see.”
Expected return date: September 14 – Salzburg (H)
Chelsea’s star midfielder continues to recover from the hamstring injury that he picked up during the game against Tottenham.
In his press conference ahead of West Ham, Tuchel said: “So in the moment, it’s only N’Golo out. Everyone else is available.”
Speaking on August 26, Tuchel discussed Kante’s injury and said: “With N’Golo, we are talking about weeks. We are talking about four weeks plus.”
Expected return date: Unknown
The defender picked up an injury tweak in the 2-1 Leicester win in game week 5. As a result, he wasn’t in the traveling squad for the Southampton loss.
However, he did return as an unused sub in the West Ham and Zagbreb clashes. Whether or not he starts against Salzburg remains to be seen with the competition for places hot, following Wesley Fofana’s arrival.