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Chelsea without at least seven players for Bournemouth match

Chelsea without at least seven players for Bournemouth match

Graham Potter has revealed that Chelsea will be without at least seven players for the Premier League fixture with Bournemouth.

The Blues return from the World Cup break looking to end a run of three successive defeats in the top flight, a period which has left the club down in eighth position in the standings.

As a result of their early exit from the EFL Cup, Chelsea have had longer to prepare for their next league fixture, unlike Bournemouth who travelled to the North-East to face Newcastle United earlier this week.

However, at a time when their opponents have been dealing with a virus, Potter has acknowledged that he is facing his own selection issues ahead of the game on December 27.

Ben Chilwell, N’Golo Kante and Armando Broja are long-term issues, the former pair dealing with hamstring injuries and the latter having recently sustained a serious knee injury.

Chelsea defender Ben Chilwell after sustaining hamstring injury against Dinamo Zagreb on November 2, 2022.© Reuters

Earlier this week, Wesley Fofana suffered a recurrence of a knee injury of his own, while Ruben Loftus-Cheek is still sidelined with the calf problem suffered against Newcastle United on November 12.

Speaking to reporters at a press conference, Potter has expanded on the current issues in the treatment room, as well as providing an update on the availability of Mateo Kovacic and Hakim Ziyech after the World Cup.

The Englishman said: “Wesley had a little setback which can happens sometimes at the last stage of rehab. He will be a couple of weeks and will not be available for the game.

“Armando is a big loss. Reece [James] is back in, training, completed 65 minutes in the week. Still without Ruben, Ben Chilwell, Kante, [Edouard] Mendy has had a couple days training.”

Morocco's Hakim Ziyech celebrates scoring their first goal with Azzedine Ounahi on December 1, 2022© Reuters

While Mendy should feature in the squad for the encounter at Stamford Bridge after representing Senegal, Kovacic and Ziyech remain absent after their prolonged periods away with Croatia and Morocco.

Potter added: “Still waiting on Hakim and Mateo. They went to the third and fourth-place final, so a big demand. Won’t be available for the game.”

Mason Mount is expected to be available after a minor calf strain, as is Conor Gallagher who did not receive any game time with England.

After the fixture with Bournemouth, Chelsea face three matches in eight days at the start of 2023, the meeting with Nottingham Forest being followed by a double-header with Manchester City.

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