N’Golo Kante has handed Chelsea a huge fitness boost for their Premier League clash against Aston Villa after Graham Potter confirmed the team news.
Chelsea welcome Unai Emery’s side to Stamford Bridge for the first game back from the international break as 10th take on 11th with a win for either side potentially taking them up to ninth place.
Potter has had to deal with many injury problems this season since taking over in west London, but the Blues, who are on a four game unbeaten streak in all competitions, will welcome back some key names into the side on Saturday evening against Villa.
As has Wesley Fofana, who was forced to be absent for France’s game after a hamstring issue sustained against Everton prior to the international break. However, he won’t be fit enough in time for Saturday’s clash.
Edouard Mendy, Thiago Silva and Cesar Azpilicueta remain out, while Mason Mount, who was struggling with a lower abdomen issue, is fully fit and available for selection again.
After making the bench against Everton, N’Golo Kante stepped up his anticipated long-awaited return with a 60 minute cameo against Charlton Athletic during the break. He will start on the bench against Aston Villa and Potter hopes the 31-year-old can play some part.
“Thiago and Azpi are still away,” confirmed Potter on Friday afternoon. “Raheem’s coming back but he will miss the game, he’s got more chance for Tuesday (against Liverpool). He was close.
“Mason has trained and is available, probably not from the start but in the squad.
“Wesley is going to miss the game because his hamstring is still a little bit tight, I think there is a chance for Tuesday.
“Christian Pulisic is the only one really, he has a heavy hold returning from international duty so he’s the one we have to check on.
“Kai was fever but he’s recovered now and has trained the last couple of days.
“Reece is well. He has had the last two sessions with us, so provided there is no reaction, he should be available for tomorrow as well.”
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