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Chelsea handed triple fitness boost ahead of Champions League clash vs Borussia Dortmund



(Photo by GLYN KIRK/AFP via Getty Images)

Reece James, N’Golo Kante and Christian Pulisic were all involved in Chelsea training on Monday morning ahead of their Champions League clash against Borussia Dortmund.

Chelsea host Dortmund on Tuesday night at Stamford Bridge hoping to overturn a one-goal deficit to progress into the quarter-finals, the stage where they were knocked out last season in extra-time to Real Madrid at the Bernabeu.

Head coach Graham Potter will be without Benoit Badiashile, David Datro Fofana and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang due to the trio being ineligible, while Mason Mount is suspended for the second leg.

Mount missed the 1-0 win over Leeds United on Saturday due to a lower abdomen problem and wasn’t involved in training either in the open session at Cobham.

Reece James was also absent at the weekend due to a tight hamstring and Potter hoped the England international would return to be available to face Dortmund in the Champions League in midweek.

The 23-year-old handed Chelsea a big boost after being spotted coming out for training, along with N’Golo Kante and Christian Pulisic, both of whom have been absent due to hamstring and knee problems, respectively.

When the pair will be available remains unclear and Potter will give an update on the duo and James’ availability in his press conference on Monday afternoon ahead of the match.

Thiago Silva is sidelined for six weeks with a knee injury, while Edouard Mendy and Armando Broja remain out. Cesar Azpilicueta’s return is unclear as he continues to go through the protocols following his head injury against Southampton last month. He wasn’t involved in Monday’s session.

It’s a must-win game for Chelsea. If they fail to claim victory, they will exit the competition. Potter’s side need to win by two clear goals to avoid the game going to penalties at Stamford Bridge.

The players understand the challenge and occasion, with Ruben Loftus-Cheek insisting the squad has the confidence of being able to beat Dortmund.

He said: “We have a big game coming up against Dortmund here this week, and we expect to rise to that challenge.

“Anything can happen in the Champions League and we definitely think we can win on Tuesday.”