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Mendy, Kovacic, Ziyech: Graham Potter handed double fitness boost for Nottingham Forest vs Chelsea



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IMAGO / Pixsell

Chelsea are set to welcome back their final two World Cup stars to the side for their New Year’s Day clash against Nottingham Forest.

After ending their run of five Premier League games without a win on Tuesday evening against AFC Bournemouth, Chelsea begin their 2023 with an away trip to the City Ground to face Steve Cooper’s newly-promoted side.

Potter’s side are currently in eighth and will be hoping to kick the New Year off win a win to build momentum and confidence in the camp ahead of consecutive games against Manchester City.

Chelsea, though, will head to Nottingham with their injury problems. Reece James (knee), Wesley Fofana (knee), N’Golo Kante (hamstring), Ruben Loftus-Cheek (calf) and Armando Broja (ACL) will all miss Sunday’s clash.

However, Potter has received a boost ahead of the game. Chelsea saw Mateo Kovacic and Hakim Ziyech return to training this week after their post-World Cup holidays concluded.

Kovacic and Ziyech will both be available and in contention to start, Potter confirmed.

“Both of those guys will be back.”

But Kepa Arrizabalaga is set to continue in goal for Chelsea. Edouard Mendy has been struggling with a shoulder issue since his World Cup exit and will be assessed ahead of the game.

Potter added:  “Mendy we are not sure, we’ll have to see in the next few days.

“He has a problem with his bone (around his shoulder) that he picked up at the World Cup. He may still need a bit of time.”

Kai Havertz and Mason Mount will be pushing for starts after netting in the win over Bournemouth, while Raheem Sterling and Christian Pulisic shone for the Blues having been given the nod to start in attack against the Cherries.