Graham Potter could welcome N’Golo Kante back into the Chelsea team for the first time in almost seven months after recovering from a hamstring injury.
Chelsea are on a winning streak of three matches which has lifted spirits in the camp heading into the international break at the end of March.
They come up against Everton at Stamford Bridge on Saturday evening and a fourth consecutive win will cap off a perfect month for the Blues.
In recent weeks, the numbers in the medical room have reduced, and the goals and points have started to come for Potter and Chelsea, easing the mounting pressure on the squad following a dismal run of form.
Sean Dyche’s Everton head to the capital unbeaten in their last two matches (W1, D1), however only sit one point above the Premier League drop zone.
Potter is fully aware of what awaits Chelsea: “You can see the effect he’s had on Everton. They play to their strengths, are incredibly motivated, and have clarity in all the phases. So we’re under no illusions, we know how difficult the game is.
“It’s a fantastic test for us at home in front of our supporters and off the back of three wins. We’ll have to play well.”
But for Saturday’s game, Potter is set to welcome back key figures into the side which will offer Chelsea a welcome boost as they eye another victory, this time back in front of their home supporters.
Absolute Chelsea has the latest Chelsea team news to face Everton in the Premier League on Saturday evening.
He has returned to training this week for the first time after surgery on his fractured finger. Mendy will hope to step up his road to full fitness during the international break before eyeing a return at some point in April.
Thiago Silva, Cesar Azpilicueta and Armando Broja
Silva and Azpilicueta are still out with knee and head injuries respectively. Potter will be keen to have the Azpilicueta available once the international break has concluded, while Silva could return in the middle of April.
Armando Broja is out until the end of the season with an ACL injury.
Raheem Sterling and Mason Mount
Sterling is out with a minor hamstring problem. He will miss the international break with England, as will Mount who is hoped to return for the Aston Villa clash on April 1.
“Raheem has a problem with his hamstring. It’s not too serious but he’ll miss the game at the weekend and he’ll miss the international trip. It’s the same for Mason. He has been struggling a little bit with his pubic bone. He wasn’t 100 percent in the last game and still isn’t quite there. So he’ll miss the England camp.”
“Yes, we’re hopeful (they’ll both be back after the international break),” added Potter. “It’s a niggly one with Mason. He’ll have days where he feels good and then days where he has a setback, so hopefully we can manage it through this period and it’ll be okay.”
The 31-year-old is set to be in Saturday’s squad for the first time since last August after undergoing hamstring surgery.
Potter will ease the midfielder back in but admits it’s a huge boost for the Blues. Ahead of the game, he admitted: “Managers before me have spoken very highly about N’Golo because he is a top, top player. He has been a huge miss to us, that’s not to say other players haven’t given absolutely everything, they have. But N’Golo Kante is a top player.
“It’s great for us that he’s back, we need to be mindful of the fact that he’s had a long injury, we need to make the next steps to get him up to speed in the Premier League, which is what we will do. But it’s great to have him with us.”