Chelsea handed Raheem Sterling injury blow as Felix offers boost for West Ham clash but Kovacic unavailable
Graham Potter has confirmed the Chelsea team news to face West Ham in the Premier League on Saturday afternoon.
Chelsea travel to the London Stadium hoping to complete the league double over their city counterparts following the 2-1 win over the Hammers in September, which proved to be Thomas Tuchel’s final domestic game in charge before he was dismissed less than a week later.
Potter has been tasked with the challenge and opportunity to lead the new era at Stamford Bridge, with Chelsea currently three games unbeaten in the league (W1, D2).
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Chelsea are beginning to see the majority of the squad available for selection. Reece James, Ben Chilwell, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Raheem Sterling made their returns prior to the draw versus Fulham, while Denis Zakaria and Mateo Kovacic made training comebacks this week.
Joao Felix will also offer the visitors a boost due to being available for selection again following his three-match suspension after receiving a red card on his debut.
“It’s great,” said Potter ahead of the game on his return. “We all saw his impact before the red card. You can see his quality everyday, a player who can make a difference for us.”
But Chelsea will be without Mateo Kovacic and Raheem Sterling, with the game coming too soon for Kovacic, while Sterling has suffered a setback in training and is a doubt.
“They are all getting closer and closer,” responded Potter on team news. “Wesley (Fofana) has been training with the team, Denis Zakaria’s been training with team.
“We had a little setback with Raheem, he had a kick in training so we’re assessing him, so probably doubtful. A kick in training on the side of the knee.
“Mateo has trained but it’ll be too soon for him.
“It’s good news (overall), we’ve got some options.”