Chelsea and Man City will both have players absent when the sides meet at Stamford Bridge on Sunday
Chelsea are set to be without six players for their crunch Premier League clash with Manchester City but could have Reece James and Enzo Fernandez available.
The latter was seen with an ice pack on his leg after taking a knock in the 4-1 win at Tottenham Hotspur while James played 77 minutes but was then left out of Gareth Southgate’s England squad. Chelsea are keen to manage the player’s minutes as he continues to work his way back to full fitness.
In an injury update on their website, Chelsea confirmed Trevoh Chalobah, Ben Chilwell, Carney Chukwuemeka, Wesley Fofana, Romeo Lavia and Christopher Nkunku would continue their respective rehabilitation programmes, ruling them out of the clash with City.
Providing an injury update, Chelsea boss Mauricio Pochettino said Nkunku and Lavia were nearing a return to action. He said: “I had a conversation with Christopher and he said to me he wanted to be involved after the international break, against Newcastle. I asked yesterday and he wasn’t as sure, so I told him he is a liar! In a good way, though.
“I think he’s close and he is doing really well. We are so happy with him in the way that he is doing his recovery. He is very professional. Romeo Lavia is also close, they were both training today on the pitch. We hope that next week they will be involved with the team and we will assess day by day to see when they can start to play and help the team.”
Meanwhile, City have a handful of injury concerns of their own with John Stones, Kevin De Bruyne and Sergio Gomez set to be absent against Chelsea. Stones is the only fresh blow with Guardiola stating: “He’s injured. He’s not ready for Chelsea and we’ll see after the international break. I don’t know [if ready for Liverpool]. The partnership with Rodri has been one of the key points for us but this season we can’t use it much. We have to reflect and be consistent.”
Manuel Akanji could be back after he was forced to withdraw from the squad for City’s Champions League win over Young Boys. On Akanji, Guardiola added: “Good. Trained today and trained good.”
On De Bruyne, the City boss added: “I spoke with him and he said he feels really good. He’s not training with us yet and I don’t know when he will. I would say he’s in the last phase before he trains with us again. I think (that could be soon), but I don’t know. This kind of injury… it’s better we don’t put pressure on him.”