Chelsea suffer setback as Graham Potter rules duo out of Leicester clash amid N’Golo Kante return date
The Chelsea duo are out due to injuries as confirmed by the Chelsea boss.
Graham Potter has confirmed that both Reece James and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will miss Chelsea’s match against Leicester City on Saturday.
Chelsea enters the game at the King Power Stadium in high spirits after defeating Borussia Dortmund 2-0 last Tuesday to advance to the Champions League quarter-finals.
With that win coming soon after a 1-0 victory over Leeds, it appears that Potter has finally found a system that works at Stamford Bridge after a dreadful run of form.
However, he will be missing one, if not two, of the players who started Dortmund’s victory when his team travels to Leicester, as the manager revealed his team has suffered several injuries since then.
‘Because Reece was sick today, he did not train. ‘He will not play tomorrow,’ said the manager during his pre-match press conference.
‘Aubameyang has a minor back problem and will most likely miss the game. Raheem [Sterling] had a minor hamstring strain and is questionable for tomorrow.’
The absence of James is painful because there are no other natural right-backs in the squad, but the loss of Sterling may be more severe.
The forward, who scored the opening goal against Dortmund and is the Blues’ joint top scorer this season, had only recently recovered from hamstring and knee injuries.
Potter was also able to provide an update on N’Golo Kante, who has been out with a thigh injury since August.
He was said to be back in training at the beginning of March, but his recovery could not be rushed, though his return may now be just around the corner.
When asked if the defensive midfielder would face his former club on Saturday, Potter replied, ‘No, N’Golo won’t. We intend to strengthen him. Perhaps Everton [on March 18].
‘The most important thing for those two [Kante and Thiago Silva] is to be injury-free. The more talented players we have, the better.
‘Then there’s football, which decides on performance and results. Things change, and new opportunities emerge.’