Graham Potter has provided an update on his Chelsea squad ahead of the club’s clash with Manchester United this weekend.
Chelsea are unbeaten in seven fixtures across all competitions since Potter’s appointment as the club’s new head coach. The west Londoners are fourth in the Premier League table, a point ahead of this weekend’s opponents in the race for Champions League football.
Potter’s side were held to a goalless draw at Brentford in midweek and the Chelsea boss admitted his squad will be similar to the one which took on the Bees, with N’Golo Kante, Reece James and Wesley Fofana all out.
“We’re still in the process of recovering everybody after the game but we’re pretty much as we were at Brentford,” Potter said at his pre-match press conference.
There was a positive update on Conor Gallagher however, who took part in training on Friday and is in contention to feature.
“Conor’s trained today so he’s recovered, so we’ll see how he is over the next 24 hours. But apart from the long-term absences, we’re pretty much as we were.”
Potter discussed James’ knee problem, which will rule the defender out of the World Cup which begins next month. England begin their World Cup campaign against Qatar on November 21 and Potter confirmed that James is facing around eight weeks on the sidelines.
“Reece is in a brace for four weeks, which is the first thing, to stabilise the knee and then it’s rehab, so that will take, like we said, about eight weeks. So that’s the latest.
“You have to at least acknowledge the fact they’re human beings who want to be involved in that type of competition absolutely. The reality is that I haven’t got anything to say that will make it better for them, I think it’s worth me acknowledging that.
“It’s one of those things where you just need to focus on the things you can control, focus on your rehab, go day to day. Things get better and then you just move forward.”
Potter was also asked about on N’Golo Kante’s future with the midfielder out of contract at the end of the season. The France international will be free to negotiate with foreign sides from January, though Potter insists the focus is on the midfielder returning to full fitness. He has made just two league appearances this season due to hamstring issues.
“The most important thing for us and for me is that we help him get fit. That’s the focus,” he said.
“He’s got a long road ahead of him so we have to make sure that we get him the right treatment, we help him get back fit and strong, and once he’s enjoying his football we can think about those things then.”