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Fabregas a doubt! Chelsea team news, injuries, suspensions and line-up vs Huddersfield

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The Blues will kick off their season with a team that narrowly avoided relegation last season as they head to Yorkshire on Saturday.

Chelsea injuries


Thibaut Courtois has left Chelsea for Real Madrid in a deal of £ 35 million ($ 45 million) before the new season 2018-19.

Tiemoue Bakayoko is expected to join AC Milan, with Mateo Kovacic entering the midfield from Real Madrid on a one-season loan contract.

Kepa Arrizabalaga has replaced Courtois in a contract of £71 million ($ 91 million) from Athletic Club.

Cesc Fabregas is a doubt, as he suffers a minor knee injury and was last seen with bandages on his leg after the Community Shield.

PSV star Marco van Ginkel is back at Chelsea, but he has broken his anterior cruciate ligament and is unlikely to play any role this season.

Chelsea has no more injury problems, but Eden Hazard, Olivier Giroud, N’Golo Kante, Gary Cahill and Michy Batshuayi have only trained for a week with Sarri. Therefore, Sarri insinuated that this group of players can not begin after playing less than 45 minutes from the bench in Chelsea’s last friendly against Lyon on Tuesday.

Chelsea potential starting line-up


It is likely that Chelsea plays in a 4-3-3 system, as the new head coach implements his own brand of football that some call ‘Sarriball’.

The system involves defending with a high line and pressuring opponents to win the ball at the top of the field.

It also often includes Sarri’s teams moving the ball quickly between the lines, often watching players not take more than one or two touches at times. It is likely that Álvaro Morata will continue leading the line, despite having scored only three goals in the entire 2018, so far.

This varies in all competitions and includes his pre-season friendlies, where he could not connect even once.

Pedro has been in good form in this preseason and seems to have won a title role, while Jorginho seems willing to continue in midfield.

Record signing Kepa will likely be in the goal for the FA Cup winners and make his debut, but Sarri will also likely opt for the same four that faced Man City. Sarri will probably evaluate whether Hazard and Kante can start, since they only went back to training on Monday.

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Chelsea

FA to hammer Chelsea Assistant coach, spears Mourinho

Timothy Aiyeku

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Jose Mourinho

Chelsea assistant coach Marco Ianni could face the wrath of the FA as he has been charged for misconduct.

Ianni was accused of provoking anger by running to the front of the Manchester United bench in celebration of Ross Barkley’s 86th minute equalizer.

United had returned from a goal down to a 2-1 lead in the Premier League clash against Chelsea at the Stamford Bridge but were denied the three points by Barkley who came in from the bench to share the spoil.

The Chelsea coach had lost it with his celebration and there was a reaction from Mourinho who had a faceoff with Ianni but it took the intervention of manager Maurizio Sarri and the stewards to bring the issue under control before the final whistle was blown.

Mourinho and the Blues assistant coach were mentioned in the report submitted by referee Mike Dean but the former Chelsea boss seems to have been found not guilty.

Therefore, Ianni has been given until 6pm on Thursday 25 October 2018 to respond to the charge levelled against him.

Meanwhile, the Portuguese manager, as well as the Chelsea team, were issued reminders of their responsibilities.

In his reaction, Mourinho wishes Ianni is spared and not handed further punishments for the incident.

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Chelsea

How Sarri is making life difficult for Kante, he could quit

Timothy Aiyeku

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Emerging reports indicate that Chelsea powerhouse N’Golo Kante might be unhappy at the Stamford Bridge over the new role being handed to him by manager Maurizio Sarri.

Chelsea legend, Tony Cascarino observed that the French midfielder has been drafted to a more advanced role in the Sarri team and he is looking unsatisfied with the development.

He noted that Kante is known with his popular holding midfield role and that has made him the player he is today in addition to helping Leicester City secure their Premier League title as well as helping Chelsea with same title the next year.

Kante was also positioned in the same role with the French national team where he helped the Blues win a World Cup trophy at Russia.

Cascarino stated that with the new position, the French man is looking unhappy and may decide to find his way out knowing the number of top European clubs seeking for his signature.

According to the former player, if the situation remains the same, Chelsea could lose the World Cup winner because all he wants is to be happy and enjoy his game.

European clubs like Paris St-Germain, Spanish giants Real Madrid and Juventus are reported to be seeking the player’s signature with all clubs willing to break the bank for him to leave the Stamford Bridge.

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Jamie Redknapp makes strong claim on Chelsea’s Ross Barkley

Timothy Aiyeku

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jamie redknapp

Former player Jamie Redknapp has made a strong claim on Chelsea hero Ross Barkley after he saved his side from an embarrassing home defeat against Manchester United on Saturday.

Barkley had come in from the bench to help steal a 86th minute 2-2 equalizer as his side were losing by 2-1, no thanks to United’s Anthony Martial who struck twice to cancel Antonio Rudiger’s first half lead.

It is already becoming a trait for Barkley who also came in to help his England national team secure a 3-2 win over Spain in the UEFA Nations League during the recently ended international break.

According to Redknapp, the 24-year-old has had a very great week with his Saturday’s performance which adds to what he did against Spain in the national team.

He described the English star as manager Maurizio Sarri’s power play who now has the ability to provide a magic play for his side especially when they are losing.

With his return from a hamstring injury after a six months layoff, the former player admits Barkley is getting sharper by each game.

Barkley who joined the Stamford Bridge from Everton is now providing that relief for star player Eden Hazard who seems to have been overburdened with the responsibility to deliver victory for his team.

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Chelsea

Other players must step up, Willian speaks on Hazard’s injury

Timothy Aiyeku

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Willian

Brazilian forward Willian has urged his Chelsea teammates to step up in their responsibility to help lift the team.

He made this claim while reacting to the injury suffered by Belgium international Eden Hazard from the last weekend’s game against United at the Stamford Bridge.

Hazard had played the 90 minutes of the game but woke up on Sunday morning with a back pain which affects his movement and might rule him out in the Blues Europa League clash against BATE Borisov on Thursday as well as a trip to Burnley three days after.

The Belgium man has been the biggest contributor to the Chelsea team which makes it a blow to the Stamford Bridge, especially with his unavailability.

Willian, therefore, urged the players to stand up and provide a cover for the Belgium international while he will be away, adding that Hazard cannot be available to rescue the team all time.

He noted that knowing his ability, teams will target to stop Hazard just like what happened against the Red Devils which makes it important for others to live up to expectations

Chelsea strikers Alvaro Morata and Olivier Giroud have continued to be shy of goals as they have both performed far below expectations but are being saved by the fact that manager Maurizio Sarri keeps faith in them.

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