Chelsea welcome London rivals Arsenal to Stamford Bridge on Saturday evening and we’ve got some early team news ahead of the game.
According to the Metro, Chelsea midfielder Cesc Fabregas is expected to miss the visit of his former club this coming weekend as he continues to recover from a knee injury that’s hampered him in recent weeks.
Fabregas carried the problem during pre-season and was forced to miss Chelsea’s Premier League opener against Huddersfield Town as Maurizio Sarri began his Blues career with an impressive 3-0 victory at the John Smith’s Stadium on Saturday.
The Metro claim that Fabregas was still not back in light training on Monday and the Spanish international is not expected to recover in time to prove his fitness ahead of the visit of Arsenal this weekend.
The news will come as a blow to Sarri but the Italian coach has options in the middle of the park.
He went with Jorginho, N’Golo Kante and Ross Barkley in a three-man midfield at the weekend and deadline day signing Mateo Kovacic could also be in-line to make his debut following his loan move from Real Madrid.
Arsenal have their own injury problems to deal with as Ainsley Maitland-Niles is a major doubt for the trip to Stamford Bridge after limping out of Sunday’s 2-0 defeat to Manchester City at the Emirates.
Sead Kolasinac is certain to miss out as he’s been ruled out for at least 8 weeks with a knee injury so Unai Emery will be praying Nacho Monreal is able to prove his fitness over the coming days.
The Spanish defender didn’t take part in any pre-season games due to a knee injury and missed the City defeat due to a lack of match practice so he’s also facing a race against time to be fit to face Chelsea.
Laurent Koscielny is another player who is certain to be unavailable for the Gunners as the French centre-back is still months away from returning from Achilles surgery that he undertook towards the end of last season.