our Chelsea players are in a race to be fit for Sunday’s home Premier League match against Aston Villa.
Moises Caicedo picked up a knee injury on international duty with Ecuador recently but said he was confident it would not prevent him from featuring this weekend, having sat out the goalless draw with Bournemouth.
Armando Broja, meanwhile, ruptured his ACL last December in a friendly against Villa and will be assessed on Saturday as to whether he can make his return — nine months later — against the same opponents.
“We need to assess Moi [Caicedo] tomorrow”, Chelsea boss Mauricio Pochettino said on Friday. “He was training in a different way to the team.
“We need one day more, maybe, for Broja. Maybe Armando can be involved. Many players are starting to be available in the games. Broja will maybe be involved at the weekend, but it’s after nine months of not competing.”
Asked whether Broja can solve Chelsea’s need for goals, Pochettino replied: “We cannot put the responsibility on him. It must be on the team, the collective effort.”
Marc Cucurella and Noni Madueke could also return for Chelsea against Villa, with Pochettino saying: “Marc suffered a fever. He is back in training. Noni, yes.”
When asked about the reported setback to Benoit Badiashile’s return from injury, he said: “It was a different muscle.
“A different thing, but it was minor. He is training with Reece James. I have seen Reece and [Carney] Chukwuemeka and also [Trevoh] Chalobah. They are very close to starting to train with the team.”
However, Chelsea are still without the likes of Christopher Nkunku, Romeo Lavia, Wesley Fofana and Marcus Bettinelli.
Chelsea predicted XI (4-2-3-1): Sanchez; Gusto, Disasi, Silva, Colwill; Fernandez, Ugochukwu; Sterling, Gallagher, Mudryk; Jackson
Doubts: Broja, Caicedo, Madueke, Cucurella
Out: Badiashile, Bettinelli, Chalobah, Chukwuemeka, Fofana, James, Nkunku, Lavia
Time and date: 2pm, Sunday September 24, 2023
Venue: Stamford Bridge