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Madueke, Caicedo, Badiashile – Latest Chelsea injury news and return dates for Aston Villa clash



Chelsea injury news as Mauricio Pochettino works without a large group of key players ahead of hosting Aston Villa at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.

Chelsea have had a full week to prepare for facing Aston Villa on Sunday as Mauricio Pochettino sets about kickstarting his time as manager. The Blues have taken just five points from their opening five games, winning once – at home to Luton – as well as now going goalless in their last two.

It is a continuation of the poor form that has plagued them for the past 12 months and stretches back to uncharacteristic levels of inconsistency that started in January 2022. With £1billion spent – though over £400million worth of players are unavailable due to injury – there had been an expectation that Pochettino would turn things around.

Luckily for Pochettino he has been afforded seven days to work on his side ahead of hosting Aston Villa on Sunday. Unai Emery’s side have the added challenge of balancing domestic committments to newfound Europa Conference League fixtures as well, handing another potential lifeline to the Blues.

The Argentine is still without a big group of key players though and here, Sportskick has the latest on those that are doubts for the game. Starting with those that missed Bournemouth as somewhat of a triple surprise…

Noni Madueke

Noni Madueke was omitted from the matchday squad against Bournemouth due to a muscle problem – an issue which he picked up while away with the England Under-21s during the international break. Madueke returned to Chelsea training on Tuesday.

What Pochettino has said: “Noni came from the national team with a muscle problem.”

Expected return date: Aston Villa (H) – September 24

Marc Cucurella

Cucurella missed the Bournemouth tie due to illness. The Spain international returned to Chelsea training on Tuesday.

What Pochettino has said: “Cucurella, fever, yesterday he was at home and today continues still.”

Expected return date: Aston Villa (H) – September 24

Moises Caicedo

Moises Caicedo was pictured with a strapped-up right thigh while away with Ecuador over the international break, suggesting that the midfielder was nursing a knock. He was seen with what appeared to be some blue kinesiology tape strapped around his knee – a medical practice that assists movement and muscles around a joint.

Upon his return to Chelsea, he trained as normal at Cobham. However, he was rested against the Cherries and will undergo further assessments on Monday. It is expected that the 21-year-old will be available for this weekend’s Premier League clash against Aston Villa, however he was not spotted in training on Thursday.

What Pochettino has said: “Caicedo came [back from international break] with a knock in his knee. We will assess tomorrow.”

Expected return date: Aston Villa (H) – September 24

Carney Chukwuemeka

Chukwuemeka was the only goalscorer in the side’s 3-1 loss to West Ham, but a knee injury just before half-time saw him leave the London Stadium on crutches. Sportskick understands that Chukwuemeka was expected to be out for a possible six weeks. However, an earlier return could be on the cards.

On Instagram, a story from Noni Madueke showed Chukwuemeka back in full training gear and outside after the player had hinted himself he was close to being fit.

What Pochettino has said: “I think it is not an issue that will take months, maybe weeks. I hope we can be as soon as possible with the team again. He scored and then he got injured. Things happen that you cannot manage.

“A little bit unlucky but I think he can become stronger because he feels the way he needs to work and compete, he is young and for sure he will be much better when we start again.”

Expected return date: Unknown

Romeo Lavia

Lavia is yet to feature for Chelsea, with Pochettino eager for him to catch up to the rest of the squad’s fitness levels before getting involved. The Belgian midfielder is said to have suffered a muscle tear on his ankle during the international break which could delay his debut for the Blues further. understands that the ankle injury is set to keep Lavia out of action for at least one month, meaning he may not feature until at least October.

What Pochettino has said: “We are really disappointed because he was training really well last week in the international break. He twisted his ankle and now we are waiting for the results on Monday from the doctor. We hope it’s not a big issue but in the last week, he has not been training with the team.

“It’s a sad situation because he was nearly fit to be involved again with the team. Yes, now we need to wait and hopefully, it’s not a big issue for him and the team of course.

“We don’t know [when he’ll be back] because we need to assess him. He twisted his ankle and now we need to assess him. We do not know the time for him to recover.”

Expected return date: Unknown

Armando Broja

Broja didn’t return to the Chelsea squad this weekend despite comments from the Albanian FA over the international break suggesting otherwise. The president, Armando Duka, insisted the forward would be involved in the Blues’ Premier League clash against Bournemouth.

However, Pochettino disagreed with the statement in his pre-match press conference and the striker was not named in the matchday squad.

What Pochettino has said: “Who said that [he could feature on the bench this weekend to face Bournemouth]? Who is the Albanian FA? The coach? The president? I didn’t hear. It’s not [true]. Not yet.”

Expected return date: Aston Villa (H) – September 24

Benoit Badiashile

Badiashile missed the opening weeks of the season with a hamstring injury picked up at the end of the 2022/23 season, but a return seems close. The club’s official social media account posted a video of Badiashile back in training action on Monday, though Pochettino confirmed he would not be ready to return just yet.

Now, Nathan Gissing reports that the Frenchman has taken another step backwards in his recovery and is not longer training with his teammates. “Chelsea defender Benoît Badiashile sustained a minor setback in his recovery from a hamstring injury at the end of last week,” he wrote. “He has now returned back to individual training, but is hoping to resume team training again next week.

What Pochettino has said: “Not yet [ready to play]. The same situation [as Broja].”

Expected return date: October

Reece James

Still recovering from the hamstring injury he suffered in training, James updated supporters with a message on his Instagram claiming he’ll be ‘back soon’. He was also spotted at Stamford Bridge during the Luton match sat alongside Todd Boehly, John Terry and Lavia.

There is growing expectation that the right-back will be back after the September international break, having posted a picture of himself in training gear with the caption: “Back to it soon”.

What Pochettino has said: “He’s recovering well. I don’t know if he’s close or not because we assess him every single day but he’s started to do things on the pitch with the ball. He’s really well. He’s desperate to play for the team. Yes, I hope it’s close, also so he can be available before the next international break.”

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Confirmed Chelsea line up vs Newcastle: Lesley Ugochukwu replaces Moises Caicedo as Palmer start with Gallagher in Midfield #NEWCHE




Mauricio Pochettino makes two changes to his Chelsea team for today’s game at Newcastle.

Benoit Badiashile comes in for his compatriot Axel Disasi in the heart of defence, while Lesley Ugochukwu replaces Moises Caicedo.

Otherwise, it is the same starting XI that began the 4-4 draw against Manchester City prior to the international break

That means Reece James, Thiago Silva and Marc Cucurella join Badiashile at the back, ahead of Robert Sanchez. Enzo Fernandezand Conor Gallagher continue in midfield, with Raheem Sterling and Cole Palmer supplying the width in attack, either side of Nicolas Jackson.

WhatsApp Image 2023 11 25 at 13 53 04

Caicedo and Levi Colwill, who was injured during the recent break, are among those named on the bench.

Alexander Isak returns for Newcastle after injury, but there is no Sean Longstaff.

Chelsea: Sanchez; James (c), Thiago Silva, Badiashile, Cucurella, Enzo, Ugochukwu, Gallagher, Palmer, Jackson, Sterling

Subs: Petrovic, Colwill, Disasi, Maatsen, Caicedo, Matos, Madueke, Mudryk, Broja

Newcastle: Pope, Livramento, Lascelles (c), Schar, Trippier, Guimaraes, Miley, Almiron, Joelinton, Isak, Gordon

Subs: Dubravka, Gillespie, Karius, Dummett, Ritchie, Diallo, Murphy, Ndiweni, Parkinson

Referee Simon Hooper

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How Palmer and Reece James Have Complemented Each Other in Chelsea’s Lineup This Season




Reece James just returned to action for Chelsea this season after recovering from an injury that kept him on the sidelines for weeks but the synergy between the Chelsea Skipper and Cole Palmer has emerged as a pivotal factor in Chelsea’s recent impressive performance.

Their relationship on the pitch showcases a dynamic partnership that has been significantly impacting the team’s overall performance.

One key element of this collaboration is the strategic placement of Cole Palmer in the middle, operating behind the striker.

This positioning capitalizes on Palmer’s unique skill set, acknowledging that he may not possess the blistering pace or sheer physicality to excel in isolated one-on-one situations with defenders.

Instead, Palmer’s strength lies in his ability to receive the ball on the half-turn, exhibiting clever passes that ignite the team’s attacking prowess.

Palmer’s fluid style, characterized by his adept use of pockets and floating movements, creates a symbiotic relationship with Reece James.

James, a versatile right-back, benefits from Palmer’s strategic play by having the freedom to occupy the wing.

This tactical understanding not only maximizes Palmer’s strengths but also amplifies James’s impact on the game.

What becomes evident in this partnership is Palmer essentially playing as a number 10, operating in a role that aligns with his capabilities and enhances the team’s attacking dynamics.

By strategically placing Palmer in a central position, Chelsea leverages his playmaking abilities, allowing him to orchestrate the flow of the game and provide crucial link-up play between the midfield and the strikers.

The tactical harmony between Palmer and James is not just about individual brilliance but also about how their styles complement each other seamlessly.

Palmer’s intelligent movements and distribution empower James to venture forward with confidence, creating a fluid and dynamic attacking unit for Chelsea

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Chelsea eye double £156m transfer swoop as Todd Boehly faces Saudi Arabia questioning




Catch all the biggest Chelsea headlines, including updates on Khvicha Kvaratskhelia, Todd Boehly’s questionable transfers and Benoit Badiashile

Victor Osimhen and Khvicha Kvaratskhelia
Chelsea are interested in Napoli duo Victor Osimhen and Khvicha Kvaratskhelia

Here is your morning Chelsea digest on Friday, November 24.

Kvaratskhelia interest
Chelsea have reportedly joined the race to sign Napoli superstar Khvicha Kvaratskhelia amid ongoing uncertainty over his long-term future with the Italian champions.

According to ESPN, Chelsea have joined the likes of Manchester City, Real Madrid, Barcelona and Newcastle United in holding an interest in Kvaratskhelia. Sources have told the outlet that Napoli value their star player in excess of €100million (£87million) and are hoping to fend off interest with a new and improved contract.

However, as the November international break has proven, Financial Fair Play (FFP) regulations aren’t to be messed with and the Blues must get their finances in order to avoid any additional punishment. Todd Boehly has spent over £1billion on new signings since completing his takeover in 2022 and currently has a net spend of over £692million.

Kvaratskhelia isn’t the only Napoli player on Chelsea’s radar, with Victor Osimhen also on Pochettino’s list. However, the pair are worth a combined €180m (£156m) by CIES Football Observatory.

Saudi Arabia transfers questioned
Former Premier League defender Gary Neville has questioned Chelsea’s transfer dealings with Saudi Arabian clubs last summer amid the ongoing threat of Financial Fair Play (FFP) regulations.

Ahead of the 2023/24 season, three players left Stamford Bridge to join the Saudi Pro League. N’Golo Kante’s seven-year stay in west London came to an end with a move to Al-Ittihad while Kalidou Koulibaly and Edouard Mendy joined Al-Hilal and Al-Ahli respectively.

Speaking on the Stick to Football podcast, brought to you by Sky Bet, he said: “I have no problem with Saudi Arabia setting up their league and spending as much money as they wish, but I did call for some sort of investigation into the deals Chelsea were doing when they were dumping players onto Saudi Arabian teams at the start of the season.

“It felt as though, to me, it needed a little bit of a look at – you can smell that something is not right.”

Badiashile going nowhere
Chelsea supporters have nothing to worry about in regards to Benoit Badiashile amid reported interest from AC Milan and AS Roma, understands.

According to Calciomercato, the two Italian clubs are keen on signing the central defender ahead of the January transfer window. Milan are without Pierre Kalulu and Marco Pellegrino due to injuries and are doing their best to replace them in the winter.

The report says that the Italian duo want to sign Badiashile on loan, but the defender will be staying at Stamford Bridge for the foreseeable future, understands. Badiashile’s focus is on Chelsea and getting back into the first-team and he has no intention to move elsewhere at this moment in time.

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