Chelsea team news vs Brentford as N’Golo Kante returns and Romelu Lukaku doubtful

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Of course, the international break has created some complications for Thomas Tuchel to deal with ahead of the west London derby in the Premier League against Brentford on Saturday, October 16.

Chelsea went into the break with a few injury concerns after they picked up their 3-1 victory over Southampton and they have come out the other side the same way.

The European Champions have a congested fixture list ahead of them with Tuchel’s side scheduled to play seven games in 21 days across three competitions.

It is something of a sprint until the November international break comes around. The Blues will hope that they remain top of the league at that point and there is a good chance this could happen with the favourable fixture list the west Londoners have in comparison to their Premier League title rivals.

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As Chelsea writer Adam Newson alluded to in his piece, it’s an opportunity to build momentum going into the long winter period, and a chance to open up a gap, however small, to those other sides in the mix for the Premier League title.

Without further ado, football.london provides the early team news for the Bees clash that will be taking place at the newish Brentford Community Stadium.

Players to return

The biggest positive that has come from the international break is the return of influential Blues duo in the form of N’Golo Kante and Reece James.

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Kante missed the Juventus and Southampton games after contracting Covid-19 in the days post the Man City loss.

Fortunately, it looks like the Frenchman could play a part in Saturday’s fixture now after being pictured in individual and team training during the early parts of the week.

Alongside this boost for the 30-year-old, he, alongside five of his Chelsea teammates, was shortlisted on the 30-man Ballon d’Or nominations list.



PORTO, PORTUGAL - MAY 29: Ngolo Kante and Reece James of Chelsea walk out to pitch prior to the UEFA Champions League Final between Manchester City and Chelsea FC at Estadio do Dragao on May 29, 2021 in Porto, Portugal. (Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images)
N’Golo Kante and Reece James were pictured in Chelsea training on Tuesday, October 12 ahead of the clash against Brentford

The latter of the pair James is also in contention for the weekend after also appearing in training during this week after suffering an ankle injury in the 1-0 Man City loss.

James was initially called up to the England squad for the October internationals but that came too early for him in his recovery- something that would have been viewed as a relief to manager Tuchel after his shock reaction to Gareth Southgate’s decision.

He joked: “When I saw it I thought that maybe Reece goes with the water polo team with England because right now he trains in the pool.

“I was quite surprised he was selected for the England football team. This will not happen as he is training in the pool right now. My understanding from the last information is that he cannot go. It must be a misunderstanding, nothing else.”

We will find out more soon as football.london’s Chelsea writer Sam Inkersole revealed in his Q and A this week.

“Obviously, Reece James is a doubt (we’ll have an update on his fitness on Friday) and Thiago Silva is highly unlikely to feature as he won’t be back from international duty until Thursday at the earliest,” he said.

Injuries and suspensions

As just mentioned above, veteran defender Silva will not make it in time for the game due to his involvement with Brazil over the international break.

The 37-year-old still could feature in the national teams’ World Cup Qualifier that will be taking place overnight (BST) as they face Uruguay at 1:30 pm.

Christian Pulisic still hasn’t returned to training yet, meaning it’s highly unlikely that we will see him involved in any capacity against the west Londoners.

Romelu Lukaku and Antonio Rudiger are both slight doubts with the pair picking up minor setbacks during the October international period.



Romelu Lukaku and Antonio Rudiger are doubts for Chelsea's match against Brentford (Image: ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP via Getty Images)
Romelu Lukaku and Antonio Rudiger are doubts for Chelsea’s match against Brentford (Image: ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP via Getty Images)

“Romelu Lukaku is suffering from muscle fatigue, same as Eden Hazard,” Roberto Martinez said ahead of the Nations League third-place game against Italy.

“They’re not in best conditions to play. They’re leaving the national team camp due to these problems – I don’t know how long it will take.”

On the German, it is understood that he couldn’t face Macedonia ‘due to a back problem’ but he is more likely out of the aforementioned duo to make it back in time for the game.

The state of the squad injury wise will be discussed in more depth in Tuchel’s Friday press conference which will be covered by Newson and Inkersole on football.london.

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Decisions Tuchel has to make

With all the injury news in mind, our other Chelsea writer Scott Trotter has taken a deeper look into the three possible ways Chelsea could line up without their club-record signing upfront.

Options such as playing the same team that featured on the opening day against Crystal Palace came up in his piece but the taking no risks option was more telling.

Here’s what he wrote on that potential conundrum.

“Antonio Rudiger didn’t train on Sunday as we await to see whether he features for Germany against North Macedonia on Monday evening, which will likely see Azpilicueta slot into the back three alongside Christensen and Chalobah.

“In turn, that would mean Callum Hudson-Odoi would come into the side at wing-back, despite getting a start in a more advanced position against Southampton.

“The weekend may come to soon for either Kante or Pulisic, with the former only returning to individual training on Friday after his isolation period.

“XI: Mendy; Azpilicueta, Christensen, Chalobah; Hudson-Odoi, Kovacic, Jorginho, Chilwell; Havertz, Werner, Mount.”

Source by Football London

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