Chelsea injury news and expected return dates ahead of Man United clash: James, Rudiger, Kovacic

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Chelsea travel to Manchester United on Thursday evening looking to build on Sunday’s 1-0 win over West Ham. The victory left the Blues seven points clear of fifth-placed Tottenham with a game in hand; which all but secured them a place in the top four come the end of the season.

The west London outfit have little to play for in the league, but Thomas Tuchel will be keen to build momentum ahead of next month’s FA Cup final against Liverpool. Meanwhile, Man United’s slim hopes of finishing fourth appear to be over following back-to-back defeats to Liverpool and Arsenal.

However, regardless of the circumstances, both teams will be desperate to win in a fixture that has become an iconic part of the Premier League season.

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But who will Tuchel have at his disposal for the clash? Injuries have played havoc at Stamford Bridge this season, and they remain an issue. With that in mind, football.london takes a look at the latest.

Reece James and Antonio Rudiger

James was left out of the Chelsea side that beat West Ham on Sunday, Tuchel confirmed before the match that this was due to a recurring injury problem. Meanwhile, Rudiger hasn’t been in the Blues’ last two matchday squads due to groin and hamstring issues.

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What the Tuchel has said: “Toni Rudiger was in training yesterday (Tuesday), so was Reece James, we have another training coming and hopefully they will be fine.”

Expected return date: Manchester United (A) – Thursday, April 28

Andreas Christensen

Christensen missed the win over West Ham due to stomach cramps, the Denmark international hasn’t been in the best form of late but his return would be a welcome boost for the Blues.

However, it remains unclear whether the 26-year-old will be declared fit for Thursday’s trip to Manchester.

What Tuchel has said: “Andreas needs another examination, but hopefully he will train.”

Expected return date: Manchester United (A) – Thursday, April 28

Ben Chilwell

Chilwell suffered a cruciate ligament injury in November that is set to keep him out for the rest of the season. Tuchel has suggested that he could return to training before the end of the campaign, but a return to first-team action seems unlikely.

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What Tuchel has said: “Ben will be able to join in team training with the youth, this will be his next step in the weeks, and hopefully, he can join our training at the end of the season.”

Expected return date: Summer 2022

Mateo Kovacic and Callum Hudson-Odoi

Kovacic hasn’t featured for the Blues since the FA Cup semi-final win over Crystal Palace on April 17 after sustaining an ankle ligament injury. Meanwhile, Hudson-Odoi has also been out of action for some time, however, the trip to Old Trafford has come too soon for the duo.

What Tuchel has said: Kova will be out and Callum will be out.”

Expected return date: Unknown.

Ross Barkley

Barkley was expected to return from illness for the cup semi-final with Palace earlier this month but he wasn’t named in the party that travelled to Wembley. However, he was on the bench in their subsequent two matchday squads but won’t be available for the clash with United.

What Tuchel has said: Ross Barkley is sick and will not be in the squad.”

Expected return date: Unknown.

Source by Football London

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