Having survived yet another fortnight in the wasteland of an international break, Chelsea return to the business at hand, as we host Southampton on Saturday to begin a run of alternating Premier League and Champions League games that will take us into the next international break in mid-November. That’s seven games (four domestic, three European) in three weeks, if you’re counting.
Fortunately, the squad’s health is looking relatively okay, though the likely absence of goalkeeper Édouard Mendy for at least this weekend is (a bit of) a concern. The new arrival picked up a hamstring tweak while away on international break, and while at last check he wasn’t expected to miss too much time, he’s still probably going to sit this one out.
Other, lesser concerns on the radar include Ben Chilwell (foot/heel injury flaring up just as he got over whatever non-COVID illness he had last week) and N’Golo Kanté (missed France match yesterday with “muscle fatigue”). Meanwhile, both Christian Pulisic and Hakim Ziyech should be fit for proper action at long last. Pulisic actually made his return before the international break as a second-half substitute while Ziyech got an hour in with Morocco last week before returning to Chelsea to finish up his rehab and get ready for his debut ... soon?
Frank Lampard will probably provide an update in his press conference on Friday, but until then, choose wisely.