The Chelsea squad landed in Malmö, Sweden late last night, and while there were the expected 21 players on the plane, there was one name missing from the confirmed traveling squad.
N’Golo Kanté has stayed behind in London, presumably as yet another maintenance day — just like when he missed the match against Norwich City ten days ago. The day before that game he had complained about muscle tightness, and was therefore kept out of action (and not entirely by choice either).
Once considered indestructible, Kanté has been dealing with fairly frequent injuries for about the past two-three years, but it looks like we’ve finally learned our lesson in not overloading him, with the hope of making sure that he can be fit for the games in which we need him the most. He’s started just four Premier League games so far this season, but they have included the games against both Liverpool and Manchester City. He also started on Saturday, away to Newcastle, playing a little over an hour.
In Kanté’s stead, young Harvey Vale has been included in the squad, which is as follows:
GOALKEEPERS: Kepa, Bettinelli, Mendy
DEFENDERS: Rüdiger, Christensen, Silva, Chalobah, Sarr
WING-BACKS: Alonso, Chilwell, James, Azpilicueta
MIDFIELDERS: Jorginho, Loftus-Cheek, Saúl, Barkley, Vale
ATTACKERS: Pulisic, Hudson-Odoi, Ziyech, Havertz
COBHAM TREATMENT ROOM FIVE-A-SIDE CHAMPIONS: Lukaku, Werner, Mount, Kovačić, Kanté