Proper football returns this weekend with Chelsea looking to resume our unbeaten start to the season as Aston Villa come to town on Saturday night. It’s the first of a grueling seven-match stretch over the next three weeks before the next international boredom break at the start of October.
The current international break hasn’t been without its usual slate of injuries and other concerns. N’Golo Kanté was already injured before France made him travel just to confirm it, while both Romelu Lukaku (thigh) and Christian Pulisic (ankle) have now joined him in the treatment room. Lukaku had been playing through this injury for some time, so his status may be more precautionary than anything, but the other two are once again worrying situations.
Meanwhile, Thiago Silva might be ineligible, depending on how staunchly annoying FIFA want to be in imposing their five-day ban for players who were not released for international duty. The league’s still hopeful of being able to make this issue go away, but we won’t know for sure until later today or tomorrow.
Oh, and Reece James is definitely ineligible due to the red card he received against Liverpool.
On the other hand, we did add the likes of Ross Barkley, Lewis Baker, and Malang Sarr to our Champions League squad, and presumably our Premier League squad as well. Youngsters Tariq Uwakwe and Xavier Mbuyamba have also been training with the first-team during the break. And of course Saúl Ñíguez is ready for his first game as a Blue.