Sixth place Chelsea take on league-leaders Arsenal this weekend, and we will have to do so without our Player of the Month nominee goalkeeper. In fact, Kepa Arrizabalaga is not expected to play again before the World Cup, which is a real shame given his excellent form. Hopefully the month of sitting on the bench has rebooted Édouard Mendy into the most excellent goalkeeper he had been in 2021.
And that’s just some of the cheerful team news from this morning, with Carney Chukwuemeka also remaining out and Ben Chilwell still just waiting for his scans.
“Kepa [...] it’s his plantar fascia, so I don’t think he will play before the World Cup. Kovačić trained today, so he’s in contention. [Chukwuemeka] has a slight issue with his hamstring that we are getting to the bottom of.”
“[Chilwell] is going to go for a scan later this afternoon, so we’ll find out how he is then and there will be an update tomorrow. [...] I can’t say it looks positive. But until we get the scan, it’s difficult to say.”
Thankfully we can overcome these physical limitations and problems through sheer willpower and belief, and with the tremendous confidence boost of Wednesday’s all-important win over Dinamo Zagreb, we are sure to do so. It definitely won’t feel like hitting a massive iceberg yet again, just like last weekend, right?
“The fact we’ve all been playing so much, it’s almost like rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.
“[We] were disappointed at the weekend because we didn’t play well and lost the game. It’s about the response and doing better. They boys have done that really well. It was a good performance against Zagreb, and we have to take that into Arsenal.
Well, let’s hope our hearts will indeed go on to get a win against Arsenal at Stamford Bridge, which, shockingly, we haven’t done since 2018.
“So we have to do better there, that’s for sure. It’s a London derby and anything can happen in the game. It’s that type of occasion. We want to be positive, play well, be on the front foot and get the crowd involved in the game. They’re our 12th player and that’s important for us.”
“[...] It’s whether the glass half full or half empty [but] when you understand the mess of the fixtures and all the injuries we’ve had on the way and all the challenges it brings, we’ve done ok. But there is room to improve I would say.”
“[We] are looking forward to the game and taking a little more pain away.”
-Graham Potter; source: Football.London
In articulo mortis, caelitus mihi vires.