After a six-week break and the luxury of following relatively lower-stakes football at the World Cup, the Premier League and Chelsea are back, with all the stresses and drama that entails. Are you ready? Are we ready? Let’s hope so!
Chelsea return later than most, with our game not scheduled until Tuesday, the day after the more traditional Boxing Day slate of fixtures. Not sure that extra day is great, given the normally congested holiday schedule, but it is what it is. We should well rested in any case!
What we are not however is well uninjured, with most of those who were carrying injuries before the break still carrying them. They’ve mostly made progress, sure, but other than Reece James, Kepa Arrizabalaga, and Carney Chukwuemeka, they all remain out. And they’ve even been joined by Armando Broja, who’s out for the season after ACL surgery, and re-joined by Wesley Fofana, who re-aggravated his own knee problem, though isn’t expected to be out for more than a few more weeks. N’Golo Kanté, Ben Chilwell, and Ruben Loftus-Cheek remain out, while Mateo Kovačić and Hakim Ziyech probably won’t be fully available due to their late involvements at the World Cup.