Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel hopes to have N’Golo Kante healthy and ready for Saturday’s Premier League match against Wolverhampton Wanderers at Stamford Bridge.
The Frenchman missed the recent loss to Everton owing to a “minor” injury, and his return would be timely after Jorginho was forced to leave Goodison Park.
Cesar Azpilicueta may still be perplexed as to how Jordan Pickford saved his goal-bound shot last Sunday, but the Spaniard should still start alongside Antonio Rudiger and Thiago Silva in this match.
The wide-area positions of Reece James and Marcos Alonso seem secure, and if Jorginho is ruled out, Kante may expect to join up with Mateo Kovacic in the engine room, demoting Ruben Loftus-Cheek to the bench
Mason Mount is unlikely to lose his starting spot in the final third, but Christian Pulisic is battling hard to unseat Timo Werner and might start on Saturday.
Everton coach Frank Lampard must have dreamed of a priceless triumph against the club he loved as a player but deceived as a manager, while his Stamford Bridge successor Thomas Tuchel could only watch frustratedly from the stands.
Richarlison’s goal after the break proved crucial, but praise the tenacious Jordan Pickford, who put his body and face on the line to deny Cesar Azpilicueta and keep the Toffees ahead.
Chelsea are still in third place, but having won only one of their last four Premier League games, they have a three-point lead over rivals Arsenal, who are on the rise.
Taking 12 points from 12 games against Wolves, Leeds United, Leicester City and Watford are crucial for a team whose future has been cast into question after claims that Roman Abramovich has softened his position on outstanding loans.
While such off-field concerns are likely to cross the thoughts of players and coaches, Tuchel must lead Chelsea to only their ninth home victory in the 2021-22 Premier League season, and they haven’t scored at Stamford Bridge since September.