Chelsea will welcome Manchester City for a mouth-watering encounter at Stamford Bridge on Saturday, as both clubs look hungry to collect three points.
Danny Drinkwater remains out of contention for Chelsea and is yet to make his debut, but besides that, Antonio Conte has no major concerns. Pedro is also understood to be nursing an injury but he did make the bench against Atletico Madrid. As of now, the player could be in line for a start against Manchester City.
Eden Hazard made a colossal comeback to the team as he was one of the star performers in Madrid. David Luiz is still banned after his red card against Arsenal and is expected to return after the international break. However, the centre-back did play against Atletico as his suspension only stands for domestic matches.
At the pre-match press conference, Conte was quite positive as he spoke about the way Hazard linked up on field with Alvaro Morata in Madrid. He also confirmed that Morata will be available against City.
“Yes, he’s fully fit [Morata] and in contention for tomorrow. For tomorrow, only Drinkwater is not available. The others are in contention for tomorrow’s game,” said the Italian manager. He also spoke of Hazard’s brilliant comeback and the importance of giving adequate him time to recover.
“Last season he had an important season, he played very well, he performed like a top player. Now we managed his recovery very well. We respected the right time before giving him the responsibility to play a big game from the start,” opined Conte.
Manchester City, on the other hand, received a major set-back as news emerged of Sergio Aguero’s car accident. The Argentine has broken his ribs and is expected to be out for a considerable period. City will also be without some key defenders as they travel to Stamford Bridge.
Benjamin Mendy could be out for a few months on the sidelines with a cruciate knee ligament damage, while Vincent Kompany will miss out due to a calf injury. Ilkay Gundogan is back in contention after recovering from the knock he picked up in the Carabao Cup.
Meanwhile, Danilo did not play in the Champions League game against Shakhtar Donetsk midweek, and could be one option to replace Mendy at left-back.
City boss Pep Guardiola seemed rather gloomy, speaking at the pre-match press conference. When asked about Kompany’s situation, he said, “No way [will Kompany be fit to play against Chelsea]. He didn’t make one training session with us since one month ago, the Gibraltar game.”
When questions arose about Aguero, Guardiola said, “I don’t know, I am not a doctor, I don’t know exactly what he has. It was an accident. Fortunately, he will come back and recover as soon as possible “It was his day off, I’m not the police. I would prefer to be with Mendy, with Kompany and with Sergio Aguero [but] we will play with eleven.”