Mateo Kovacic has trained his way back into contention to start on Saturday for Chelsea as they travel to face Tottenham in a classic London derby.
Chelsea have been lucky to have almost all of their players return from international duty unscathed and fit enough to be in contention to play in the London derby against Tottenham on Saturday. Maurizio Sarri though, gave further positive news as regards Mateo Kovacic, who was a doubt but seems to have worked his way into fitness and contention for a place in the starting eleven on Saturday.
Almost all of the starting eleven is locked down by players, who have established themselves under Sarri. Kepa Arrizabalaga is set to continue in goal and the back four shouldn’t change either, with Cesar Azpilicueta, Antonio Rudiger, David Luiz and Marcos Alonso the partners in crime in defence.
In midfield, Jorginho will form the bedrock, acting almost as the quarterback. Kovacic has found his way back into contention and Sarri iterated in the pre-match conference that the on-loan midfielder will likely be able to play. But, we expect Kovacic to be on the bench, with Ross Barkley taking his place.
“Kovacic is doing better. He had an ankle problem. Yesterday he did all the training with the team. I think he will be able to play.”
N’Golo Kante has recently signed a new bumper deal to prolong his stay at Chelsea. Sarri highlighted the midfielder’s importance and the Frenchman will likely complete the midfield three on Saturday, after he arrived well in time to prepare for the match.
“I don’t know the evolution of the deal for the new contract, but I think we can do it. I hope so. He played the last match with the national team on Sunday, so he was with us here on Tuesday which is very important for us.”
In attack, Eden Hazard’s name is set in stone, with the Belgian starting on the left. The right flank should be owned by Willian, with the Brazilian being preferred over Pedro in general by the manager. Alvaro Morata should lead Chelsea’s attack, with Olivier Giroud having to be content with a spot on the bench.