Chelsea defender Reece James is unlikely to play in tomorrow’s must-win game against Liverpool.
The Blues head to Anfield in 10th place, with Liverpool only one spot further up the table. It might not have the glamour of previous ties between the two teams but make no mistake, this is a huge clash. And according to Football London, Chelsea will be without a host of players for the lunchtime kick-off.
One of those looks set to be James. Having injured himself just after Christmas, the 23-year-old has now reportedly returned to first team training. However, it’s claimed that the right-back is ‘unlikely’ to have any kind of involvement at Anfield.
In an injury list reminiscent of some of Liverpool’s throughout the season, James joins as many as nine more of his teammates set to miss tomorrow’s match.
Ben Chilwell, N’Golo Kante, Wesley Fofana, Denis Zakaria, Christian Pulisic, Raheem Sterling, Edouard Mendy and Armando Broja are all reportedly out. Joao Felix will also continue to serve his three-match suspension.
There was still some good news for Graham Potter, though. Football London claim that Kai Havertz is back in training, with Ruben Loftus-Cheek also set to return against Liverpool.
Chelsea looking light for Anfield test
When you look at Chelsea’s injury list, there’s no wonder they’re signing players for fun in the transfer market.
Still, it speaks to the quality that Potter has at his disposal that he’s able to put out a strong looking side, despite the injuries.
Having said that, Liverpool need to push home this advantage tomorrow. They do have injuries of their own, and in key areas too, but by and large Jurgen Klopp has a lot of his big players available.
Should he play, it might be wise to stick him down Liverpool’s left. Without James’ pace and aggression, there could be an opening for Darwin up against Cesar Azpilicueta’s creaking legs.
Because as good as Nunez is, James would fancy his chances of stopping him. The England man is a top player. Liverpool’s own Virgil van Dijk said as much recently, calling James ‘outstanding’ via The Overlap back in November. Make it count, Reds.