A View From The Bridge
Team News: Twin injury boost for Chelsea as midfield stars return to training
Mateo Kovacic and Denis Zakaria return to Chelsea training ahead of Chelsea vs West Ham United
The return of Mateo Kovacic and Denis Zakaria from injuries will please Chelsea supporters ahead of Saturday’s lunchtime match against London rivals West Ham United.
Both players have been struggling with injuries (h/tFootball.London), but their return will surely take some pressure off Graham Potter and will give him more options against Hammers. This augurs well for a side that is seeking to discover its rhythm.
Injuries in the middle of the field led Chelsea to sign Enzo Fernandez from Benfica in a British record transfer in the January transfer window. Kovacic has endured a difficult season and has just started just seven Premier League matches and missed the games against Fulham and Liverpool games. However, he could be in the squad against West Ham.
Zakaria, who was acquired from Juventus on loan in the summer, tried to make an impact despite has struggled with injuries. He will hope that the second coming in Blue will be kinder in the months to come.
Zakaria doesn’t have enough time left on his loan to demonstrate his value, and Potter hasn’t shown enough faith in him. The Juventus man will hope that a series of striking performances can change the Blues’ manager’s mind.
Kovacic will certainly be a key player for Potter, the Croatian has 18 months left on his contract and there haven’t been talks over the renewal of his contract. (Transfermarkt). It was also rumoured that the 28-year-old wants to leave the team in the summer to pursue different challenges, while Juventus had reportedly offered Zakaria as part of a Kovacic trade.
The former Brighton Hove & Albion manager should deploy Kovacic as a holding midfielder and allow Enzo Fernandez to play as an offensive midfielder so that the midfield can contribute creativity. However, Chelsea should monitor his performance until the end of the season.
Conor Gallaher couldn’t support Fernandez against Fulham, but giving the Croatian a chance could be pivotal. And as a stand-in, the Swiss may add new legs to those worn-out legs.
More Chelsea News:
- Chelsea yet to make a decision on Juventus loanee Denish Zakaria
- Borussia Dortmund welcome back several stars ahead of UEFA Champions League clash vs Chelsea
- Chelsea hire All Blacks mental skills coach Gilbert Enoka on a short-term basis
But since neither are fully well fit to play the entire 90 minutes of the game, they will both could come as substitutes against Hammers.
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