Chelsea boss Graham Potter doesn’t believe Kepa Arrizabalaga will play again before the FIFA World Cup due to injury but has positive news about Mateo Kovacic.
The Spanish goalkeeper has endured a miserable spell at Stamford Bridge since his world-record arrival (€80 million) in 2018 and was replaced as the club’s number-one goalkeeper. However, due to a loss of form from Eduoard Mendy, Kepa was offered another opportunity which he took with both hands.
Kepa will officially not play for Chelsea again until after the World Cup…
Get well soon, @kepa_46.
A series of Man of the Match displays highlighted a sharp improvement in the Spaniard’s game but has suffered a cruel injury blow. He was subbed off at half-time during Chelsea’s 4-1 defeat at Brighton last weekend and Potter has confirmed that Kepa will be out until after the World Cup.
Potter gave a positive update on the fitness of Kovacic, who picked up a knock in the midweek Champions League clash with Dinamo Zagreb. However, the Blues boss claims the midfielder is in contention to face Arsenal in the league, while Carney Chukwuemeka has a hamstring problem.
Ahead of their London derby at the weekend, Potter updated reporters on the fitness of the trio, as he proclaimed (as per Football.London):
“Kepa, no. I don’t think he will play before the World Cup. Kovacic trained today so he will be in contention. Carney has a slight issue with his hamstring that we are getting to the bottom of.”
All eyes on Sunday!
Chelsea boss Graham Potter looking forward to Premier League clash with Arsenal
The Gunners will be hoping to maintain their place at the top of the table when they travel to Stamford Bridge on Sunday (6 November), which has been a happy hunting ground for them in recent years.
Potter claimed in his pre-match press conference that he is looking forward to taking on their London rivals this weekend. The former Brighton boss stated (as quoted by BBC Sport):
“If we don’t do that in any game [matching the intensity], it’s going to be a challenge for us. We have to be ready for a special game and we have to be ready to play the football to get us a result.”
On Chelsea’s recent home record against Arsenal, Potter added:
“Recently, it hasn’t gone so well if I’m not mistaken, so we have to do better there. It’s a London derby and anything can happen in the game. We want to be positive, play well and get the crowd involved in the game.”
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