Chelsea fans have expressed their delight with Reece James returning to the team’s starting XI for their match against AFC Bournemouth. The two teams will clash in a Premier League encounter on Tuesday, December 27.
James missed each of the Blues’ last six league matches due to a knee injury, which also led to him missing the 2022 FIFA World Cup. The 23-year-old’s last appearance for the club was in a UEFA Champions League encounter back in the second week of November.
Over the last two seasons, Chelsea have often looked a better team when the right-back has started for them. As a result, Blues fans were undoubtedly pleased to see him return to the line-up. Many took to Twitter to enthusiastically respond to James’ return, with one of them writing:
“REECE JAMES STARTING 😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭 IM CRYING TEARS OF HAPPINESS”
REECE JAMES STARTINGIM CRYING TEARS OF HAPPINESS
Another fan simply tweeted:
“Only excited to watch Reece James play”
Only excited to watch Reece James play
Here are some more reactions to the update:
Reece James starts! We are baaaccckkk!!
Also excited about Zakaria starting. Come on @ChelseaFC!!!
Reece James back = Chelsea win
@ParimatchGlobal Happy to see @ReeceJames back 🏾
Reece James to score tonight against Bournemouth
James has played 11 times across all competitions for Chelsea this term, recording two goals and two assists. The Blues have won seven of those matches, while winning just thrice in 10 games without the Englishman.
Chelsea name strong starting XI for clash with Bournemouth
Reece James’ inclusion certainly seems to have brought some excitement within the Chelsea fanbase. There were also a few other big calls made by Graham Potter while picking his XI for the clash against AFC Bournemouth.
Cesar Azpilicueta and Conor Gallagher started the Blues’ last Premier League match, a 1-0 defeat against Newcastle United, before the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Both players are on the bench for the match against the Cherries, with James and Denis Zakaria taking their places.
Tuesday’s game will mark Zakaria’s first ever Premier League appearance. The Juventus loanee notably started the Blues’ final UEFA Champions League group-stage match against Dinamo Zagreb and even found the back of the net.
Armando Broja also started against Newcastle, but is currently on the sidelines due to a long-term injury. Rather than start another striker in Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Potter chose to go with Kai Havertz. The German will be flanked by Raheem Sterling and Christian Pulisic.
Chelsea line-up vs. Bournemouth: Kepa Arrizabalaga; Marc Cucurella, Kalidou Koulibaly, Thiago Silva, Reece James; Denis Zakaria, Jorginho; Raheem Sterling, Mason Mount, Christian Pulisic; Kai Havertz.
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