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Chelsea boss Potter gives update on Mendy fitness and confirms Kovacic & Ziyech availability for Nottingham Forest clash

17:59 GMT 30/12/2022
Mendy Ziyech Kovacic Chelsea split
Chelsea manager Graham Potter has issued updates on the availability of Hakim Ziyech, Mateo Kovacic and Edouard Mendy.
  • All three players missing against Bournemouth
  • Kovacic, Ziyech available after World Cup exploits
  • Mendy missing due to shoulder problem

WHAT HAPPENED? All three players were absent from Chelsea's 2-0 victory over Bournemouth on their Premier League return. Kovacic and Ziyech were in recovery having represented Croatia and Morocco, respectively, in the World Cup third-place play-off in Qatar, while Mendy had a shoulder issue. Potter confirmed that the Senegal shot stopper would not be available for Forest either, but his two World Cup stars would be fit to return to action.

WHAT THEY SAID: “Both of those guys [Kovacic and Ziyech] will be back," Potter revealed in a press conference. "Mendy we are not sure, we’ll have to see in the next few days. He has a problem with his bone [around his shoulder] that he picked up at the World Cup. He may still need a bit of time."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Mendy's woes might not only keep out of action for Chelsea, but could also rule out a potential move to AC Milan, who were linked with the 'keeper as a replacement for their own injured shot stopper Mike Maignan. Kovacic could enter the fray almost immediately against Forest, given the Blues' scarcity in midfield, meanwhile Ziyech will be hoping for improved game time under Potter after his impressive performances for Morocco in Qatar.

IN THREE PHOTOS:

WHAT NEXT FOR CHELSEA? Potter's side travel to Forest on Sunday knowing any sort of slip up could damage their top four hopes even at this early stage. Chelsea currently sit in eighth, six points off the Champions League places with a game in hand.