Ahead of Chelsea hosting Aston Villa at Stamford Bridge in the Premier League, Graham Potter confirmed that several players will be back in his squad for Saturday's match following injury or illness, but admitted there are concerns over the availability of Christian Pulisic, Wesley Fofana and Raheem Sterling.

There have been recent signs that the abundance of injury problems which Graham Potter has needed to manage earlier this season were starting to ease and, speaking to the media ahead of Saturday's visit of Aston Villa to Stamford Bridge, the Chelsea head coach discussed the returns of several members of his squad, including two who returned from international duty suffering from illnesses.

Chelsea vs Aston Villa Sterling, James, Fofana and Havertz injury update

There was mixed news from Potter following the international break, as he updated on the fitness of Kai Havertz and Reece James, who both returned from their national teams early due to injury and illness, while Christian Pulisic picked up a problem while away too.

He also revealed the latest on the recoveries of Thiago Silva, Cesar Azpilicueta, Raheem Sterling and Wesley Fofana from pre-existing injuries.

'Kai was a fever, but he’s recovered now, so he’s trained the last couple of days,' said Potter. 'Reece as well. Reece has had the last two training sessions with us, so providing there’s no reaction he should be available for tomorrow as well.

'Thiago and Azpi are still away. Raheem’s coming back, he will miss the game but I think he’s got more of a chance for Tuesday. He’s close. Wesley is going to miss the game because his hamstring is still a little bit tight. I think there’s a chance for Tuesday with him.

'Christian Pulisic is the only one we’re not sure about really, he’s had a heavy cold returning from international duty. So he’s the one we’ve just got to check on.'

Chelsea vs Aston Villa Mount injury update

Another player returning from injury is Mason Mount, who hasn't been involved since the trip to Tottenham just over a month ago, but it seems we are close to seeing him back in action for the Blues as Potter discussed the midfielder's difficult season so far.

'Mason has trained and he’s available. Probably not from the start but in the squad,' he added.

'I think it’s been tough for him because he’s had some niggling injuries and noise and speculation off the pitch. But he’s a top professional and he’s a fantastic lad so how he’s acted with me, how he’s acted with the team, how he’s acted around us, has been absolutely top.

'I think that’s credit to him because sometimes in your career things are difficult, they aren’t quite optimal as you would like them to be and you have to act well and conduct yourself in a good way. That’s exactly what he’s done.'

Chelsea vs Aston Villa Kante injury update

N'Golo Kante is yet to make an appearance under Potter due to a hamstring issue he picked up in August, but it seems the Frenchman is also close to getting back out on the Stamford Bridge pitch in competitive action, having featured in a friendly against Charlton Athletic during the international break.

'We have to manage his minutes and building those minutes up in the Premier League, because he’s been out for so long. But he’s been training well and he’s had some behind-closed-doors game time. He’s available in the squad and I’m pretty sure he’ll be on the pitch at some point tomorrow.'

Chelsea vs Aston Villa injury list

In addition to Thiago Silva and Cesar Azpilicueta, Armando Broja remains out of action as he continues his rehabilitation following a serious injury suffered in November.

Aston Villa boss Unai Emery is still without Philippe Coutinho and he has been joined on the absentee list by Matty Cash, who injured his calf on international duty with Poland. However, Boubacar Kamara and Leander Dendoncker could both be back in their squad after returning to training during the international break.

Chelsea vs Aston Villa suspension

There are no suspensions for either side in this match.

Players who accumulate 10 yellow cards in Premier League matches up to and including our 32nd fixture will serve a two-match suspension in the competition.

Premier League booking list
Gallagher 5, Koulibaly 5, Havertz 4, James 4, Kovacic 4, Mount 4, Azpilicueta 3, Chalobah 3, Cucurella 3, Sterling 3, W Fofana 2, Aubameyang 1, Badiashile 1, Chilwell 1, Hall 1, Kepa 1, Loftus-Cheek 1, Mendy 1, Pulisic 1, Thiago Silva 1, Ziyech 1

Chelsea vs Aston Villa referee and VAR

Referee: Andy Madley
VAR: Gary Beswick

This will be the third time this season Andy Madley has refereed a Chelsea game in the Premier League, having officiated for our win over West Ham in September and the defeat at Brighton a month later.