Ahead of Chelsea’s Premier League game versus Arsenal this weekend, Graham Potter has spoken further about the injury suffered by Ben Chilwell in our most recent outing, and Kepa’s ongoing injury…

Chelsea vs Arsenal Ben Chilwell injury update

Ben Chilwell will play not part against the Gunners having pulled up in the closing minutes of Wednesday night’s Champions League win over Dinamo Zagreb with a hamstring problem.

Having described the outlook for the left-sider as ‘not positive’ immediately after the game, Potter had more to say in his pre-match press conference at Cobham on Friday afternoon.

‘Ben is going to go for a scan later this afternoon so we will find out how he is then with an update tomorrow,’ our head coach reported.

‘He feels okay but is obviously aware of the injury and we need to let the swelling settle down and hence the delay with the scan. We'll know more after that.

‘I wouldn’t say he fears the worst but we all saw the nature of the injury. I can’t say it looks positive but until we get the scan it's difficult to say.’

With Chilwell having battled back from a cruciate injury last season, Potter was asked about the players mental state now.

‘He's okay but until you get the diagnosis, we're just hopeful and fingers crossed. Then from there we’ll see how to get him back fit and strong. It's disappointing, of course.’

Potter does not believe seeing the problems the likes of Chilwell and Reece James have had in the weeks leading up to the World Cup will have an impact on how his players approach club games.

‘I don’t think there’s fear,’ he said. ‘I think it's part of the challenge. It is very difficult to play in Premier League football or Champions League football and go at it half-hearted. That's pretty much impossible and then at the same time, you know there's a World Cup a couple of weeks away, so it's a tricky position for everybody.’

Chelsea vs Arsenal Kepa, Mateo Kovacic and Carney Chukwuemeka injury update

Potter confirmed Kepa Arrizabalaga will not play before the World Cup due to the plantar fascia injury he has in the bottom of one of his feet.

There is better news on Mateo Kovacic who was not involved midweek as a precaution against a minor calf concern, although Carney Chukwuemeka remains out.

‘Kovacic trained today so he'll be in contention. Carney still has a slight issue with his hamstring that we're getting to the bottom of.’

Being ready for an exciting derby

Having acknowledged that his team did not match Brighton’s intensity in the opening stages of last weekend’s Premier League defeat at Brighton, Potter is looking for that lesson to have been learned when we take on the league leaders.

‘If you don't do that in any game, it's a challenge for us,’ he pointed out. ‘It was a unique situation at the weekend and now we have to learn from that and be ready for a London derby. It's a special game. It's an exciting game. We have to be ready to play the football that can get us a result.’

When it comes to energy levels on Sunday, Chelsea will have had an extra day of recovery from our Champions League match, with Arsenal in Europa League action on Thursday night.

The fact that we've all been playing so much, it's almost like rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic to a certain extent, it's just not that big a deal,’ said the Potter on the difference in the schedule.

‘But it's helpful in a way the extra 24 hours, we take what we can at this at this point of the season. We're all used to the quick turnaround, we're used to short space in between games, but any time you have you have to use it well.’

Chelsea vs Arsenal suspensions

There are no suspensions.

In the Premier League, five yellow cards received before 19 league fixtures (January 2023) have been played will result in a one-match-suspension in the competition.

Premier League booking list
Havertz 3, James 3, Cucurella 2, Kovacic 2, Mount 2, Sterling 2, Azpilicueta 1, Chilwell 1, Jorginho 1, Koulibaly 1, Loftus-Cheek 1, Mendy 1, Pulisic 1, Thiago Silva 1.

Chelsea vs Arsenal injury list

Reece James and Wesley Fofana are continuing their rehab from knee injuries in the warm weather environment of Dubai. N'Golo Kante is recovering from hamstring surgery. None of the three are expected to play before the World Cup.

Chelsea vs Arsenal referee and VAR

Referee: Michael Oliver
VAR: Jarred Gillett

Michael Oliver is refereeing Chelsea for the second time this season. The other occasion was our 2-1 defeat against Southampton in August.