Mauricio Pochettino has provided an update on the fitness of three centre-backs hoping to recover from injury in time to feature in our next match against Crystal Palace, but has ruled out one midfielder for the near future.
After the midweek excitement of our excellent FA Cup victory over Aston Villa, it is back to Premier League duty for Chelsea next, as we travel across London to take on Crystal Palace on Monday evening.
Ahead of that match Mauricio Pochettino discussed his selection options in defence, revealing that Levi Colwill and Trevoh Chalobah are both near to a return, while he hopes the injury suffered by Benoit Badiashile at Villa Park is not serious.
'Benoit, we need to assess him, still we need to wait for the scan,' said Pochettino. 'It’s his groin. I hope it’s not a big issue, but this afternoon we will know better.
'And then maybe Levi will be back on Monday, we need to wait until Sunday to see if it is possible for him to be available. The other news is that Chalobah is doing well, he’s training with the team.'
The news wasn't so positive for midfielder Romeo Lavia, though, who is still recovering from the injury that has kept him out since our last match against Crystal Palace at the end of December.
'Still he’s not training with the team,' our head coach added. 'Still he’s recovering, so it is impossible for him to be back before the Carabao Cup final. He’s still not on the pitch.'
However, injuries or not, Pochettino hinted that he will not necessarily just stick with the same side which performed so well at Aston Villa for our next game, as he is constantly evaluating his players' performance in training to pick the best possible team.
'With all the circumstances that we have from the beginning it is difficult to say that is the starting 11 that was in my mind. The important thing is the level the players are showing. Little by little we are recovering players that need time to reach the level we expect from them.
'The way we are training and the way today the players behave and with the attitude we are showing we are improving. Now it is about winning the next game and to get the feelings that we build from Aston Villa.'
Mauricio also gave his thoughts on our opponents Crystal Palace, making his admiration for manager Roy Hodgson clear while warning against underestimating the Eagles, even if they have been struggling in the Premier League recently and will be without star men Eberechi Eze and Michael Olise.
'Roy is my friend, I admire him and he is an unbelievable coach. He’s working really well and of course in football now when you lose one or two games in a row the pressure always arrives. But I have no doubt that he is going to be successful with Palace. I hope after our game!
'But it’s going to be difficult for us because as always we have some players dealing with injury. Of course they have two very good players out, but I think they have a squad that can deal with this situation.'