Cole Palmer news as Chelsea could be without 11 key players vs Aston Villa

Cole Palmer update as Chelsea could be without 11 key players vs Aston Villa

Chelsea have been hit harder than most when it comes to injuries this season and Mauricio Pochettino will, once again, be unable to call upon 11 players for their match with Aston Villa on Saturday night (8pm). Chelsea saw their eight-game unbeaten run ended by Arsenal in jaw-dropping fashion on Monday night.

Goals from Leandro Trossard, Ben White (2) and ex-Chelsea man Kai Havertz (2) settled the scores in that Premier League showdown. However, despite the lengthy queue in Chelsea’s physio room right now, Cole Palmer is poised to return for the impending trip to Villa Park after missing out against Arsenal through illness.

Robert Sanchez is also on the mend from illness. His availability is uncertain.

Chelsea captain Reece James (hamstring) and Levi Colwill (toe) have returned to training, while summer signing Christopher Nkunku (hamstring) is also fine-tuning his fitness for a comeback. However, the Villa game will come too soon for that particular trio, with uncertain return dates for Malo Gusto (knee) and Ben Chilwell (unspecified).

During his pre-match press conference, under-fire manager Pochettino said: “No, they [James and Colwill] are not available yet. They are close. They were doing partial training with the squad. They are close, but still not available.”

Romeo Lavia (thigh) and Enzo Fernandez (groin) will play no further part this season. The same goes for Wesley Fofana (knee) and Lesley Ugochukwu (unspecified), who have been long-term absentees for Chelsea.

Further setbacks have been suffered by Carney Chukwuemeka (knee) and Raheem Sterling (back). Pochettino is not expecting either player to be available for the Villa meeting, but neither are serious problems.

On those two, the ex-PSG and Tottenham head coach added: “Hopefully it’s not a big issue and they can be available as soon as possible because now we’re going to lose two players who were there and we think can help the team.”

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