Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel is hopeful that the club’s new record signing Romelu Lukaku will be available to face Arsenal on Sunday afternoon.
The Blues kicked off their Premier League campaign with a convincing 3-0 victory against Crystal Palace on Saturday afternoon, but Lukaku was not eligible to play following his £97.5million signing that was announced on Thursday evening.
Meanwhile, the Gunners suffered the worst possible start to their season as Mikel Arteta ‘s men were beaten 2-0 at the hands of newly-promoted Brentford on Friday evening.
Things do not get easier for Arsenal, with the reigning champions of Europe, Chelsea, and the Premier League title holders, Manchester City, up next in the top-flight.
Now, Tuchel has issued the latest team news ahead of Sunday’s all-London clash and it’s good news for the Blues, but not so much for the Gunners – with N’Golo Kante also expected to be available.
“N’Golo felt discomfort in his ankle on Friday,” the Chelsea boss said.
“He felt it in the warm-up to the Super Cup match against Villarreal and he already played a little bit in pain and overcame the pain in that game.
“But on Friday he felt it again and we decided to take him out and not to take any risk now at the beginning of the season.
In each football.london bulletin, we’ll bring you the latest breaking news, transfer features and comment pieces on your favourite club, as well as the key talking points for fans.
You won’t miss a thing – you’ll get all the news you need right to your inbox. We’ll also send special newsletters when big stories break or there’s a special event happening.
You can sign up for Arsenal updates here.
You can sign up for Chelsea updates here.
You can sign up for Tottenham updates here.
You can sign up for West Ham updates here.
“I think N’Golo will be back in the middle of the week to hopefully be ready for Arsenal.
“We expect Romelu to finish quarantine in time to be able to join team training on Tuesday, because Monday is our day off.
“So we will try to prepare him to play against Arsenal and hopefully he can be on the pitch.”
For Arsenal, though, the team news isn’t so positive, with football.london reporting on Saturday morning that striker duo Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang are both doubtful for the weekend due to illness.
Lacazette and Aubameyang, who are Arteta’s two main striker options, were both absent for Friday night’s defeat to Brentford.