Chelsea boss Graham Potter has confirmed Mateo Kovacic and Hakim Ziyech will return to the Chelsea squad for the Premier League visit to Nottingham Forest on New Year’s Day.
Both players have returned to training following a short post-World Cup break.
“Both of those guys will be back,” reported Potter, although he had less certain news on another World Cup player due to an issue in his upper-body area.
“Mendy we’re not sure, we’ll see how he is over the next few days. He has a problem with a bone that he picked up at the World Cup and needed a little bit of time.”
Potter is happy the Blues are in a better place in terms of injuries compared to our Premier League game against Newcastle United in our final game before the World Cup break.
“We had no Kepa, no Reece, no Wesley, no Ben Chilwell, no N’Golo Kante, no Raheem Sterling. We lost Marc Cucurella overnight with illness. We lost Ruben Loftus-Cheek after a few minutes, we lost Azpi after some more minutes, and that was just the period we were in, and we’ve still got quite a few guys available.
“That’s the challenge of the multiple competitions, the multiple games in a short space of time with the World Cup coming up. It sounds like I’m making excuses. I’m not, I’m just telling you what I think the situation is and we have to deal with it.
“The break hasn’t been a positive one for us. I could have made lots of excuses if the Bournemouth result hadn’t gone our way because we had four players for the first two weeks and then them dripping back in.
“The break that you think you have to work with the team, it’s not there because you haven’t got the players. But you can’t make those excuses, you’ve just got to win and we did against Bournemouth so that was good.
“It’s been a real tough period, as challenging as it has been in my time as a coach, but we’re at Chelsea and people don’t want to hear those reasons/excuses. You’ve got to get on with it, and we’ve got to try our best to find the answers.”