Chelsea welcomes Everton at Stamford Bridge in the Premier League on Saturday. The blues hope to continue their impressive performance in the Premier League after back-to-back victories against Leeds United and Leicester City.
Providing an update on the fitness of Mason Mount and Raheem Sterling, who was named in Gareth Southgate England squad for their upcoming Euros Qualifiers ahead of the Everton clash, Graham Potter said: “Raheem has a problem with his hamstring. It’s not too serious, but he’ll miss the game at the weekend, and he’ll miss the international trip.
“It’s the same for Mason. He has been struggling a little bit with his pubic bone. He wasn’t 100% in the last game and still isn’t quite there. So he’ll miss the England camp. Thiago [Silva] is still away. Azpi [Cesar Azpilicueta] is still away. N’Golo [Kante] has a chance of being in the squad.”
Asked about the availability of N’Golo Kante for the Everton clash, Graham Potter added: “Chance of being in the squad. It’s the first time, so it’s fantastic.
“There have been managers before me that have spoken very highly of N’Golo because he’s a top, top player. He’s a huge miss to us.
“That’s not to say the other players haven’t give absolutely everything because they have, but N’Golo Kante is N’Golo Kante, you know? He’s a top player.
“So great for us that he’s back, but we have to be mindful of the fact that he’s had a long injury, and we need to make the next steps to get him up to speed properly in the Premier League, which is what we’ll do. But it’s great to have him with us.
“When you’ve had a player with that injury and that length [of time on the sidelines], you have to take those steps, regardless of whatever else the situation is.
“You have to take the steps that get him up to speed, that get him up to being the player that he is, in a responsible way and doing it as safely as we can which enables him to take the right steps. Once he’s at his usual level, he’s a huge player for us.”
Asked how he was going to defend set-pieces against Everton, Graham Potter said: “They are strong in that area; the data would suggest that. It’s something they do well, but it’s not the only thing they do well. They do a lot well. They defend high and low well, they attack with clarity, and they use the resources they have well. I have huge respect for Sean because of how he affects the team and players. It will be a tough game.”
Chelsea could make it three wins in three Premier League games before the international break and move up on the League table.