Chelsea handed triple fitness boost ahead of crucial AC Milan Champions League clash
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Chelsea have been handed a triple fitness boost ahead of their crucial Champions League clash against AC Milan on Wednesday evening.
Edouard Mendy, Marc Cucurella and N’Golo Kante all were involved at their Cobham training base on Tuesday morning, giving head coach Graham Potter a welcome boost for their must-win game.
Mendy has been out because of a knee tendon issue picked up at the start of last month which saw him miss the matches against Dinamo Zagreb, RB Salzburg and Crystal Palace.
Kepa Arrizabalaga has been playing in his absence, impressing Potter, giving the Chelsea head coach a selection headache should the Senegal international be available for Wednesday.
“I thought he did really well,” said Potter on Kepa’s performance against Crystal Palace.
“He made a couple of big saves but also, his distribution in terms of his decision-making was really strong. You need players to step up and perform and Kepa did that today. So I am really happy for him
Kante has been sidelined with a hamstring problem picked up against Tottenham Hotspur in August. He has been slowly recovering and it was expected he could return to the side this week. While Marc Cucurella missed the weekend’s 2-1 win over Crystal Palace due to a throat problem.
Potter delivered a fitness update last week on Mendy and Kante, admitting: “They're absolutely fine in terms of coming through their rehab stages.
“NG has just been on the grass with the team but not full training.
“Eddie is a bit further on but hasn't had enough to be involved at the weekend. Maybe next week for him.”
Carney Chukwuemeka has also been out due to illness, and it remains unclear whether he will also be available for selection on Wednesday.
It's a must-win game for Chelsea, who have already been told the importance of the game by forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
The 33-year-old said: "Maybe we will get our first three points at home.
'I think this is really important – if we want to qualify we have to win the game.
“These two games are key and we will have to show character like we did against Crystal Palace on Saturday and win those two games."