It's that time again already as Mauricio Pochettino begins to slowly cast one eye towards not the key match against Burnley on Saturday but the fortnight that follows it where the majority of his players will be out on international duty instead. Less than one month since the last break and the Premier League is set for disruption again.
Nobody quite knows whether it comes at a good or bad time each and every time. Is it good to recoup and recover injured players during the time off or does a winning team simply want to keep on going? Chelsea were on the back of having lost to Nottingham Forest at home this time last month and the break was deemed a good thing, two weeks later not much had changed.
Chelsea returned and drew 0-0 with Bournemouth, lamenting the gruelling schedule for South American players and unforgiving managers that pushed both Enzo Fernandez and Moises Caicedo to the limit. Far from entering the games with the Cherries and then Aston Villa, Brighton and Fulham — next up Burnley — with a fully fit squad,Pochettino had 11 players out.
There had been hopes for the return of Reece James, Armando Broja, Benoit Badiashile and Carney Chukwuemeka at that point but out of those only Broja is back. It is, then, that Chelsea go into the game with Burnley and then another dispersion of the squad, with further optimism that come October 21 and the visit of Arsenal to Stamford Bridge, there will be more depth to the squad.
James is back in training but is likely to have been ruled out of Burnley before his FA suspension ensured another two weeks without competitive play whilst Badiashile is getting there himself. Chukwuemeka could find himself in the squad on Saturday but if the break goes well — he could be called upRead on football.london