Chelsea hope to have Moises Caicedo and Noni Madueke back to face Aston Villa on Sunday and see Armando Broja take a big step towards full fitness by playing for their under-21s in the next week.
Midfielder Caicedo and winger Madueke missed Chelsea’s goalless draw against Bournemouth on Sunday after returning from international duty with knee and muscle issues respectively, the pair becoming the latest Blues stars to join the injured list.
But their omissions were precautionary and their problems not considered serious enough to see them miss more than the one game in a fitness boost for head coach Mauricio Pochettino who was without 12 players at Bournemouth.
The Vitality Stadium stalemate once again highlighted Chelsea’s troubles in front of goal but Pochettino may soon have a second No.9 option in Broja.
He has not played for Chelsea competitively since before the World Cup after rupturing his ACL in a mid-season friendly against Aston Villa.
But he has been back in full training and is poised to ramp up his comeback bid with an appearance for Chelsea’s second string.
Chelsea have games against Luton, Manchester City and Northampton Town over the next seven days and Broja is expected to feature in at least one of the games.
Broja followed up successful loan spells at Vitesse Arnhem and Southampton by becoming a regular part of Chelsea’s first-team setup last season before his injury.
Pochettino name-checked the Albanian unprompted last month while discussing Chelsea’s attempts to strengthen their squad earlier this season in a clear indication he intends to count on Broja when he returns.
Pochettino said: ‘We are looking at all of the options that we can manage on the market. But I think at the same time, we are keeping oneRead on m.allfootballapp.com