Success or failure? Hectic April for Chelsea set to answer that question
It may be April 1 tomorrow but don’t be fooled by the titanic task Chelsea face this month when league action returns following the international break.
The Blues have to play eight games which will decide if their season is viewed a success or abject failure. I know where my money is going.
Former Champions League winners Chelsea face former European Cup winners Aston Villa at the Bridge tomorrow, in the mid-table clash of mediocrity.
The dizzy heights of ninth in the Premier League is enticing enough should the Blues win and Fulham fail to nab three points at Bournemouth.
Raheem Sterling is back in training following a hamstring injury that forced him out of the recent England matches but he is unlikely to start. He could feature on the bench on Tuesday when underachieving Liverpool come to town.
With the best part of 10 players playing for their Chelsea futures, assuming they want to stay, then this month will be a good indicator about their chances of doing so.
Injuries to Reece James and a touch of flu to Kai Havertz will allow head coach Graham Potter to continue to assess the likes of Trevoh Chalobah, who remains on the endangered list at SW6 and perhaps elevate youngster David Fofana to the striking berth.
Defender Wesley Fofana looks likely to join already sidelined Thiago Silva in the seats behind the dugout.
Mason Mount’s public pubic bone problem has all but cleared up, but he will only be thrown into the mix tomorrow if Potter is desperate, Edouard Mendy is back but Kepa Arrizabalaga has won back the number one status.
Mendy is one of the players who could be edged out in the summer.
While Cesar Azpilicueta is available to play tomorrow, Potter is more likely to keep the club skipper on the bench and save him for the Champions League encounter against Real Madrid.
With matches to follow against Brighton, Brentford and Arsenal before May, not forgetting the Madrid return leg, Potter will be hoping big guns like N’Golo Kante and Silva are on the pitch to play their part.
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