Chelsea will be missing star midfielder Jorginho for their Premier League clash with Crystal Palace on Saturday.
The Italy international is serving a one-match suspension after picking up his fifth yellow card of the season in last weekend’s 2-1 victory over Watford.
Chelsea boss Frank Lampard has a ready-made replacement, though, in N’Golo Kante, who has returned from a groin issue.
Injuries have restricted the 28-year-old to just six appearances so far this season, and he was an unused substitute in Tuesday’s 4-4 draw with Ajax in the Champions League.
In a midfield three, Kante could have Mason Mount and Ross Barkley ahead of him if the latter shakes off an ankle problem.
Barkley, who was called up to Gareth Southgate’s England squad on Thursday, has not played since being forced off in a 1-0 victory over Newcastle last month – and will not be fit in time for the weekend.
Mount suffered an ankle injury against Ajax, however, Lampard confirmed the 20-year-old is in the squad for the Crystal Palace game, which is LIVE on talkSPORT.
LIVE on talkSPORT
Check out all the live commentaries coming up across the talkSPORT network this week
- Chelsea vs Crystal Palace (Saturday, 12:30pm) – talkSPORT
- Nottingham Forest vs Derby (Saturday, 12:30pm) – talkSPORT 2
- Southampton vs Everton (Saturday, 3pm) – talkSPORT 2
- Leicester vs Arsenal (Saturday, 5:30pm) – talkSPORT
- Cardiff vs Bristol City (Sunday, 12pm) – talkSPORT 2
LATEST FOOTBALL STORIES
Marcos Alonso was taken off at half-time in midweek and is likely to be replaced by Emerson in the starting XI in a defence featuring captain Cesar Azpilicueta, Fikayo Tomori and Kurt Zouma.
Goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga is likely to keep his 100 per cent playing record in the Premier League this season.
Willian struggled to make an impact against Ajax and could pay the price with Callum Hudson-Odoi taking his place on the right wing.
On the other flank, Christian Pulisic will be aiming to score in a third successive top-flight game.
Leading the line, Tammy Abraham, whose nine league goals are only bettered by Leicester’s Jamie Vardy (10), is expected to continue up front for Chelsea.
Meanwhile, Crystal Palace will be hoping to maintain their solid start to the Premier League season, which sees them sitting in ninth place after 11 games.
They have already beaten one of the Premier League’s ‘Big Six’ clubs this term when they secured a shock 2-1 victory over Manchester United in August.
Vicente Guaita returned to the starting XI for last weekend’s 2-0 defeat to Leicester after missing the two previous games with a groin injury.
In a back-four, former Chelsea captain Gary Cahill is set to face the Blues alongside James Tomkins with full-backs Joel Ward and Patrick van Aanholt.
Andros Townsend could return at Stamford Bridge – the winger was absent from the Leicester game with a muscular injury.
On the other wing, Wilfried Zaha will be looking to open his account for the season.
Captain Luka Milovejic, James McArthur and Cheikhou Kouyate could all feature in the middle of midfield with Jordan Ayew up front.
Saturday is GameDay on talkSPORT as we bring you THREE live Premier League commentaries across our network, including Chelsea vs Crystal Palace at 12:30
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