A host of big-name stars will miss this weekend’s Premier League action after picking up injuries over the international break.
And while it’s bad news for one Chelsea star, coach Frank Lampard can welcome back a crucial defensive stalwart.
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SEVEN United stars out
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is concerned that Manchester United could fall behind in the top-four race after injuries to Paul Pogba and Anthony Martial ahead of Saturday’s game against Leicester.
Both Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Jesse Lingard are also doubtful, with Luke Shaw and Diogo Dalot already out.
With Eric Bailly ruled out for the long term, that means a whopping seven first-team squad members are likely out for this weekend’s clash.
Lingard and Wan-Bissaka will face late fitness tests after the pair withdrew from England duty this week with injuries.
“The treatment room has been busy and still is,” Solskjaer said. “We don’t really know who is going to be available.
“Maybe Aaron, maybe Jesse and that’s it from the ones that had to pull out but I can’t promise those two will be fit either.”
No Kante but Rudiger returns for Chelsea
N’Golo Kante will miss Chelsea’s trip to Wolves on Saturday and remains a doubt for matches against Valencia and Liverpool next week.
Kante missed both of France’s fixtures during the international break with an ankle injury and a return against Wolves is “too soon”, manager Frank Lampard confirmed on Friday.
Mateo Kovacic (Achilles) and Pedro (hamstring) are fit to play against Wolves, while Antonio Rudiger will be available after recovering from a knee injury that ended last season prematurely for the defender.
“It’s a choice for myself, but he will have an important role,” said Lampard, when asked if Rudiger would go straight into Chelsea’s defence
Meanwhile injured young guns Callum Hudson-Odoi and Reece James both played for Chelsea’s U23 side on Friday as they continue their rehabilitation.
— From Sky Sports
Gunners lose Lacazette
Arsenal striker Alexandre Lacazette has been ruled out until October with an ankle injury.
The club revealed the news on their website and confirmed the France international had been playing with the problem for the last few weeks but now needs to “rest and strengthen his ankle to regain full fitness.”
The full statement on Arsenal’s website said: “After assessments to an ongoing ankle issue, we have advised that Alex will need to rest and strengthen his ankle to regain full fitness.
“Alex has been playing through this injury for several weeks. He is likely to be back in action in October.”
The 28-year-old will miss Sunday’s trip to Watford as well as their away game with Eintracht Frankfurt in the Europa League on Thursday.
He is also expected to miss the Premier League games against Aston Villa and Manchester United, plus the visit of Nottingham Forest to the Emirates in the Carabao Cup.
Arsenal head coach Unai Emery did have some positive injury news ahead of their game with Watford, however, as he confirmed defenders Hector Bellerin and Kieran Tierney are close to a return to action after injury.
While neither will be available for the trip to Vicarage Road, Emery says they will get minutes with the U23s to regain match fitness.
— From Sky Sports