Chelsea have received a much-needed boost ahead of their Champions League clash with Borussia Dortmund on Tuesday. The Blues are already 1-0 down to the Bundesliga giants in the round-of-16 fixture and are in desperate need of a result to salvage their season. However, beleaguered boss Graham Potter had some rare good news for fans with an update on the fitness of star defender Reece James.
James missed Chelsea’s match against Leeds on Saturday due to a tight hamstring, but he returned to training on Monday in preparation for Tuesday’s match against Borussia Dortmund. During his pre-match press conference, Potter said: “Reece [James] – we’ll make a decision on him tomorrow.”
In addition to James, French midfielder N’Golo Kante was also seen in training ahead of the clash. However, Potter has admitted that Kante is not ready to play a full 90 minutes of football. Kante has made just two appearances for Chelsea this season. He was forced off midway through the club’s Premier League clash with Tottenham in August due to a hamstring injury and has not played since.
Potter said: “It’s a complex one with him because he has had a long time out. It’ll be a case of how we get him back up to speed to play Premier League or Champions League football. He won’t be able to go back in for 90 minutes any time soon but the fact he is with us is exciting.”
Chelsea’s season has been plagued by injuries and poor form, with the club currently sitting in eighth place in the Premier League table. They have lost four of their last five league games and were knocked out of the FA Cup by Leicester City last week.
The Blues will be hoping that James and Kante can help turn their fortunes around in Europe. They face a tough task against Dortmund, who have been in impressive form this season. The German side are currently third in the Bundesliga table and have scored 21 goals in their last six games.
Chelsea will need to be at their best if they are to overturn the deficit and progress to the quarter-finals of the Champions League. The return of James and Kante will give them a much-needed boost, but they will also need their other key players to step up if they are to get a result.
The likes of Timo Werner, Kai Havertz, and Mason Mount will need to be at their best if Chelsea are to score the goals they need to progress. They will also need a solid defensive performance to keep Dortmund’s attacking threats at bay.
Chelsea fans will be hoping that James and Kante can help inspire their team to victory on Tuesday. The pressure is on for the Blues, but they have shown in the past that they can rise to the occasion in Europe. They will need to do so again if they are to salvage their season and progress to the next round of the Champions League.