Football

Chelsea goalkeeper Mendy in race to be fit for Man City clash

Tuchel says goalkeeper will miss Villa tie, but Loftus-Cheek, Saul could feature

Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy will miss their League Cup third-round clash against Aston Villa tomorrow morning (Singapore time) and faces "a race against pain and time" to be fit for the Blues' English Premier League tie against champions Manchester City on Saturday.

Mendy missed Chelsea's last league outing, a 3-0 win at Tottenham Hotspur last Sunday due to a knock suffered against Zenit St Petersburg, with back-up goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga keeping a clean sheet.

Said Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel: "We'll try and do everything for Saturday and to reintegrate him tomorrow in individual training and hopefully Thursday for team training. But not yet.

THIRD ROUND
CHELSEA ASTON VILLA

"I think it's possible (against City) but it's a race against pain and time, so let's see.

"If team training goes well, he can be ready for Saturday, but I don't know right now."

The German added that he would rotate his team, saying the League Cup is an "opportunity to give important minutes in an important competition to guys who are missing minutes at the moment".

He name-checked Ruben Loftus-Cheek, saying: "I trust him because I see how he works. He accepts the situation and what he makes of it is very good in training on a daily basis.

"Tomorrow, there's a big chance he can show it on the pitch."

When asked about loan signing Saul Niguez, Tuchel added: "Now we're getting close to the line-up!

MORE GAME TIME

"Of course, we want to give Saul some minutes. The guys want to have minutes, to show and impress, to keep on pushing. We need some players to have more competitive minutes...

"Saul is also one of them."

Meanwhile, Manchester United who, like table-toppers Chelsea have 13 points from their first five league games, are also in action tomorrow morning.

They face West Ham United in their third-round tie, having beaten the Hammers 2-1 in the league last Sunday via a late goal by substitute Jesse Lingard.

United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer confirmed the England international would start in the rematch, saying: "He'll play, of course, on Wednesday because we will make a few changes."

Lingard scored nine goals in 16 games while on loan at West Ham last season. He has scored twice off the bench for United this season.

Football