Chelsea have a vital few weeks coming up in their campaign, but reports claim that they’ll face them without Antonio Rudiger.
Aside from the ongoing battle to secure a top-four finish in the Premier League, Maurizio Sarri’s side also have the Europa League semi-finals to consider.
While they’ll face Eintracht Frankfurt twice over seven days, they also take on Watford and Leicester City in their final two league outings as they look to hold onto fourth place and fend off Arsenal and Manchester United behind them.
However, their hopes of keeping things tight at the back and achieving their objectives have taken a massive hit, as ESPN report that Rudiger is in Italy to undergo knee surgery, which is expected to rule him out of action for the rest of the season.
The 26-year-old has been a key figure for Chelsea this year, making 44 appearances in all competitions and offering defensive solidity for Sarri at the back.
In turn, taking him out of the equation will be a concern for the Blues, with the likes of Andreas Christensen and Gary Cahill now expected to step in and offer support to David Luiz.
The most recent signs of Chelsea’s defending with Rudiger out of the side haven’t been reassuring, as they conceded twice against Burnley when he was originally ruled out with the troublesome knee problem, while they conceded three goals in the second leg of their Europa League quarter-final tie with Slavia Prague.
With that in mind, Sarri will be hoping that whoever he chooses to fill the void can do better in giving Chelsea a solid foundation on which to go out and win all of their remaining games.