The international break can oftentimes prove to be a cruel mistress for club sides – and that was before a pandemic gripped the world.
Here’s five players from Premier League clubs who could be unavailable for at the weekend as a result of picking up injuries or exposure to the coronavirus over the current break.
MORE: Premier League respond to ‘damaging’ power grabbing restructure plans driven by Manchester United and Liverpool
Ben Chilwell, Chelsea
As reported on the Chelsea official website yesterday, Chilwell was withdrawn from England’s training camp ahead of time to return to the Cobham training ground.
Chilwell was signed by Chelsea while suffering from a foot injury, so it’s entirely possible that the move was just cautionary and there has been no further damage done.
However, with Chelsea playing Southampton at the weekend and in need of three points, the Blues fans face a nervous wait to discover whether he will be available to feature.
Eric Dier, Tottenham
The Daily Mail have claimed that Dier is a doubt for England’s friendly match with Denmark tonight as he battles with a minor hamstring problem.
It is unclear whether the extent of the damage will be sufficient to keep him out of Sunday’s clash with West Ham, but it’s Jose Mourinho’s worst fears realised.
Considering the sheer number of matches Dier has played over the past month, it’s no surprise that he is suffering with muscle strains. Let’s hope it’s nothing too serious.
Edouard Mendy, Chelsea
As per Football London, Mendy will be unavailable for selection for Chelsea against Southampton at the weekend after suffering a muscle injury while on international duty with Senegal.
Mendy had started Chelsea’s two previous games prior to the break, but it looks as though there will now be an opportunity for Kepa Arrizabalaga to prove his worth to manager Lampard.
Mendy’s injury does not appear to be serious, but it’s enough to rule him out of the weekend.
Kevin De Bruyne, Manchester City
Kevin De Bruyne withdrew from the Belgium camp following their 2-1 loss to England, as the BBC report.
De Bruyne was deemed not fit enough to play in Belgium’s final fixture of the break against Iceland. That raises serious concerns over whether he will be able to feature for Man City against Arsenal this weekend.
Arguably the best player in the league, Pep Guardiola will be pulling his hair out (what’s left of it) – especially with City having several other key players out injured.
Naby Keita, Liverpool
There appears to be some confusion as to whether or not Naby Keita will be available for the Merseyside Derby at the weekend or not. Local journalist Amadou Makadji originally reported that Keita had tested positive while away on international duty with Guinea.
However the situation has since changed.
Naby Keita have had another test today. He is negative and he has been allowed to leave the training camp of Syli National in Portugal this night. He will join Liverpool where he might undergo another test.
— Amadou Makadji™ ?? (@ThAmadouMakadji) October 13, 2020
Regardless, Liverpool have a race against time to prove that Keita does not have COVID-19 and make sure he is declared available for the game on Saturday night.