N’Golo Kante is preparing for his highly-anticipated return from injury and Chelsea will be keen to have him ready before the end of March
Chelsea have certainly rued the absence of N’Golo Kante this season so his imminent return will come as a huge boost. And, there won’t be anyone more excited to welcome the 31-year-old back to Stamford Bridge than Graham Potter.
Kante, who sees his contract with the Blues expire in the summer, is yet to feature under the former Brighton boss after suffering a hamstring injury against Tottenham in August. The France international has been doing some light training with the rest of the Chelsea squad at Cobham recently as he finally nears his match-fitness again, football.london understands.
It’s said that he’s been targeting a return to first-team action at the start of March. And, it just so happens that Kante could be returning at the perfect time with a number of blockbuster clashes in Chelsea’s calendar.
So, with that being said, football.london have taken a look at when Kante could make his first start for Chelsea under Potter.
Leeds United (H) – Premier League – March 4
Coincidentally, the first game Chelsea played without Kante after picking up his injury against Spurs was against Leeds at Elland Road. What of this what you will but the Blues were subject to a three-goal demolition, with Conor Gallagher, Jorginho and Mason Mount unable to cover the Frenchman’s workload.
Borussia Dortmund (H) – Champions League round of 16, second-leg – March 7
Enzo Fernandez struggled to win the midfield battle against the German outfit. So, if Kante can return in time to face Dortmund, Potter could have the winning formula that secures a place in the quarter-final.
Leicester City (A) – Premier League – March 11
Again, coincidentally, this was the second fixture which Chelsea played without the veteran midfielder. And, while the Blues walked away victorious Gallagher was shown a red card when trying to fulfil the ‘Kante role’.
Everton (H) – Premier League – March 18
Sean Dyche has quickly transformed the Toffees into a dangerous outfit as the fight for survival. So, Potter will be desperate to have Kante back to face Everton in what is poised to be a tough fixture.
Aston Villa (H) – Premier League – April 1
Chelsea won the reverse fixture at Villa Park in December as Mason Mount netted twice to wrap up all three points. Mateo Kovacic and Ruben Loftus-Cheek anchored the Blues’ midfield which, in fairness, is a strong partnership but injuries have proved an issue.