Chelsea will look to get back to winning ways on Saturday when they face Manchester United in the Premier League.
The Blues are seven games unbeaten under Graham Potter but face a tough test against a United side riding the wave of their emphatic victory over Tottenham in midweek.
Here’s what Potter had to say ahead of the game.
Potter puts Kante’s fitness over contract talks
Even though N’Golo Kante’s contract expires in 2023, Chelsea manager Graham Potter emphasized that his attention is solely on Kante’s fitness.
Kante will not represent France at the World Cup due to a hamstring injury that necessitates surgery.
In response to a question about whether Kante’s injury would impact his contract, Potter said: “No, the most important thing for us and me is that we help him get fit. That is the main focus.”
“We must get the right plan and recovery for him since he has a long road ahead. And when he’s enjoying football, we can think about those things then,” Potter added.
Graham Potter on N’Golo Kanté deal expiring in June: “The most important thing is to help him get fit. He has a long road ahead…”. 🔵 #CFC
“We have to make sure he gets the right treatment – when he is enjoying his football, we can think about the contract then”. pic.twitter.com/wY01mnWl1K
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) October 21, 2022
Potter on facing Manchester United
When asked about what Manchester United has done differently since your Brighton team defeated them on the first day of the season, Potter said. “A lot. Regarding [Erik] Ten Hag, his professional accomplishments, and his abilities as a coach, I have the utmost admiration.”
“As people enter the competition faze, you can watch them adapt and change. Therefore, they did well. Obviously, it wasn’t a great start from their perspective, but they fought back, scored points, and played well. The game will be challenging.”
“Man United are a little more direct now, and their build-up has changed a little. They share the same quality at the same time. They face threats from [Marcus] Rashford, Antony, [Jadon] Sancho, and Bruno Fernandes, who is crucial to their success.”
“There are many similarities between them, but they also appear to have grown to like one another and adapt to the competition. It’s a routine procedure.”
“Erik had only been at Manchester United for six weeks or so when we played them, and I had been at Brighton for three years. As a result, there is much to learn and a process to go through. That is typical. He has the quality; inevitably, things will improve over time.”
🗣 "I've got huge respect for ten Hag."
Graham Potter on facing Erik ten Hag on the touchline for the second time this season at a different club pic.twitter.com/4dsXknfclF
— Football Daily (@footballdaily) October 21, 2022
Potter on can Chalobah make it to England squad?
“I have to admit that I have been quite impressed from day one. Although he didn’t start the first few games, he performed flawlessly. He had excellent training, was very professional, and had a lot of drive.”
“Chalobah has a strong personality and is committed to his football. He desires to participate, contribute to the group, and see Chelsea triumph. He is excellent in that area and has certain traits.”
“Because we’ve been having issues with player availability, he has participated in every game. He has stepped in for us and is doing an excellent job. I’m not shocked that he is receiving the England link, but happily, it was not my choice.”
Potter: Zakaria has to stay patient
When asked about Denis Zakaria fit your plan, Potter said. “Our squad consists of 24 players, and we have used several of them. He has had to be patient since there are a lot of good players in his position.”
“However, he is competing, vying for his position, and is prepared to support the squad if necessary. Because you can’t play everyone, there will always be a question about someone, no matter how the season goes.”
“He hasn’t done anything wrong; he’s just been a little unfortunate. He hasn’t received as much game action as he would have liked yet, but he’s doing well in practice and is ready to pitch in.”
Graham Potter on Denis Zakaria:
"We've got a squad of 24, we've used quite a lot. In that position, there are good players. He's been patient and competing, and ready to help the team. You can't play everybody. He's been unfortunate, he's done nothing wrong."
— Absolute Chelsea (@AbsoluteChelsea) October 21, 2022
Potter provides injury updates on James and Gallagher
N’Golo Kante, Reece James, and Wesley Fofana are all out after Potter’s team was held to a scoreless draw at Brentford midweek. The Chelsea manager acknowledged that his team would be identical to the one that played the Bees.
In his pre-game press conference, Potter stated, “We’re still in the process of recovering everyone after the game, but we’re very much as we were against Brentford.”
“Conor Gallagher, who participated in training on Friday and is in contention to play, received some good news.”
“Reece must wear a brace for four weeks to stabilize the knee. After that, the rehabilitation process will take, as we previously stated, roughly eight weeks. The newest is thus that.”