The last time Chelsea actually played a Premier League fixture, it was way back on Sept. 3. That afternoon saw the Blues, along with the officials, defeat West Ham United 2-1.
That means by the time they next play a league game, Oct 1 at Crystal Palace for yet another London derby, it will be almost a month (29 days) in between domestic fixtures. At least they are well rested.
Chelsea at Crystal Palace FYIs
Kickoff: Sat. Oct. 1, 3pm, Selhurst Park
Chelsea Starting XI Prediction: go here
After Extra Time Podcast: Apple Spotify
Google Result Probability: Chelsea 53% Crystal Palace 26% Draw 21%
N’Golo Kante (hamstring) is on the mend now. He’s convalesced enough that he’s been able to return to individual training. The Standard spotted the midfielder taking this step forward over the international break.
And with his return to training, it means he might actually be in contention to make the match day squad here. Or at least the next one.
It’s possible he could see some bench minutes soon.
There was only one other player who missed training ahead of the Blues’ last match, Edouard Mendy (patellar tendon issue in his knee), but the goalkeeper could be back in contention here.
Flipping over to Palace, they have a quartet of players out of commission here: James McArthur (groin), James Tomkins (undisclosed), Jack Butland (hand) and finally Nathan Ferguson (foot)
Paul M. Banks is the owner/manager of The Bank (TheSportsBank.Net) and author of “Transatlantic Passage: How the English Premier League Redefined Soccer in America,” as well as “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry.”
He has regularly appeared in WGN, Sports Illustrated and the Chicago Tribune, and he co-hosts the After Extra Time podcast, part of Edge of the Crowd Network. Follow him and the website on Twitter and Instagram.