Chelsea drop early team news hint for Arsenal with Moises Caicedo issue and Reece James update


Moises Caicedo has dropped a hint that he is potentially set to start for Chelsea once more. The Ecuadorian returned as the latest player back from international duty after featuring in both of the games for his country over the break.

Playing in a midfield three alongside on-loan Chelsea starlet Kendry Paez, Caicedo helped to secure two positive results during his time away. He first grabbed the assists for both goals in a 2-1 win over Bolivia, a game that saw Paez score his first for the senior side, before anchoring a 0-0 draw to Bolivia five days later.

However, the Wednesday morning game and long journey back meant that the 21-year-old wasn't back at Cobham until Thursday. It meant that Mauricio Pochettino had even less time to work with his South American midfield duo. "Enzo [Fernandez] trained yesterday," the head coach said on Friday ahead of the clash with Arsenal on Saturday.

"Caicedo arrived yesterday in the afternoon and was checking with the doctor and was in a very good state and today trained with us in the group." He also admitted that it hasn't been the fortnight he was hoping for. "I think it was worse. Only a few players training. I think we enjoyed a lot because we discovered many young talent from the academy. We trained with 10, 11, 12, 14 sometimes, some days, the young kids. That was very good.

"Then only Thiago [Silva], Raheem [Sterling] and Marc Cucurella. Of course Robert Sanchez. 80 per cent of the squad was out and some injured players. Today was the first day [with the full squad], that is why I am late always after the international break because more than half an hour of meetings and then training to try to prepare the game for tomorrow because only today we have all of the players to prepare the game."

It may well have been a worry for Chelsea that Caicedo's only game he has missed since joining in August was the one immediately after the last international break. On that occasion he had an injury to his knee that saw him left out of the squad that travelled away to Bournemouth.

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He has been back in and consistently starting ever since though, even with a knock picked up against Fulham in the latter stages of the 2-0 win at Craven Cottage. Against Mikel Arteta's men it is expected that he will be relied upon once more with the trio of himself, Fernandez and Conor Gallagher a key part of the game on paper.

Now, on the day of the game, Caicedo has posted online with a pre-match video including all of the details for the game and images of himself. Although it doesn't make it certain that he will play it is a possible hint at his involvement.

The club have also been doing their bit to hype up Caicedo, posting him on Friday ahead of the game. "Matchday minus one! [bicep emoji]" they wrote.

The official pre-game match graphic also appears to be team orientated. Goalkeeper Rob Sanchez is front and centre of a picture. The Spanish shot-stopper will be up against his compatriot David Raya in-between the sticks on Saturday and is almost certain to start having played every minute of every game so far.

It is Reece James that the fans want to know about most though. The club captain is in the process of recovering from injury and is a doubt for the game despite not playing since the first game of the season. "We need to assess also Reece," Pochettino told reporters.

"It is much better, much better, he is progressing well but still not at his best 100 per cent. I think maybe he can help the team at some point – he is close to being there." James has been a player covered widely by the club this week with images of him from training throughout the week. There is no suggestion that he will be involved from the get go here but any sign of the 23-year-old is a positive one for supporters.

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