Liverpool vs Chelsea press conference: Potter on Mudryk debut, Madueke rumours and wing-backs' return from injury
Ahead of Saturday's Premier League fixture away at Liverpool, Graham Potter revealed Mykhailo Mudryk's chances of making his Chelsea debut at Anfield and provided an update on the recovery of Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Reece James and Ben Chilwell from injury.
With the January transfer window in full swing and Chelsea active in the market this month, before looking ahead to the match at Liverpool, Graham Potter was asked by the media whether there was any news on Noni Madueke, who has been heavily linked with a move to Stamford Bridge from PSV Eindhoven.
'I know there’s a lot of noise around there, but at the moment there’s nothing to announce,' said Potter.
'The club hasn’t announced anything and I’m not in a position to speak any more until he’s a Chelsea player. Until then there’s nothing else to say. I don’t like to speak about players who aren’t Chelsea players.'
One man who is very much a Chelsea player, though, is Mykhailo Mudryk, and Potter suggested there is a good chance the Ukrainian winger could make his debut at some point during our visit to Anfield, following his move from Shakhtar Donetsk.
'He’s settled in really good. He’s a young player, an exciting player, fantastic speed one-v-one, can attack the back line. Now we’ve just got to help him adapt to the Premier League, adapt to us.
'He’s obviously come from a mid-season break so hasn’t played so much football recently, but has been training well, so we’ll assess him and see how much he can play at the weekend.
'There’s a chance he could make his debut. It’s how much he can do. I think 90 minutes no, but there’s probably a role for him at some stage in the game.
'You’ve just got to help him understand and help everyone understand that he’s coming from a different country, a different league, so he has to adapt. He’s a young player who’s got a lot of potential, a lot of upside, but at the same time he’s had some really good experiences already. So he’s an exciting player.'
Looking at longer-serving members of his Blues squad, Potter also provided an update on how close Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Reece James and Ben Chilwell are to returning to action, with the first of those the closest after being an unused substitute in Sunday's win over Crystal Palace.
'Ruben was on the bench in the last match to be on the bench, essentially,' explained our head coach. 'He’s a lot closer now so he can play more minutes.
'The boys are progressing well, Reece has joined team training but won’t be involved at the weekend, the same as Ben. Everybody else is pretty much where we were.'
Potter revealed last week that N'Golo Kante is returning to training and getting closer, although not ready for matches yet. Christian Pulisic, Raheem Sterling, Wesley Fofana, Edouard Mendy and Armando Broja are also unavailable due to injury, while Denis Zakaria is a doubt after going off against Fulham and missing the weekend's win over Crystal Palace.
Liverpool have injury problems of their own, with Virgil van Dijk, Luis Diaz, Diogo Jota, Arthur and Roberto Firmino all expected to be out of action into next month. However, they have hopes that Darwin Nunez and Konstantinos Tsimikas could return for this game.
Joao Felix is unavailable as he serves the second match of his three-game suspension following a red card at Fulham, with his potential return being at West Ham on 11 February. There are no suspensions for Liverpool.
As the deadline at the halfway mark of the season has passed, no Chelsea player can now be suspended for reaching five yellow cards. Players who accumulate 10 yellow cards in Premier League matches up to and including our 32nd fixture will serve a two-match suspension in the competition.
Michael Oliver’s two previous Chelsea games this season were away at Southampton and at home to Arsenal.
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