Chelsea boost ahead of crucial Nottingham Forest final home game

Chelsea have received a boost with the news that captain Reece James looks to have confirmed he will play some part in the Premier League clash with Nottingham Forest this evening.

The Reds host the Blues at the City Ground at 5.30pm in Forest’s last home game of the season as Nuno Espirito Santo’s men continue to push to avoid relegation ahead of rivals Luton and Burnley, with two games to go.

James’ campaign has been plagued with disappointment. After suffering several hamstring injuries, the decision was made to conduct surgery after being forced off against Everton.

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The operation has put the 24-year-old on the sidelines for the entirety of 2024 but it appears the full-back will be in the matchday squad on Saturday evening when the Blues visit the City Ground. Posting on X, James wrote: “See you at 5:30 Blues.”

Of course, 5:30 is the exact time that Chelsea will be kicking off against Forest in the Premier League. On Friday, Mauricio Pochettino hinted that James could be back in contention for the clash in the East Midlands.

He told reporters: “We need to see today but maybe he can be available in the squad, yes.” The return of James to the Chelsea squad will be of delight to not only Blues fans but also England supporters as Gareth Southgate prepares to name his team for this summer’s European Championships in Germany.

James’ return to fitness also offers up a selection dilemma for Pochettino at right-back. Malo Gusto has stepped up to the plate in the Englishman’s absence and has performed well, so it would be harsh to automatically drop him upon the captain’s return.

One man pleased to see James back in the squad is Enzo Fernandez, who wished the players well for today’s game on Instagram. He added: “The tractor is back,” in relation to James’ return to fitness.

Trevoh Chalobah, Raheem Sterling and Thiago Silva are among the other Chelsea players to share the pre-match graphic to their Instagram stories, which is normally a hint to suggest they will be playing today.

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