Provided nothing else goes wrong this international break, and that’s a very big if, considering how many major injuries has occurred this past week, Chelsea could see as many as five of their injured players return to the fold at Newcastle United next weekend.

We could see the Chelsea debuts of striker Christopher Nkunku and midfielder Romeo Lavia. Additionally, midfielder Conor Gallagher as well as defenders Levi Colwill and Malo Gusto, could overcome their knocks, and be back in the mix.

Chelsea FC at Newcastle United FYIs
Kick: Sat. Nov 25, 3pm, St. James Park

Transatlantic Passage: How the Premier League Redefined Soccer in America: LINK

Premier League Position: Newcastle 7th, 20 points Chelsea 10th, 16 points

Premier League Form: Newcastle LWDWD Chelsea DWLDW

We already covered all the fitness concerns, in detail, for both sides heading into this epic clash. The Chelsea link can be found here, while the Newcastle United link can be found here.

Gallagher had been carrying a knock, and was considered a doubt for Newcastle, but after playing an entire half for England, in the 2-0 win over Malta, it is clear that he’s fine now.

England manager Gareth Southgate said of Gallagher:

“He has come with a bit of a knock from the weekend but he walked through the door saying ‘it is a bit sore but I will be fine for Friday’. There was no way he was going home, there was no way he wasn’t going to give himself every chance.

He wasn’t able to train for the first few days but he was determined he would be available and that, in a nutshell, is what is going to be one of his greatest strengths which will allow himself to achieve everything he might in the game because his mentality is outstanding.”

Nkunku has been out since suffering a serious knee injury in a friendly versus Borussia Dortmund at Soldier Field in Chicago. Manager Mauricio Pochettino remains optimistic that he’ll receive his first competitive minutes in a blue shirt on Saturday however.

Lavia could be a fellow debutant, as he injured his ankle on the Chelsea training pitch, shortly after he was acquired. He also later suffered a setback along the way of his recovery process.

Gusto withdrew from the France U21s this international period, due to an issue with his knee, but it is understood to be minor and he should be available for selection on Saturday.

The news is not as good for Colwill, who is considered a doubt for the Newcastle clash, due to the shoulder injury that kept him out of the thrilling draw with Manchester City and international duty with England. However, the injury is not thought to be serious, and if does miss out next weekend, he should not be gone too much longer than that.

Paul M. Banks is the owner/manager of The Sports Bank. He’s also the author of “Transatlantic Passage: How the English Premier League Redefined Soccer in America,” and “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry.”

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