Graham Potter says Ben Chilwell injury ‘doesn’t look positive’ and praises Denis Zakaria debut

Jason Soutar
Graham Potter on Ben Chilwell injury

Chelsea boss Graham Potter has said it “doesn’t look positive” for Ben Chilwell after he hobbled off with a hamstring injury against Dinamo Zagreb.

Chilwell’s place in England’s World Cup squad is now under threat as he joins club and country team-mate Reece James on the injury list.

Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate has several injuries to key players, such as Manchester City duo Kyle Walker and Kalvin Phillips.

The Blues were 2-1 victors over Dinamo Zagreb in their final Champions League group game, but the result was marred by the injury to Chilwell.

Should the former Leicester City man be unavailable for the World Cup, you would expect Manchester United’s Luke Shaw to start in Qatar.

Chelsea head coach Graham Potter provided as much of an update on Chilwell as he could, with a scan later this week able to confirm the severity of his hamstring problem.

“It doesn’t look positive,” he told BT Sport.

“It’s a hamstring. We will have to scan it and see how it is.”

Graham Potter also noted that goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga was seen on crutches as a ‘precaution’.

“No he won’t be OK for Sunday,” he said.

“It’s only precautionary [to have the crutches] to keep the weight off his foot. He’s progressing well but won’t be available for Sunday.”

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In some positive news for Potter and Chelsea; Denis Zakaria marked his full debut with the winning goal.

Potter was high in praise of the on-loan Swiss midfielder after the full-time whistle.

He said: “I thought he was really good.

“You can see what he brings, the quality he has and he played with enthusiasm.

“He had good discipline and got forward when he could.

“I was really impressed with him.

“He certainly did more than we asked which was to give us competition there.

“He did everything he could. He helped the team and scored – a great debut.”

On the win against Zagreb – who beat Chelsea on matchday one in what proved to be Thomas Tuchel’s final match in charge – Potter added: “Really pleased. Not the ideal start for us but the character was good and overall we played quite well.

“We attacked well, had some good chances and finished it off in a positive way.

“Whenever we have played Raheem Sterling we try to get him as high as we can.

“He has only ever needed to defend against the full-backs so it was a slight change in terms of the back four behind him but not too much change.

“The worry would be if you are not creating chances. Tonight we had a few we could have scored obviously. But our intent was good, our play was good and there is always ways to improve but the quality was there.

“We got the win, a performance and the boys gave everything.

“We are a work in progress but with our Champions League campaign we can be happy.

“We dust ourselves down for a big game on the weekend.”

Chelsea host Premier League leaders Arsenal on Sunday afternoon.

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