It appears via broadcast footage from Chelsea’s 3-3 UEFA Champions League draw with Roma at Stamford Bridge this week that after shepherding a ball out of play, Rudiger was subjected to monkey noises and other racist abuse from the away end where the AS Roma fans were congregated.
Alvaro Morata could be facing a spell on the sidelines through the middle of November.
The Spanish Football Federation announced that it had dropped Morata from its national team squad for a pair of World Cup qualifiers because he had suffered a grade two hamstring tear. Morata limped off during Chelsea’s 1-0 defeat to Manchester City on Sunday.
According to The Guardian, the standard recovery time for a grade two hamstring injury is anywhere from four to six weeks, meaning Morata could miss both of Chelsea’s UEFA Champions League matches against AS Roma and potentially the match against Manchester United on November 5. Following that match is the final international break of the year, where Morata can take advantage of two more weeks without club action.
The injury news is a big blow to both Chelsea and Spain. For Chelsea, Morata has scored seven goals in eight appearances this season in all competitions, while for Spain he leads the line in a team that has been starved the last couple of years for dependable strikers.
Chelsea will likely start Michy Batshuayi in Morata’s place but it’s possible that Antonio Conte could use a “false 9” formation with six midfielders and four defenders to confuse opposing defenses.
Zouma signs new Chelsea contract, is immediately loaned to Stoke City
Kurt Zouma‘s long-term future is secure at Chelsea, but his short-term future will be away from Stamford Bridge.
The France international centerback signed a new six-year contract with Chelsea and was promptly sent out on a season-long loan to Stoke City. Zouma made just three starts and nine total appearances last season as he came back from a torn ACL suffered in February 2016.
“It is fantastic Kurt has chosen to commit his future to Chelsea,” Chelsea technical director Michael Emenalo said in a statement. “He has shown his talent since joining us three years ago, and has returned from a serious injury with a fantastic attitude.
“Now he has the opportunity to play regularly in the Premier League and we will be monitoring his progress closely while he is at Stoke.”
The move to Stoke will give Zouma a new experience, playing for a mid-table side in the Premier League, and it will be interesting to see where he fits in at centerback, battling with American Geoff Cameron and Englishman Ryan Shawcross.
Even with John Terry leaving the club, Zouma was likely to be second-choice in the back three for Chelsea and if he wants to make France’s squad for the 2018 World Cup, he’ll have to play regularly.
Report: Chelsea will evaluate USMNT’s Matt Miazga before next season
At the moment, Chelsea has several top-quality central defenders on its roster, and even with John Terry leaving at season’s end, there’s no guarantee Miazga would see significant minutes during the 2017/18 campaign.
In the latest Men in Blazers podcast, Rog and Davo discuss Chelsea’s rebound, City’s stumble and Southampton’s Six-Pack 3-pointer, as well as homecomings for Jozy Altidore and Mix Diskerud. WWE Intercontinental Champ and Preston North End fan Bad News Barrett guests.
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