Chelsea sweating on fitness of Cesc Fabregas, plus others, ahead of Manchester City match

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Chelsea fans are facing an anxious wait between now and Saturday’s huge match against Manchester City (Watch live, 12:30 p.m. ET on NBC and online via Live Extra) as Cesc Fabregas heads a list of players struggling to be fit for the crunch clash.

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The Spanish playmaker, who leads the Premier League in assists this season with 15 so far, was withdrawn during Chelsea’s 1-0 win over Liverpool in the League Cup semifinal second leg on Tuesday.

Jose Mourinho spoke about Fabregas’ ailment after the match and revealed that the 27-year-old asked to come off to avoid further damage.

“Fabregas reported a tight hamstring,” Mourinho told reporters. “He said he wasn’t yet injured but that he would be soon if he continued.”

Earlier this season in a game against Liverpool at Anfield, Fabregas played through a similar hamstring issue against the advice of the medical staff as he put his body on the line for Mourinho’s side. Now, we will have to wait and see whether or not the Spaniard can recover in the next 72 hours to face City in what is being billed as the biggest game of the season so far as the top two teams in the PL meet in west London with Chelsea able to go eight points clear at the summit with a win.

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Other players struggling for Saturday’s showdown include left back Filipe Luis, who limped out of the game late on with a calf issue, and right back Branislav Ivanovic.

Ivanovic scored the game-winning goal against Liverpool on Tuesday and played with a wound on his foot. After the game Mourinho told reporters that Ivanovic’s boot from the game “should be put in a museum” as it was full of blood after he suffered the wound during the match, but then carried on.

All of this comes after the news that Diego Costa may face a retrospective violent conduct charge from the FA for two apparent stamps on Liverpool’s Emre Can and Martin Skrtel. Turns out Chelsea could be pretty light on Saturday, as Man City may have found the perfect time to play them.