Chelsea have been dealt a fresh blow ahead of their crunch clash with Leeds United, with Mason Mount ruled out of the match due to injury and Reece James a doubt.
Mount, who has been a key player for the Blues this season, picked up a knock in the 1-1 draw with Aston Villa last weekend and has been unable to shake it off in time for the game against Leeds. The 21-year-old midfielder has been a regular starter for Chelsea this season, making 24 appearances in all competitions and scoring four goals.
The news of Mount’s absence is a major blow for Chelsea, who are already without the services of N’Golo Kante due to a hamstring injury. The French midfielder has been out of action since the start of December and is not expected to return until the end of January.
The Blues are also sweating on the fitness of right-back Reece James, who is a doubt for the game against Leeds. The 20-year-old has been in impressive form this season, making 22 appearances in all competitions and scoring two goals.
The absence of Mount and James could leave Chelsea short of options in midfield and defence, with manager Frank Lampard likely to have to turn to his squad players to fill the void. The likes of Billy Gilmour, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Emerson Palmieri could all be in line for a start against Leeds.
The game against Leeds is a crucial one for Chelsea, who are currently fourth in the Premier League table and just two points ahead of fifth-placed West Ham. A win for the Blues would see them move five points clear of the Hammers and put them in a strong position to secure a top-four finish.
However, with Mount and James both set to miss the game, Lampard’s side will have to dig deep if they are to come away with all three points. It promises to be an intriguing encounter, with both sides desperate for the win.