Why Reece James and Thiago Silva were absent from Chelsea's squad for Southampton


Graham Potter has revealed that there is no injury concern surrounding the players left out his Chelsea squad to take on Southampton. Reece James, Marc Cucurella and Thiago Silva were not with the team at Stamford Bridge.

James and Silva were replaced by Cesar Azpilicueta and Benoit Badiashile in Chelsea's starting line up while Ben Chilwell recovered from the knock he suffered against Borussia Dortmund to earn his second start in a row.

The Blues boss noted that by making his changes - there were six in the starting XI - he was hoping to both help manage players' return from injury, while also managing those players who may have some fatigue. James completed 90 minutes in consecutive matches for the first time since returning from injury. Potter said ahead of the game:

"We've got a few boys who have recently returned from injury and for them to play three games in a week at this stage, it's just too much for them. So we've had to use the group and David has been training well. He's a young forward who we think can add something for us.

"No, we don't have any injuries, we are just using this as a chance to rest a few players who have a little bit of fatigue. It's the circumstances we find ourselves in and we just have to be careful with those players. We've picked a side that we feel can be fresh and be powerful against a team fighting for the points."

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