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Chelsea confirm double injury blow ahead of crucial Arsenal fixture

Chelsea have been dealt a double injury blow ahead of their mouth-watering London derby showdown against Arsenal at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.

The club have confirmed that Carney Chukwuemeka and Trevoh Chalobah have suffered setbacks in their recovery from injury and will spend an extended spell on the sidelines.

Chukwuemeka has not featured for the Blues since Mauricio Pochettino’s side were on the wrong end of a humiliating 3-1 defeat at West Ham United.

The 19-year-old had scored his maiden goal for the Blues, cancelling out Nayef Aguerd’s opener, before picking up a knee injury that required surgery.

Having missed the subsequent seven fixtures across all competitions, Chukwuemeka was fit to start the 4-1 victory over Burnley on the bench but was an unused substitute.

The youngster will have to wait a while longer before making only his third appearance for Chelsea this season after suffering a setback in training.

Chelsea have not clarified Chalobah’s setback, but the defender aggravated a hamstring injury in training in August and is yet to make his competitive debut in the Pochettino era.

The Blues have confirmed that both players will continue to be monitored by the club’s medical team and will continue their rehabilitation at the Cobham training ground.

The double injury blow comes after news that club captain Reece James is also doubtful to face Arsenal after suffering a setback of his own during training.

The Blues captain has been forced to withdraw from group training sessions and is now undergoing individual rehabilitation.

James had been making strides in his recovery from a hamstring injury he sustained in August. But his setback means Pochettino must choose between Malo Gusto and Marc Cucurella as replacements.

Gusto is back in contention after serving his three-match suspension, while Cucurella has impressed in his unorthodox right-back role, having been displaced on the other flank by Levi Colwill.

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