Chelsea drop exciting early team news hint ahead of Nottingham Forest clash

Mauricio Pochettino could be boosted by the inclusion of one key star. (Image: Getty)

Chelsea’s hopes of three points against Nottingham Forest this evening could be boosted by the inclusion of captain Reece James. The Englishman has been missing since mid-December through injury, but had returned to training earlier this week.

Sharing a teasing photograph via their official X account, Chelsea have left fans speculating over James’ involvement in their Saturday night clash against Forest. The photo, which depicts the right-back holding his captain’s armband, hints that James could feature in the Blues’ matchday squad.

It was in response to a cryptic post from James himself, with the Chelsea academy graduate saying: “See you @ 5:30 Blues”. That being the kick-off time in Chelsea’s game against Forest.

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Speaking ahead of the clash, Mauricio Pochettino revealed James could make the team for the Forest game: “We need to assess today some players that maybe can be involved tomorrow in the game. I am happy because we are going to be in the last week of the season and nearly all the players will be fit to be available. It is a good end and to see the future more optimistic.

“We need to see today but maybe he [James] can be available to be in the squad. The most important thing is that he is going to be there with us. Always to have your captain is a massive boost for any team. We have an amazing relationship and of course he is an amazing player.”

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Reece James has returned to training following a lengthy absence from the Chelsea team. (Image: Getty)

James’ return comes at an ideal time for Pochettino, given his side are in the midst of a cut-throat European battle. Having looked all but out of the race earlier this year, the two-time European champions have fought back and could still sneak into a Europa Conference League or Europa League position. 

They’re competing against Newcastle United and Manchester United, with just two points separating the trio ahead of the penultimate weekend of Premier League action. After today’s visit to relegation-threatened Nottingham Forest, Pochettino’s men travel to Brighton & Hove Albion in midweek, before welcoming Bournemouth to Stamford Bridge for the final game of the season.