Chelsea injury round-up – and why Barkley is set to benefit

Ross Barkley looks set to be the main man to profit from a number of injuries to Chelsea players on international duty in the past week.

The 25-year-old has struggled to hold down a regular place in the Blues side this season.

But injury concerns for fellow midfielders N’Golo Kante and Mateo Kovacic look like giving him the chance to reclaim a starting place when Chelsea resume Premier League duties against Newcastle at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.

Despite only starting five games for Chelsea under Frank Lampard, Barkley has remained a firm favourite under national team manager Gareth Southgate.

He was left out of the side in favour of club team-mate Mason Mount for the 2-1 Euro 2020 qualifying defeat against the Czech Republic on Friday.

But he returned to the starting line-up on Monday, scoring twice in the 6-0 thumping of Bulgaria.

Kante has been plagued by injury this season and did not feature in either of France’s matches after suffering a strain in the warm-up before Friday’s game against Iceland.

Kovacic took a knock in the first half of Croatia’s 1-1 draw against Wales on Sunday and is also doubtful.

There are also injury worries about centre-back Andreas Christensen, who suffered a hamstring injury, and Reece James who did not feature for England Under-21 because of injury.

Left-back Emerson and midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek remain out.