Manchester City worry explained as Chelsea face Nicolas Jackson headache

Manchester City worry explained as Chelsea face Nicolas Jackson headache

Nicolas Jackson will once again have to tread carefully on Saturday afternoon as Chelsea welcome Burnley to Stamford Bridge in the Premier League.

The 22-year-old striker has accumulated nine yellow cards this season and is one booking away from a two-match suspension. Any player that is booked 10 times in the club’s first 32 Premier League matches of the season is banned for two games.

Chelsea play their 28th game of the league campaign at the weekend against Burnley, meaning Jackson has five more matches to go to avoid being carded. Moises Caicedo, meanwhile, is also at risk, with the Ecuador international being booked eight times this term while Cole Palmer has seven yellows.

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The Blues’ 32nd game of the Premier League season is away at Arsenal on April 23, which will be the cut-off point for those at risk of a two-match suspension. Three days prior to the trip to the Emirates Stadium, Chelsea go to Wembley for the second time in this campaign as they take on Manchester City in the FA Cup semi-final.

Everton at home is before that – but if a Chelsea player, like Jackson, Caicedo or Palmer, was to pick up their 10th booking of the season during that match, then the suspension would not carry over to the FA Cup. They would instead miss the back-to-back trips to Arsenal and Aston Villa following the semi-final.

The three players most at risk are all crucial to the Chelsea squad as well, and with the club’s ongoing injury crisis, the Blues really cannot afford to lose anyone else. Chelsea published their weekly injury update on Thursday afternoon with nine first-team players included on the dreaded list.

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Carney Chukwuemeka, Robert Sanchez and Trevoh Chalobah were all additions to the injury list, with the likes of Romeo Lavia, Wesley Fofana, Reece James, Lesley Ugochukwu, Christopher Nkunku and Levi Colwill already on there. It has been a season full of injury problems for Mauricio Pochettino, who cannot quite put his finger on the root cause of the issue.

The likes of Ben Chilwell, Enzo Fernandez and Palmer will all be assessed ahead of Saturday’s game with Burnley after representing their countries during the two-week international break. “Still we need to assess a few players like Chilwell, who came from the national team playing two games after he didn’t play with us,” Pochettino said on Thursday.

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“He got a knock on his leg, on his knee, today he wasn’t ready to train. We will see what happens tomorrow [Friday], whether he will be available for the squad. We need to assess him.

“A few players also like Enzo didn’t arrive. Today [Thursday] was a training session to put everyone at the same level and to check for tomorrow to prepare the game and see if they can be available. Not too many new news.”

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