N'Golo Kante missing for Chelsea again ahead of Sheffield United visit

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N'Golo Kante

N’Golo Kante will again be missing for Chelsea when they host newly-promoted Sheffield United in the Premier League on Saturday.

The France international is struggling with an ankle sprain and will not be fit to face the Blades.

Pedro (hamstring) is out having been injured in the warm-up ahead of the win at Norwich last time out, with Antonio Rudiger (knee) and long-term absentees Callum-Hudson Odoi and Ruben Loftus-Cheek (both Achilles) also absent.

Club record signing Oli McBurnie could be handed his first Premier League start for United.

The 23-year-old striker scored his first goal for the Blades in the defeat to Leicester and could be rewarded with a place in the XI at Stamford Bridge, having been withdrawn at half-time during the midweek Carabao Cup win over Blackburn.

United boss Chris Wilder brought in 10 new faces for that second-round tie and wholesale changes are expected again.

Chelsea provisional squad: Arrizabalaga, Azpilicueta, Christensen, Zouma, Emerson, Jorginho, Mount, Giroud, Pulisic, Caballero, Alonso, Tomori, Barkley, Kovacic, Willian, Abraham, Batshuayi

Sheffield United provisional squad: Henderson, Moore, Baldock, Stevens, Fleck, O’Connell, Jagielka, Stearman, Bryan, Basham, Egan, Lundstram, Freeman, Osborn, Morrison, Norwood, McBurnie, Sharp, Robinson, McGoldrick, Mousset.

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Frank Lampard confident Chelsea spotlight not too bright for Mason Mount

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Chelsea boss Frank Lampard believes Mason Mount will be able to deal with the increased scrutiny after starting the season in fine form and earning an England call-up as a result.

The 20-year-old has scored twice for the Blues having started all three opening Premier League games.

Mount, who played under Lampard while on loan at Derby last year, has previously been included in senior England squads but is yet to make his debut.

England manager Gareth Southgate is a big fan of Mount and invited him to train with his World Cup squad ahead of the tournament last summer.

Speaking after calling Mount up for the forthcoming Euro 2020 qualifying double-header against Bulgaria and Kosovo, Southgate said the Chelsea man has been “one of the outstanding players” in the Premier League so far this season.

Lampard insists he knows the player well enough to predict he will not be affected by such achievements at this stage of his career.

“We’re delighted for Mason, it is great recognition,” he said of Mount’s England inclusion.

“He had it (a call-up) at Derby but missed out with injury. He was potentially in contention to start, so he hasn’t had his chance yet. So I’m delighted he’s got this chance again.

“I’m not concerned about it, I spoke about this after Norwich. I’m confident in his strength of character, desire and hunger. Those things won’t affect him.

“Everyone has to keep their feet on the ground to a degree, he first and foremost. I think he will as it’s only the start for him in terms of his Chelsea career.

“But I’m confident he will take the responsibility that comes with it and keep working, because that is what is important now.”

Mount is expected to retain his place in Lampard’s side when they welcome newly-promoted Sheffield United to Stamford Bridge on Saturday.

One player who definitely will not be involved is N’Golo Kante, the midfielder also missing out on the latest France squad as Lampard looks for him to regain fitness over the international break.

“N’Golo Kante is not fit but to the continuation of his ankle problem and he won’t be travelling with the France squad either,” Lampard said.

“I had a conversation with (France head coach) Didier Deschamps and we both agreed it’s the best thing for him. Let’s try and get him fit over the break.

“It’s a setback, of course. My focus is then to make sure he’s OK. He’s had four years of constant football at an incredibly high energy and output level.

“We have to get that right. It’s the right thing to do, we have a strong squad and the performance last week was very good. We have to be strong as a squad and hopefully we’ll show that.”

Pedro will also miss out after injuring his hamstring in the warm-up ahead of the 3-2 win at Norwich, while Callum Hudson-Odoi remains absent.

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Man City could be boosted by return of John Stones and Gabriel Jesus

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Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola suggested John Stones and Gabriel Jesus could be ready to play a role in Saturday’s match against Brighton.

Jesus was expected to be sidelined until after the international break with a hamstring injury while Stones has missed the last two games with a thigh problem, but Guardiola said both were “much better”.

Leroy Sane remains a long-term absentee while Benjamin Mendy is working his way back to full fitness.

Brighton remain without suspended forward Florin Andone for their trip to the Etihad Stadium.

Romania international Andone serves the second game of a three-match ban after being sent off in last weekend’s defeat to Southampton, while Jurgen Locadia on Thursday left Albion to join German club Hoffenheim on loan.

Young striker Aaron Connolly will hope to be involved after scoring in the Carabao Cup win at Bristol Rovers but injured trio Ezequiel Schelotto, Jose Izquierdo and Yves Bissouma remain sidelined.

Man City provisional squad: Ederson, Bravo, Walker, Cancelo, Stones, Otamendi, Laporte, Zinchenko, Angelino, Gundogan, Fernandinho, Rodri, De Bruyne, D Silva, B Silva, Foden, Sterling, Mahrez, Aguero, Jesus.

Brighton provisional squad: Ryan, Button, Montoya, Dunk, Duffy, Webster, Burn, Balogun, Bernardo, Bong, Stephens, Propper, Mooy, March, Jahanbakhsh, Trossard, Gross, Murray, Maupay, Connolly.

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