Graham Potter has ruled out two Chelsea players from his first game in charge as the Blues prepare to face Red Bull Salzburg in the Champions League.
Chelsea meet Austrian champions RB Salzburg at Stamford Bridge in Potter’s first game as manager on Wednesday night.
Former Brighton boss Potter agreed a five-year deal with Chelsea last week following the sacking of Thomas Tuchel at Stamford Bridge.
Potter is looking forward to starting his tenure as Chelsea manager tomorrow night but has confirmed he will be without goalkeeper Edouard Mendy and midfielder N’Golo Kante.
Both Mendy and Kante missed Chelsea training on Tuesday and Potter said: “Edouard will miss the game, as will NG.
“Both boys are making good progress but this game comes too early for them.
“Mendy has a knee problem. It has responded well to treatment and doesn’t look like it’s going to last too long [before he’s back] but at the moment he is not available.’
Potter spent three years at Brighton, with the Seagulls finishing 15th in 2020, 16th in 2021 and ninth last season.
Brighton have had a stellar start to the 2022-23 season, winning four of their six games to take 13 points from a possible 18. Potter leaves the club fourth in the Premier League.
On his decision to leave Brighton, Potter said: “The football club here, the history, the tradition, the size of the club and being in the Champions League is a very different challenge than the one I’ve had.
“I’ve had a fantastic three years at Brighton, a great football club, but I’m very grateful that the owners here have put their support and trust in me to work with the quality we have here, to be competitive and to to put together a team Pitch that our supporters are very proud of.”
Chelsea were due to play west London rivals Fulham last weekend but all ten Premier League games were canceled out of respect for the late Queen Elizabeth II.
The Blues face RB Salzburg tomorrow in the capital but will not be in action at the weekend as Sunday’s league game against Liverpool ahead of the Queen’s funeral has also been postponed.
On the hectic start to his Chelsea tenure, Potter added: “It feels like nine weeks or nine months, not nine days [since final game as Brighton boss].
“The beauty of football and life is that you never know what can happen. I’ve had some very intense conversations with the owners; First I realized that they are good people who have made great success in their lives outside of football.
“It’s a really exciting project; it felt really positive. It’s been a whirlwind, meeting people, leaving Brighton, learning more about the players. It’s been really positive so far.’
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