Chelsea have been handed a major injury blow ahead of their Premier League clash with Arsenal on Wednesday night. Mateo Kovacic was withdrawn from the Blues’ FA Cup semi-final clash with Crystal Palace at Wembley on Saturday afternoon with a suspected ankle injury. He’s understandably now a heavy doubt for the upcoming fixture with the Gunners.
He was substituted for Chelsea academy prospect Ruben Loftus-Cheek. The problem appeared to occur earlier in the game and whilst Kovacic originally attempted to continue, he soon dropped onto his haunches to eventually depart the action.
It’s not the first time that Kovacic has suffered with injury or fitness problems this term. Despite having made 40 appearances in all competitions, he was absent for nearly two months earlier in the campaign.
The Croatian is an integral part of Thomas Tuchel’s set-up, and will be sorely missed for however long he’s out for. But whilst it’s a blow for Chelsea and their respective plans, it’s a boost for Arsenal.
Mikel Arteta’s side have been in poor form since their return to action after the international break. They’ve lost each of their last three games in the Premier League and their hopes of reaching top four now pretty much hinder on winning all three of their tricky match-ups with top six sides Chelsea, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur, as well as their other remaining games.
They therefore need all the luck they can get, and whilst it’s never good to wish injury upon any player, not having to deal with Kovacic and his controlled influence on the pitch is understandably a good for Arteta and the Spaniard’s plans for the match-up.