Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois could be out for up to two months, according to several newspapers this morning.
If true, it would have a devastating effect on Chelsea's chances of defending their Premier League title.
Sky Sports are reporting that the Belgian will miss Saturday's crucial visit to Everton amid reports the international injured his knee in training on Wednesday.
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The misfortune couldn’t have come at a worse time for the Blues, who’ve already slipped up twice this season, leaving them eight points behind leaders Man City.
Arguably, Chelsea are already in a must-win position considering the ominous form of Pellegrini’s men. However, there’s no doubt that the task has become considerably more challenging with the injury to the Premier League’s best goalkeeper.
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Mourinho’s side have quite frankly looked lost in defence so far, having already conceded nine goals in their opening four games this season. This can be attributed to the disorganisation of the back four as opposed to a drop in form from Courtois, who saved a penalty from James Morrison in their 3-2 away win against West Brom.
Although it hasn’t been evident this season, Courtois is a calming influence on Chelsea’s defence. How many times have we seen the 23-year-old coolly extinguish dangerous opposition set-pieces or corners by striding off his line and plucking the ball from the air?
He acquires the best handling of any keeper in the world. It is why the Belgian is going to be so sorely missed by Chelsea, especially at a time when they need stability and a string of positive results to keep Man City within their grasp.
Nevertheless, with every misfortune comes an opportunity in football and the news would've come as bitter-sweet for summer-signing Asmir Begovic. The 28-year-old now looks set for an extended period in-between the Chelsea sticks and must hit the ground running.
The Bosnia-Herzegovina international is experienced having spent five years at Stoke, accumulating over 150 caps and impressing on numerous occasions.
However playing for Chelsea carries an extra weight of pressure and only time will tell as to how well Begovic will deal with that.
Chelsea travel to Everton, host Arsenal and then visit Newcastle in their next three fixtures and despite it being so early in the season, I feel it’s crucial they get nine points from those encounters.
How damaging is the Courtois injury for Chelsea? Can Begovic save Chelsea’s title aspirations?
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