Crystal Palace v Chelsea: Return dates for Eagles and Blues stars including Reece James update

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Both Patrick Vieira and Thomas Tuchel will be hoping to get some players back from the treatment table for this weekend’s south London derby.

Chelsea will have to put their Club World Cup celebrations on hold and take on Crystal Palace in the Premier League this weekend.

The Blues fresh from adding the World title to their European triumph will now look to breathe more life into their league campaign when they travel to Selhurst Park this weekend.

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There is a growing belief within the squad that they are more a cup side than a league side, as they are always pumped up for big games and have won three major trophies in the last 12 months.

Thomas Tuchel has handled the injury crisis well, and he will be looking forward to having some bodies back to help cement the top four finish he will now have to settle for.

Patrick Vieira however has been fortunate with injuries, and the return of James McArthur last weekend means only Nathan Ferguson is on the treatment table.

So with the London derby between Chelsea and Palace just around the corner, here are some of the dates for the return of players for both sides.

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Reece James

The England international is very close to a return, and would have played in the Club World Cup final if it had been even a week later.

Manager Thomas Tuchel claimed the reason he was not involved in the tournament was because he missed training sessions in the build up.

Now that the trophy is in the bag, and they have had a few days off, you would expect that getting James back in the side will be high on the to do list.

James had scored four goals and assisted five before he injured his hamstring against Brighton on December 29.

Since then Chelsea have only won one league game.

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There are a few training sessions James still has to go through to get the all clear, but he is in line for a return this weekend at Selhurst Park.

Potential return date: Crystal Palace (A) Feb 19

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Ruben Loftus-Cheek

There comes a time when you have to just feel for the England midfielder.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek is such a dedicated professional, who works so hard to win a place in the starting eleven.

But whenever he looks like he is going to push on, he gets held back by an injury.

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He missed the Club World Cup due to this recent injury, and has been working back on his own back in Cobham.

The timing of his latest knock has been quite unfortunate, as he felt pain in the game against Everton and then caught Covid.

Doctors are optimistic that he is a couple of weeks away from joining first-team training though, which will represent another start in what has been a very frustrating season for the young midfielder.

Potential return date: Burnley (A) March 5

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Ben Chilwell

Ben Chilwell travelled with the Chelsea team for their Club World Cup tournament and photos of him celebrating with his team mates are golden.

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He is a huge miss on pitch and his return will be like a new signing to the club.

Nathan Ferguson

Nathan Ferguson has had a tough time in the last year, and thought he had turned the corner when he came on at Tottenham earlier in the season.

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Since then it’s been one set back after another, and now he has a hamstring issue that will likely keep him out for the next month.

He is always a brilliant football player when fit, but he hasn’t been fully fit for more than a season now which is a huge concern.

The end of March is the initial prognosis, but Eagles fans could see him back earlier than expected.

Potential return date: Newcastle (A) March 19

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