HomeChampions LeagueWin at 'incredible' San Siro would be special for Chelsea, says Potter

Win at ‘incredible’ San Siro would be special for Chelsea, says Potter

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football – Champions League – Chelsea Press Conference – Stamford Bridge, London, Britain – October 4, 2022 Chelsea manager Graham Potter during a press conference Action Images via Reuters/Andrew Boyers/File Photo

(Reuters) – Chelsea must be prepared for a tough and physically demanding Champions League clash at AC Milan on Tuesday and a victory would be all the more special as it would come at San Siro, manager Graham Potter said on the eve of the match.

Chelsea go into the Group E game in a rich vein of form having won their last three games since the international break, including a 3-0 win over Milan at Stamford Bridge.

Asked how special it would be to win at San Siro, where English clubs rarely do well, Potter told reporters: “That’s our challenge and it’s what we have to try to do. It’s an incredible place here, a completely different game.

“AC Milan will try to use home advantage like we did. Two good teams, two quite evenly matched teams. It’s going to be a fantastic game and I’m really looking forward to it.

“We’re expecting a really tough game. AC Milan have got a lot of fantastic players, a really well organised team. They’re very flexible — they can set up, attack and defend in a lots of ways.”

Potter said winger Hakim Ziyech did not travel because he was ill while midfielder N’Golo Kante’s return to action could be delayed depending on how the Frenchman fares in training.

“We’re just waiting on his reaction to training,” Potter said of Kante, who has been sidelined with a hamstring problem since mid-August.

“(The length of the recovery) is certainly not ideal and it is disappointing for him and for us. We’ll have to see the extent of it and go from there.”

Chelsea’s Thiago Silva returns to San Siro where he played with Milan and won Serie A, and Potter praised the 38-year-old, saying his future at the English club is in his own hands.

“He’s a leader, a top professional and a top person. He has been a joy to work with,” the Chelsea manager said of the Brazilian whose contract runs until the end of the season.

“The decision (to stay at the club) is Thiago’s. I’ve been here three or four weeks and I see his qualities.

“The performance levels he can reach and the amount of respect he has throughout the game is incredible. All I can do is help him enjoy his football here, be a part of a winning team and the rest is for him and the club to think about.”

(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Ken Ferris)