Kovacic fit but Koulibaly not ready to return

Mateo Kovacic is expected to be available for Chelsea at Brighton on Saturday but Kalidou Koulibaly is not yet ready to return.

Koulibaly has missed the past two matches with a knee injury he picked up during the recent draw against Brentford.

Blues boss Graham Potter confirmed on Friday afternoon that the defender will remain sidelined for the trip to the south coast.

But there is a small chance that Koulibaly could be back in the squad for Wednesday’s Champions League match against Dinamo Zagreb.

Kovacic has been nursing a slight calf issue and was withdrawn during this week’s win against RB Salzburg.

However, Potter explained: “Mateo’s calf is fine. It was more fatigue.

“Koulibaly has an outside chance for Wednesday but tomorrow comes too soon.”

It will be Potter’s first return to Brighton since leaving to take over at Chelsea last month.

“Sometimes life throws you an opportunity and you have to take it or not,” he said.

“The timing wasn’t great – for anybody – and sometimes that happens. The chance to work here was too good to turn down.”