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Chelsea boss Potter hopeful on Pulisic amid injury crisis

Chelsea boss Graham Potter has said he has “never experienced anything like it” after the club’s injury situation worsened as Raheem Sterling and Christian Pulisic limped out of Thursday’s 1-0 home defeat to Manchester City.

Sterling was forced off after five minutes with Pulisic following him 17 minutes later with a knee problem as City substitute Riyad Mahrez scored a second-half winner to move Pep Guardiola’s side within five points of Premier League leaders Arsenal.

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Mason Mount was also absent after picking up a knock in training and the trio join Wesley Fofana, Armando Broja, Reece James, Ben Chilwell and N’Golo Kante on the sidelines.

The Blues will face City again in Sunday’s FA Cup third-round tie at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday and Potter said: “It doesn’t make it any easier but obviously too soon [to know how bad the injuries are]. Raheem, first action in the game. So it was a strange one, a backheel.

“And then obviously Christian is full pelt and it’s a cross or a shot and it is contact with his knee. Fingers crossed it is not too bad.

“Mason got a kick yesterday as well but we are hopeful for the weekend. It is just one of those things at the moment. I’ve never experienced anything like it. Obviously I wouldn’t like to experience it ideally here but it is what it is and I’ll just have to carry on.

“The expectation is where it is so you want to be here and have all your players available and have a fully fit squad and be able to compete. You know the demands of our supporters, who I thought were fantastic today, really supportive and got behind the team in a great way but it is frustrating for everyone at the moment.”

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Chelsea have taken six points from a possible 24 under Potter since Oct. 16 but the 47-year-old, who took over from Thomas Tuchel in September, defended his record, adding: “If you just analyse that in terms of points in the amount of games, it is hard for me to argue against it.

“Obviously, there are factors you have to consider. The margins of the Premier League are… that’s a narrow defeat to Manchester City, a 1-0 defeat to Newcastle with nine injuries, it’s a 1-0 defeat to Arsenal, it’s a bad day against Brighton, it is a draw at Manchester United, a draw away at Brentford and at Nottingham Forest the other day.

“Points-wise, no, hard to argue. The margins and the situation, I would say it is more about how we play and I think in terms of analysing how we can improve, I thought we took a step forward today.”