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Chelsea could be without top scorer Cole Palmer for Tuesday’s clash against Premier League leaders Arsenal with the forward struggling to recover from illness, manager Mauricio Pochettino said on Monday.

“Today, no [he cannot play],” Pochettino told a news conference. “We will see tomorrow morning. Today, I don’t believe he can be involved.

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“Even if he is good tomorrow, maybe he is not in a condition to play. We hope he can recover from this situation and be involved with the team.”

The 21-year-old, who played in Saturday’s 1-0 FA Cup semifinal defeat to Manchester City, has been the shining light of a difficult first season for Pochettino.

Palmer is the joint top-scorer in the Premier League this season with 20 goals, the same as City’s Norwegian striker Erling Haaland.

His absence would be a blow for Chelsea as they try to keep alive their hopes of qualifying for Europe. It would also be a considerable boost for Arsenal in their quest to win the title for the first time in 20 years.

Defenders Malo Gusto and Ben Chilwell are also in doubt for the derby at the Emirates, according to Pochettino.

Chelsea are in ninth place in the league with 47 points from 31 matches, three points behind seventh-placed Manchester United but with one game in hand.

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