Cole Palmer injury update: Should you pick him for FPL Gameweek 35?

  • Chelsea star Palmer missed 5-0 defeat at Arsenal due to illness
  • Only Ollie Watkins has scored more FPL points in 2023/24 than former Man City youngster
  • Potential Gameweek 35 replacements include Eberechi Eze and Michael Olise
Palmer missed the midweek thrashing at Arsenal
Palmer missed the midweek thrashing at Arsenal / Visionhaus/GettyImages

Most Chelsea fans reasonably feared the worst when Cole Palmer was ruled out of their London derby with Arsenal in midweek.

An eight-game unbeaten run in all competitions had already been broken by their FA Cup semi-final defeat to Manchester City but Mauricio Pochettino's side were then battered beyond recognition at the Emirates Stadium, conceding four goals in the second half in a 5-0 defeat.

There was little desire or spirit on show from the visiting Blues, who were without their star summer signing who has scored 20 of their 61 Premier League goals so far this season. Chelsea return to action on Saturday night, but will Palmer be fit enough to take part?

Here's what we know about Palmer's fitness leading into FPL Gameweek 35 so far.

What injury does Cole Palmer have?

After featuring at Wembley in the FA Cup semi-final defeat to his former club Man City, Palmer was then rated as unlikely to play in midweek after it emerged he had been struggling with illness and left unable to train.

He was joined on the sidelines by the injured Ben Chilwell and Malo Gusto, adding to an already huge absentee list that includes Wesley Fofana, Romeo Lavia, Christopher Nkunku and Reece James among others.

Speaking in a press conference on Monday before the Arsenal loss, Pochettino said: "We'll see tomorrow, we need to assess tomorrow morning. But today, I don't believe he can be involved, but we need to assess him tomorrow and then we'll decide.

"If he's good tomorrow, maybe he's not in a condition to play. I hope he recovers from this situation and can be involved again as soon as possible with the team."

What has Mauricio Pochettino said about Cole Palmer's injury?

Cole Palmer
Palmer is expected to return this weekend / Visionhaus/GettyImages

In good news for Chelsea fans, manager Pochettino revealed in Friday's press conference he expects Palmer to return to the matchday squad for Saturday's trip to Champions League chasers Aston Villa.

He revealed: "We assume he [Palmer] is going to be available and part of the squad, yes.

"Cole is a very good player for us, a key player for us and he is showing we struggle a little bit without him."

After the heavy defeat to Arsenal, the former Tottenham boss declined to claim his side's loss to the Gunners came about because of Palmer's absence.

He added: "We cannot say that was the reason we lose the game but we lose a player who is a creative player who helps to link the team. We are losing players and that has made very difficult, the management. But I think today, more than that, it was difficult to be in the game.

"Where Arsenal are is where we need to be as well. We are talking too much this season and all the information we receive now is that we want to be in a different position next season."

Cole Palmer alternatives in FPL Gameweek 35

Michael Olise, Eberechi Eze
Eze and Olise are bang in form / Sebastian Frej/MB Media/GettyImages

Palmer is the top-scoring midfielder in Fantasy Premier League this season with 208 points, with only Ollie Watkins managing more with his 217.

The England international started the 2023/24 campaign priced at only £5m but his exceptional displays mean that has since risen to £6.2m. He remains a bargain but there are in-form options to consider if the daunting trip to Villa Park convinces you to look elsewhere.

Eberechi Eze (£6.1m) has managed two double-digit hauls in his last three outings for Crystal Palace, grabbing two goals and an assist against Liverpool and West Ham. It's also tough to ignore teammate Michael Olise (£5.6m), who has also helped the Eagles win three games on the trot. Upcoming fixtures with Fulham and Manchester United ought to be filled with goals, making the duo attractive targets for the weekend.

Leandro Trossard (£6.5m) returned two goals in two games in Gameweek 34 against Wolves and Chelsea, though whether he'll be handed another start away at Tottenham is up in the air.