Chelsea will be without midfielder Ji So-yun and forward Sam Kerr until mid-February with the pair set to jet off to link-up with their respective nations for Tokyo 2020 qualifying.
Ji has been included in the South Korea squad for their upcoming qualifying matches while Chelsea’s new signing Kerr will represent Australia.
The Blues official club media sources have announced that Ji will leave for international duty this week meaning that manager Emma Hayes must do without the player for at least four games. The midfielder will miss Chelsea’s Women’s FA Cup tie at Charlton Athletic at the weekend, their FA Women’s Continental League Cup tie at Manchester United next week and their FA Women’s Super League fixtures against West Ham United and Manchester United. The player could return in time for the Birmingham City fixture on 12 February but manager Emma Hayes may have a decision to make on whether the rest Ji following her long journeys and hectic playing schedule.
Australian forward Kerr is not expected to link-up with her international teammates until next week but with Chelsea boss Hayes possibly ready to rotate her squad for the Women’s FA Cup tie at Charlton Athletic at the weekend, the player could be rested. The former Chicago Red Stars player will miss the league and cup ties with Manchester United as well as the home fixture against West Ham United. Like Blues teammate Ji, she could return to Kingsmeadow ahead of the Birmingham City fixture.
South Korea take on Myanmar on 3 February before taking on Vietnam six days later while Australia face Chinese Taipei (3 February, Thailand (6 February) and China (9 February).