Chelsea suffer ‘painful’ blow after Reece James gets extended ban

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Reece James is set to miss the start of the next Premier League season after his sending off against Brighton.

The Chelsea captain was dismissed at the Amex Stadium after kicking out at Joao Pedro having been introduced as a substitute.

James had been hoping to prove his fitness to England manager Gareth Southgate ahead of the Euros after an injury-disrupted season, but will miss his club’s final fixture against Bournemouth.

And with this being the full-back’s second red card of the season, his suspension will be upgraded to four matches, stretching into the 2024/25 season. The 24-year-old was also sent off against Newcastle in November.

Chelsea’s win over Brighton leaves them needing only a point to secure sixth spot and European qualification, but manager Mauricio Pochettino rued his club captain’s “painful” sending off.

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