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Currently, Reece James continues to serve a suspension stemming from a red card received in a match against Brighton late last season, causing him to miss the opening match against Manchester City.

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With Chelsea preparing to host the reigning champions at Stamford Bridge on August 18, James’ absence due to suspension will be a significant setback for newly appointed head coach Enzo Maresca.

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The 24-year-old defender was handed a four-match ban for his red card incident against Brighton, where he was sent off for kicking out at Joao Pedro in an off-the-ball altercation shortly before full time.

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As a result, James was unavailable for Chelsea’s final match of last season against Bournemouth and will also miss the first three Premier League fixtures of the current season. This means he will be absent for the matches against Manchester City, an away game against Wolves, and a home fixture against Crystal Palace.