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Chelsea’s Reece James to miss start of 2024-25 campaign after seeing red at Brighton

Reece James will be suspended for Chelsea's first three Premier League games next season.

Reece James

Chelsea captain Reece James will miss the first three games of the 2024-25 Premier League season after being sent off against Brighton.

The 24-year-old, who has just returned from another lengthy injury, had a moment of madness when he kicked out at Joao Pedro following a tackle late on in the game.

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Referee Michael Salisbury initially missed the incident, but was advised to go to the pitchside monitor and review the footage again.

Very soon after, he re-entered the action and brandished a red in James’ direction.

It is his second sending-off of the campaign. He was previously given his marching orders against Newcastle back in November.

This means his ban will be four matches in total, the remaining fixture at home to Bournemouth and three carrying over into the new season.

James had barely been on the pitch before he got himself into trouble and it was a poor effort at trying to prove his fitness to England boss Gareth Southgate.

The Three Lions head to Germany next month for Euro 2024 and although James has missed a large part of the season, he is likely to be involved with the squad.

Chelsea boss Mauricio Pochettino described the incident as “painful” but says his skipper will come back stronger.

He said: “It’s difficult to give my opinion because I didn’t have time to see the action.

“But it’s painful [for us] because it’s a fantastic night of football and he’s a really important player.

“Now he is going to miss the next game and a few games next season.”

A win for the Blues on the final day will likely see them qualify for the Europa League.

It would mark a significant improvement under Pochettino who inherited a team that finished 12th in the table last term.

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Mitch Fretton

Mitch is a freelance sports journalist with experience working for LiveScore, GOAL and Colchester United. He has experience working from both his desk at home and in the press box at games covering the Champions League and international football.