Chelsea will be aiming to build on their last week’s Carabao Cup win when they travel across the capital to face West London rivals Fulham in the Premier League on Monday evening.
The Blues picked up a win on Wednesday as they edged Brighton 1-0 in the third round of the Carabao Cup, thanks to a second-half strike from Nicolas Jackson. The victory over Brighton ended the Pensioners’ three-game winless run in all formats, thus, providing some momentary relief to Mauricio Pochettino.
Tonight, Pochettino will be determined to ensure his side make the perfect start to the month by winning the West London derby bragging rights at Craven Cottage.
Chelsea Team News
Chelsea have been dealt with a big blow as Ben Chilwell is expected to spend some time on the sidelines due to a hamstring injury suffered during the closing stages against Brighton. Skipper Reece James has stepped up his recovery from a hamstring issue in recent times, but the right-back remains unavailable for selection. He is also facing the possibility of a ban after being charged by the FA.
Nicolas Jackson is suspended after picking up his fifth yellow card of the season in the 1-0 defeat to Aston Villa last weekend, while Malo Gusto will serve the second of his three-game ban for his red card against the same opposition.
In some good news on the injury front, Pochettino is hopeful Carney Chukwuemeka and Noni Madueke could return against Fulham.
Robert Sanchez will have gained some confidence after keeping a clean sheet against his former employers Brighton in the Carabao Cup. The Spaniard should be looking to shut up shop as quickly as possible at Craven Cottage.
Following the latest injury to Ben Chilwell, changes are expected at the back for Chelsea.
Axel Disasi, who has played in central defence and done well so far this season, could move to the right-back position in the Chelsea lineup. Marc Cucurella applied himself well in an unfamiliar right-back role in midweek but Chilwell’s injury should open the door for the Spaniard to start at left-back on Monday.
Veteran Thiago Silva will be fresh to face Fulham, having enjoyed a night off in midweek. He is expected to partner Levi Colwill in central defence in the Chelsea lineup, as the duo look to keep the Fulham forwards at bay.
In the middle of the park, Moises Caicedo will feature alongside Conor Gallagher. The two players will look to keep things tidy, create opportunities in the final third and help out offensively.
Enzo Fernandez will be responsible for pulling the strings from the No.10 role in the Chelsea lineup. The World Cup winner will pose a threat in the final third with his late runs, while his deliveries from set-pieces will threaten the Fulham defence.
Lesley Ugochukwu, meanwhile, must settle for a spot on the bench having played the entire game against Brighton in midweek.
Pochettino could pick Raheem Sterling to deputise for the suspended Nicolas Jackson. Having operated as a false 9 with aplomb on many occasions during his time with Man City, Sterling can provide a solution to Chelsea’s goalscoring woes.
With the England international likely starting centrally, Mykhaylo Mudryk and Cole Palmer will be tasked with offering width, dynamism and flair from the left and right flank respectively in the Chelsea lineup.
The likes of Noni Madueke, Carney Chukwuemeka, Armando Broja and Ian Maatsen could get opportunities to make an impact in the second half.
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