Chelsea is gearing up for a crucial Premier League derby clash against Fulham, and fans eagerly await the lineup and team news.
Here’s everything you need to know ahead of this West London showdown.
Chukwuemeka Returns to Boost Chelsea’s Squad
Carney Chukwuemeka, the 19-year-old sensation, has returned to full training, providing a significant lift to Chelsea’s squad. He had been sidelined due to a knee injury sustained in Chelsea’s second Premier League match against West Ham in August. Chukwuemeka’s return is a welcome relief for manager Mauricio Pochettino, who has been dealing with several selection challenges.
Injury Woes for Pochettino
Mauricio Pochettino is facing a selection headache with a string of injuries plaguing Chelsea’s squad. Ben Chilwell is among the casualties, who recently picked up a hamstring problem in the midweek Carabao Cup win over Brighton. He joins a growing list of injured players, including Reece James, Christopher Nkunku, Romeo Lavia, Benoit Badiashile, Trevoh Chalobah, Wesley Fofana, and Marcus Bettinelli.
Additionally, Nicolas Jackson will be serving a one-game suspension after accumulating his fifth yellow card in the 1-0 defeat to Aston Villa. Malo Gusto, who was also sent off last weekend, is set to miss the second match of his three-game ban on Monday.
Potential Lineup for Chelsea
With the injury and suspension concerns, Chelsea’s lineup may see some reshuffling. Cole Palmer could step in to replace Jackson in the forward line, while Armando Broja’s fitness remains uncertain, having recently returned from a lengthy injury lay-off.
Raheem Sterling might be a false nine alongside Palmer, Enzo Fernandez, and Mykhailo Mudryk in attack. In midfield, Moises Caicedo and Conor Gallagher are expected to play as holding midfielders. Marc Cucurella will likely feature in the Premier League for the first time this season as part of the back four.
Pochettino faces a decision regarding Chilwell’s replacement, with options including Cucurella or Ian Maatsen. Axel Disasi could fill in at right-back, while Thiago Silva and Levi Colwill may form the center-back partnership in front of goalkeeper Robert Sanchez.
Predicted XI for Chelsea
Goalkeeper: Robert Sanchez
Defenders: Axel Disasi, Thiago Silva, Levi Colwill, Marc Cucurella
Midfielders: Moises Caicedo, Conor Gallagher
Forwards: Cole Palmer, Enzo Fernandez, Mykhailo Mudryk, Raheem Sterling
Date and Time: Monday, October 2, 2023, at 8:00 PM WAT
Venue: Craven Cottage