Mauricio Pochettino faces significant decisions as he prepares to lead Chelsea against Tottenham in north London, marking his return to his former club. Tottenham currently leads the Premier League, undefeated after 10 games, while Chelsea finds itself in the lower half of the table.
Pochettino is eager to boost Chelsea’s season with a crucial victory, even if he’s pleased with his former team’s performance. Key decisions loom, including the return of Reece James to the lineup after his recovery from injury, while Thiago Silva and Levi Colwill were rested in the last game.
Regarding Reece James, Pochettino stated, “Yes, I think it was good for him to start a game after a few months. For the team, because he’s our captain, he’s a very important player. Now we need to assess him to see if he’s ready to start or not on Monday.”
Upfront, Pochettino must decide whether to reintegrate Mykhailo Mudryk or stick with Nicolas Jackson, who started the last game successfully without a traditional forward against Arsenal. Pochettino believes that Chelsea’s attacking play will continue to improve, saying, “We are improving, progressing. It is part of the process, part of the project. It is normal when you have young players who arrive at a club like Chelsea.”
Here is a look at the potential starting lineup that Pochettino could choose for the game against Tottenham:
- Robert Sanchez: Likely to retain his place in goal.
- Reece James: Will start if fit, but Malo Gusto is an alternative.
- Axel Disasi: A preferred choice in central defense, with a good partnership alongside Thiago Silva.
- Thiago Silva: Expected to return to the lineup after being rested.
- Levi Colwill: Pochettino may opt for more defensive security on the left side.
- Moises Caicedo: Could have a busy night in midfield.
- Enzo Fernandez: A World Cup winner who can continue building his partnership with Caicedo.
- Conor Gallagher: A strong contender for Chelsea’s Player of the Season.
- Cole Palmer: A promising creative outlet who can trouble Tottenham on the left.
- Raheem Sterling: Chelsea’s most impactful forward.
- Nicolas Jackson: Could start, given that Mykhailo Mudryk has recently returned to training, but Mudryk offers an alternative approach with Gallagher and Palmer playing through the middle.