Chelsea are set to face Fulham at Craven Cottage in their return to Premier League action, and Mauricio Pochettino will need to make some changes to his starting lineup. The Blues won the Carabao Cup on Wednesday evening and must now find momentum in the Premier League. They face another team they did not manage to overcome last term in the shape of Fulham at Craven Cottage.
Chelsea’s head coach, Mauricio Pochettino, has rang changes against Brighton, with Thiago Silva rested from the squad entirely and Conor Gallagher and Enzo Fernandez making their contributions from the bench. Malo Gusto was not present as he served the first match of his ban after being sent off against Aston Villa just days before.
Chelsea’s local rivals, Fulham, are also expected to face changes due to Nicolas Jackson’s suspension and Ben Chilwell potentially out of the clash due to injury. Chelsea’s vice-captain left the field late in the win over the Seagulls on Wednesday night.
Chelsea had three left backs on show against Brighton, and Pochettino may need to shuffle the deck against the Cottagers. Marc Cucurella put in a good performance against his former side on the right side of defence, and was ably supported in his efforts by Ian Maatsen on the same flank. However, there is a chance that neither Cucurella nor Maatsen will take their more natural role. Levi Colwill has been deployed in the position regularly this season, and Pochettino explained his decision ahead of the Carabao Cup fixture: “I am so happy with Levi and the way he is playing. He is showing character and providing the team with a very good balance.”
With Colwill likely shifted to the left side, Thiago Silva will return to the fold in the heart of defence alongside Axel Disasi. Enzo Fernandez and Conor Gallagher debate is also ongoing, with Moises Caicedo looking better in a more free role, while Lesley Ugochukwu’s struggle could see the Ecuador international move to a deeper role and be partnered by either Fernandez or Gallagher.
Raheem Sterling may be the favorite to take Chelsea’s forward rule in a simple swap from midweek, given the former Man City star’s prevalence on the wing. Mykhailo Mudryk is steadily building momentum and will take confidence from the ovation he received when substituted against Brighton.
Noni Madueke seems unlikely to be a candidate for the starting XI, as Pochettino revealed the winger was left out the squad as a matter of choice, rather than due to injury.