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Pochettino reveals Lavia & Nkunku’s chances of facing Brighton as Gusto ruled out



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Mauricio Pochettino has confirmed Romeo Lavia and Christopher Nkunku will undergo late fitness tests to determine their availability for Chelsea’s Premier League clash against Brighton & Hove Albion.

Nkunku was spotted in training at Chelsea‘s Cobham base on Friday, while Lavia, who is yet to make his debut since joining from Southampton in the summer due to injury.

Pochettino has been without Nkunku since pre-season after he sustained a knee injury against Borussia Dortmund. Lavia has been absent with an ankle problem sustained during training in September.

Both were included in Chelsea’s weekly injury report and Pochettino was quizzed about the Chelsea team news during his pre-match press conference on Friday afternoon, which sees Reece James (suspended), Marc Cucurella (suspended) and Malo Gusto (injury) all unavailable.

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“I don’t believe we can recover some players,” said Pochettino on his squad. “Still one training more.”

On Lavia and Nkunku’s availability, he added: “We need to assess tomorrow (on Saturday) and then decide.

“They are close. But we need tomorrow to make the decision.

“Maybe Lavia is the more difficult (to be available), but we need to assess Christoph for tomorrow.”

Pochettino has been pleased with the reaction of his squad after their 4-1 defeat to Newcastle United last week following a ‘tough week’ preparing for the Brighton fixture.

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“To clarify, to realise what happened,” Pochettino admitted on the approach post-Newcastle.

“It was a tough week for everyone. I am very happy because they’ve reacted very well. When you watch the game, it was worse than my feelings after the game. I was tough with them inside and outside.”

He concluded: “It was good the week to realise what we need to improve, to be more mature.

“I am very. very happy, so far, even if it was really, really tough in training and meetings. Sometimes these situations help a lot to improve.”