Mauricio Pochettino is hoping to clinch his second win in the Premier League in charge of Chelsea when they come up against Aston Villa.
Chelsea have claimed just five points from their opening five games as a lack of ruthlessness in the final third continues to frustrate Pochettino’s men in the early weeks of the 2023/24 campaign.
Aston Villa will head to the capital confident of getting a result just like Nottingham Forest, who were the last visitors to Stamford Bridge, did as they came away with a 1-0 win prior to the September international break.
Pochettino has several fitness concerns ahead of the game. Moises Caicedo and Noni Madueke are doubtful, while Marc Cucurella looks set to be available for selection again after illness. Armando Broja is pushing to be involved in the matchday squad after being sidelined since December 2022 with an ACL injury.
“Moi we need to assess tomorrow,” confirmed Pochettino on Friday, “he was training in an individual way, not with the team until today. We need to assess tomorrow and see for Sunday.”
Pochettino added: “Marc suffered a fever and is back when we restarted training. Noni was involved also during the week in training. Maybe we need one day more, maybe Armando Broja can be involved, maybe Sunday. Not sure, we need to assess him tomorrow. We need to recover players and it is important many players start to be available to be involved again.”
Nicolas Jackson will lead the line for Chelsea in west London but has been warned by Pochettino for his conduct on the pitch, with the forward one yellow card away from a one-match suspension.
“I talked to him today,” revealed Pochettino on Friday. “We were talking about that (dissent). We had a meeting with him and Enzo. I said ‘come on, for a striker to have four yellow cards, to protest… to talk with the referee. You need to get some yellow cards for different actions not because of that. It’s so easy, so cheap.
On Jackson, Pochettino continued: “I think he could put the team in a really difficult situation (if it continues). He understood. But Jackson is 22, he is young, he needs to learn, to improve. He is going to be a fantastic player, but he needs time.”
Predicted Chelsea XI to face Aston Villa: Sanchez, Gusto, Disasi, Silva, Colwill, Fernandez, Ugochukwu, Gallagher, Sterling, Mudryk, Jackson
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