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Predicted Chelsea XI to face Brighton: James replacement named as Pochettino makes Nkunku decision



(Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Chelsea welcome Brighton & Hove Albion to Stamford Bridge on Sunday afternoon and Mauricio Pochettino will be wanting a response from his side.

Pochettino, from the stands, oversaw a disappointing 4-1 defeat to Newcastle United last Saturday as he witnessed his team capitulate in the second half, which also saw captain Reece James be sent off for a second yellow card.

Chelsea let themselves and the travelling fans down at St. James’ Park. A defeat to Brighton, who are seven games without defeat in all competitions, will leave them likely in the bottom half come the end of the gameweek.

(Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

“It was a tough week for everyone,” reflected Pochettino. “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.”

Robert Sanchez will continue in goal. Marc Cucurella (suspended) and Reece James (suspended) are ruled out, while Malo Gusto looks set to miss out through injury. It leaves Pochettino with a decision to make at right-back – Axel Disasi could return to the side to fill the void.

Moises Caicedo is set to face his former side and be joined in the midfield alongside Enzo Fernandez, while Conor Gallagher will hope to keep his place. Romeo Lavia is doubtful, but will undergo a late fitness test to determine if he makes the squad.

Christopher Nkunku is closing in on a return to the team following a knee injury, however a late decision will also be made on the France international.

“We need to assess (on Saturday) and then decide,” revealed Pochettino on Friday regarding Lavia and Nkunku.

“They are close. But we need tomorrow to make the decision. Maybe Lavia is the more difficult, but we need to assess Christoph for tomorrow.”

Nicolas Jackson, Raheem Sterling and Cole Palmer will be keen to be handed another chance to lead the Chelsea attack on Sunday.

Predicted Chelsea XI to face: Sanchez, Disasi, Badiashile, Silva, Colwill, Caicedo, Enzo, Gallagher, Sterling, Jackson, Palmer