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Why Gallagher, Lavia, Ugochukwu, Nkunku & Madueke will all miss Chelsea’s trip to Man United



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Mauricio Pochettino has explained the several absences in the Chelsea side for their trip to face Manchester United.

Chelsea travel to Old Trafford on Wednesday night in the Premier League and are hoping to build on their 3-2 win over Brighton & Hove Albion.

“The players deserved more credit,” Pochettino told reporters on Tuesday afternoon.

“To play more than 60 minutes with one less against a team that is really good and we didn’t concede too much and to score with one player less was great for our players and for the team to really believe.”

(Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

Chelsea will welcome back Reece James and Marc Cucurella, both of whom missed Sunday’s win due to suspension. However, Conor Gallagher’s absence will be felt in midfield after the 23-year-old was sent off against Brighton.

Fans hoped Christopher Nkunku could be ready to be involved in Chelsea’s squad for the first time this season following his pre-season knee injury. However, Pochettino revealed the France international wasn’t ready yet and wouldn’t be risked.

“It’s about assessing day by day,” insisted Pochettino. “Sometimes we become excited when we see on the pitch and we want to have the player as soon as possible but I think we need to be careful and of course when he is ready he is going to be really strong.

Summer arrival Romeo Lavia is progressing well, however like Nkunku isn’t ready to return despite training with his teammates at Cobham.

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Pochettino added: “Romeo is doing well also but like Christopher is not going to be involved.”

Chelsea suffered two fresh blows following Sunday’s win over Brighton. Lesley Ugochukwu and Noni Madueke picked up minor issues and won’t be part of the travelling squad to Old Trafford, leaving Pochettino with a decision to make in midfield given Gallagher’s absence.

“Lesley feels something this week, a minor injury,” the Chelsea head coach added.

“Noni post-match, after Brighton also, minor problems hope that soon they will be available to train and available for the team.”