Mauricio Pochettino comes up with an impeccable Chelsea lineup to take on Man City
Christopher Nkunku is nearing his long awaited return from injury and once he is back, Chelsea’s squad will look significantly better. Still not complete, but a whole lot better.
The France international is yet to feature in a competitive match for the Blues since making the £52million move from RB Leipzig in the summer transfer window. Nkunku limped off in Chelsea’s final pre-season match of their tour of the United States in the summer, suffering a serious knee injury.
Mauricio Pochettino, though, recently gave Chelsea fans a positive update on Nkunku. Pochettino said: “He is doing really, really well; is working really hard.
“He is close and hopefully as soon as possible we can have him involved again. He is a really important player for us. Maybe after the international break [this month] he will be involved, maybe. It’s not sure.”
So Chelsea will have Nkunku back soon, but he will not be available this weekend as they welcome Premier League champions – and current leaders – Manchester City to Stamford Bridge on Sunday afternoon. Either way, football.london takes a look at what – in a more ideal world – Chelsea’s lineup would look like this weekend if everyone was fit and available.
Goalkeeper would of course be Robert Sanchez. The Spaniard has enjoyed a mixed start to life at Stamford Bridge since his summer move from Brighton but overall it has been positive and he has made himself – for the time being at least – the undisputed first-choice goalkeeper under Pochettino.
At right-back would be club captain Reece James, who has recently made his return from injury. When he is fit and available, we all know James is one of the best in his position and he showcased that when trying to break down a high back-line against Tottenham on Monday night.
Thiago Silva and Levi Colwill, on paper, look to be Chelsea’s two strongest central defenders. There is of course an argument that Benoit Badiashile should be there but there seems to be more of a balance with Silva and Colwill at the moment.
Ben Chilwell, once he returns from injury, is Pochettino’s first-choice left-back – and rightly so. Marc Cucurella has been in good form recently but Chilwell is the superior player; giving Chelsea more in attack and also does not leave the side as vulnerable in defence.
Conor Gallagher has arguably been Chelsea’s most consistent player in the early stages of the season, so there is no question that he gets in the team. Alongside him will be Enzo Fernandez and Moises Caicedo, Chelsea’s two most expensive players of all time.
The three, in recent weeks, have started to form a brilliant relationship. Chelsea’s midfield has quickly turned into one of the strongest parts of their team.
In attack is where it gets tricky because Nkunku simply has to be there. He will offer Chelsea a constant goal threat – something they do not possess with him out of the team. So there is a shout that he goes as the No.9.
Despite Raheem Sterling’s strong start to the season, it feels like Mykhailo Mudryk offers more on the left-hand side. And then, of course, the brilliant Cole Palmer would go on the right-hand side.
Dream Chelsea XI: Sanchez; James, Silva, Colwill, Chilwell; Gallagher, Caicedo, Enzo; Palmer, Mudryk, Nkunku. Only nine of the 11 players selected here are actually available to face City.