Chelsea’s predicted lineup for the FA Cup match against Preston
Mauricio Pochettino’s history with the FA Cup with Tottenham was pretty miserable but he’ll be hoping for a change of fortunes in the competition at Chelsea.
Poch once labelled success in competitions such as England’s historic domestic cup as mere ego boosters, a stance which alienated Spurs supporters given their trophy-shy modern history. Alas, his excellent Lilywhite teams were twice defeated in FA Cup semi-finals during the Argentine’s reign.
Chelsea’s new boss has already guided the club into the last four of the Carabao Cup and one eye will undoubtedly be on their trip to Middlesbrough on Tuesday night when they welcome Preston to Stamford Bridge this weekend.
Pochettino is set to shuffle his pack somewhat for this cup tie, although wholesale changes are unlikely. Here’s how the Blues could line up against Preston on Saturday.
Chelsea predicted lineup vs Preston (4-2-3-1)
GK: Đorđe Petrović – Despite the lack of clean sheets, summer arrival Petrovic has generally impressed since filling in for the injured Robert Sanchez.
RB: Alfie Gilchrist – The 20-year-old is already edging towards cult hero status. Chelsea through-and-through, there are high hopes for Gilchrist, who typically plays through the middle. This would be his first senior start.
CB: Axel Disasi – There are still several centre-backs absent and Thiago Silva is set to earn a rest this weekend.
CB: Benoit Badiashile – The left-footed defender hasn’t enjoyed the most prosperous of campaigns thus far after impressing last season. He should get a full 90 minutes under his belt on Saturday, however.
LB: Levi Colwill – Ben Chilwell should be back at some point this month, but Colwill is set to remain at left-back for the time being with Marc Cucurella also out.
CM: Moises Caicedo – There hasn’t been much discourse surrounding Caicedo in recent weeks which can only be a good thing. The midfielder has settled in west London and is looking more like his Brighton self.
CM: Enzo Fernandez – The Argentine is a doubt for this fixture but the indefatigable Conor Gallagher could earn a breather ahead of the trip to Middlesbrough.
RM: Raheem Sterling – Sterling was an unused substitute in the 3-2 victory over Luton Town, so he should come back into the side on Saturday.
AM: Christopher Nkunku – The Frenchman has made just one start for the club since recovering from injury. Nkunku has flashed his magic so far and Poch will be hoping the former RB Leipzig star takes control of this cup tie.
LM: Mykhaylo Mudryk – Mudryk is undoubtedly starting to show promise and, like Sterling, is expected to return to the XI after being overlooked at Kenilworth Road.
ST: Armando Broja – 2023/24 has not been kind to Broja so far, having scored just one goal in 447 minutes of action. The striker will be looking to ignite his campaign this weekend.