Chelsea boss Mauricio Pochettino confirms defensive duo could return against Brentford

Chelsea boss Mauricio Pochettino confirms defensive duo could return against Brentford

Ahead of tomorrow’s Premier League fixture at Brentford, Mauricio Pochettino has provided an update on the recoveries of Thiago Silva, Marc Cucurella, Wesley Fofana and Christopher Nkunku.

Chelsea’s busy schedule continues with our third match in as many competitions in the space of six days. We make the short trip across west London to take on Brentford in the Premier League tomorrow, having already faced Liverpool in the Carabao Cup final and defeated Leeds United in the FA Cup over the last week.

Mauricio Pochettino is hoping to do so with his defensive options boosted by the availability of Thiago Silva and Marc Cucurella following injury, but had less promising news on Wesley Fofana, who has been out of action since undergoing knee surgery in the summer.

‘We need to assess Thiago and Marc,’ said Pochettino. ‘We still need to decide, but maybe it is possible for both of them to be ready to be involved in the squad tomorrow. It is two bits of good news, if they will be available to be in the squad.

‘Unfortunately I think it is difficult to see Wes playing this season, but you never know.’

Our head coach also discussed the frustrating injury suffered my Christopher Nkunku at Wembley last week, sidelining him again after missing much of the first half of the season with a knee issue.

Pochettino hopes Thiago Silva and Cucurella could both be available at Brentford

‘He suffered a problem in his hamstring and now we will see if in a few weeks he can be available again, he has been doing recovery since Sunday,’ added Mauricio.

‘It is a little bit unlucky. To suffer again something bad from another injury is tough for a player who hasn’t played much during the season, that came from another country with some problems, because he was so good in pre-season and it is a difficult season for him, and difficult for him to accept another injury and have to wait to play more consistently.’

One area of the pitch where Pochettino does now have more options available is between the posts, after Robert Sanchez recovered to make his first appearance since going off injured at Everton in December when he started the midweek win over Leeds.

Sanchez made his comeback in the 3-2 FA Cup win over Leeds

However, while he has already decided whether it will be Sanchez or Djordje Petrovic minding the Blues’ net at Brentford tomorrow, he is reluctant to reveal that information ahead of time, admitting it was a difficult decision, as these selections always are.

‘I don’t know if I should say now or not. The players already know, that is the most important thing, everyone else will have to wait until the team sheet one hour before the game.

‘Always it is tough when you need to pick only 11 because they are all so excited to play and we have 18, 19, 20 players and you need to make a decision, like about the goalkeeper today.

‘So always it’s tough, but always the decision is because of previous analysis and because we think that is the starting XI that needs to start for different circumstances to play well tomorrow.’

Nkunku suffered a hamstring injury in the Carabao Cup final

Pochettino went on to explain how he and his coaching staff are attempting to keep the players in good shape and maintain their energy during such a demanding week of matches.

‘We try to help with our decisions and the way that we need to play, our strategy and game plan, things like this we need to help.

‘It’s about the strategy to try to recover them and not to try to force them to do some training sessions that maybe doesn’t help to arrive in the best condition tomorrow.

‘This is a very dangerous game because it’s the third time in six days we are going to compete, after 120 minutes and 90 minutes in difficult games, and now another difficult game. We focused on trying to design strategies to help them to recover as soon as possible.’

 

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