Two Chelsea players to be dropped for FA Cup tie with Leicester City

Two Chelsea players deserve to be dropped for FA Cup tie with Leicester City

Chelsea’s hopes of winning a trophy this season rely on Sunday afternoon’s FA Cup quarter-final tie with Leicester City.

After losing the Carabao Cup final last month in the most heart-breaking of circumstances, via an extra-time goal from Virgil van Dijk for Liverpool, Mauricio Pochettino’s only chance of winning silverware in his debut season with the club is with a triumph in the FA Cup. While they are playing lower league opposition in Leicester, the Foxes, who sit top of the Championship table and look set for an immediate return to the Premier League, will be stern competition.

A lot of the Blues players that featured on Monday night in the 3-2 win against Newcastle United will be given the day off today (Tuesday) before a four-day period to prepare for the visit of Leicester on Sunday afternoon. Chelsea were impressive at times in the victory over the Magpies and nine players deserve to keep their place in the side on Sunday.

Djordje Petrovic could remain in goal for what is quietly a very significant game for Chelsea. There is of course a chance Robert Sanchez gets a match for the Blues with the Spaniard now Pochettino’s second-choice goalkeeper, but Petrovic is fancied more by the head coach and given the status of the game, the Serbian could be picked yet again.

Malo Gusto was sensational once again for Chelsea in the win on Monday night. The Frenchman continues to go from strength to strength for the Blues. The best compliment you can give Gusto is that Chelsea are not missing the injured Reece James at all – and that has not been the case in recent seasons whenever the right-back has been sidelined.

Thiago Silva has not played a lot of football recently. In fact, the 39-year-old has not played a single minute since coming off injured in the win against Crystal Palace a month ago. Axel Disasi has not been brilliant in recent matches and with over 3,500 minutes to his name in all competitions this season, there could be scope to rest the Frenchman against Leicester.

Trevoh Chalobah deserves to keep his place alongside the Brazilian after another impressive display against Newcastle. Chalobah has proven his value since returning to the squad following a lengthy injury layoff.

Marc Cucurella remains Chelsea’s only real orthodox choice at left-back and Pochettino would have been impressed with what he saw from the Spaniard in his first game in about three months on Monday evening. Cucurella managed to complete the full match as the Blues picked up three points and is expected to be given the nod again at the weekend.

Enzo Fernandez and Moises Caicedo are set to be told to go again – as they have so often recently – on Sunday afternoon. Cesare Casadei, whose former club Leicester are coming to town, is ineligible having already featured for the Foxes in the competition during his loan spell at the King Power Stadium earlier in the season.

Cole Palmer was superb for Chelsea on Monday evening in what was a match-winning display from the 21-year-old. Palmer will be keen to build some momentum after his strike against Newcastle, with that being his first goal in over a month.

Conor Gallagher deserves to keep his place in the team. The England international was not at his brilliant best against the Magpies but put in a gritty performance despite struggling with a nasty virus in the build-up to the game, in typical Gallagher style.

Raheem Sterling should be dropped to the bench after another underwhelming performance at Stamford Bridge. Mykhailo Mudryk was electric after coming on for the final 25 minutes and scored a sublime goal on the night. Mudryk should be given a rare chance from the start and absolutely needs to take it to fully cement himself into Pochettino’s first-team plans.

Nicolas Jackson has scored three goals in as many matches, the first time he has done that since signing for Chelsea last summer. The 22-year-old striker will surely be given the nod once again on Sunday, in what should be his ninth successive start for the Blues.

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