Good News as Chelsea receives double injury boost ahead of Everton clash

Good News as Chelsea receives double injury boost ahead of Everton clash

Chelsea players have returned to Cobham to begin preparations for next week’s Premier League meeting with Everton at Stamford Bridge.

Those who featured in the Blues’ draw at Sheffield United on Sunday evening will have been given Monday off to rest and will continue their recovery. Chelsea led twice at Bramall Lane, against the Premier League’s bottom team, but were unable to hold on with Oli McBurnie scoring a 93rd-minute equaliser to put even more pressure on Mauricio Pochettino.

Chelsea are now a point ahead of Brighton and move into ninth-place but the Blues know it was a serious chance missed to put pressure on Newcastle United in eighth. There is still a really good chance Chelsea can qualify for some form of European football this season, with an eighth-place finish potentially getting a place in the Conference League next season.

And that is why they need the next six days of preparation to go perfectly for them. With that said, Bobby Vincent takes a look at what that might entail.

Colwill and Chilwell return

Chelsea’s injury situation, as bleak as it is, is slowly improving. While long-term absentees Reece James, Wesley Fofana, Christopher Nkunku, Romeo Lavia and Lesley Ugochukwu seemingly are not too close to returning, there are a couple of players in better condition.

Ben Chilwell is one of them. The Chelsea left-back is expected to train with the rest of the squad this week after a knee injury and then an illness. Chilwell, the club’s vice-captain, will be hopeful of a good few days of preparation to then be included in the 20-man squad for Monday’s visit of Everton.

Likewise, Levi Colwill does not seem to be too far away. The 21-year-old has been struggling with a toe problem and has not featured since Chelsea’s 2-2 draw at Brentford over a month ago.

If Pochettino can welcome the defensive duo back to the squad for Monday, then it would be a really welcome double boost for Chelsea. Both can play left-back, while Colwill’s more natural position is on the left-hand side of a centre-back pairing.

Palmer and Gusto get some rest

Cole Palmer was taken off on 74 minutes during Chelsea’s draw with Sheffield United at the weekend. After taking a couple of nasty tackles, namely from Jack Robinson, there were a few concerns that Palmer may have been injured. But Pochettino denied that.

When asked whether Palmer was injured, the Chelsea head coach responded with: “No, no, no. I think he was tired. My feeling was he was tired. [It was] 2-1 for us, Carney [Chukwuemeka] is another No.10 who can play there and do the job. Yes, I think we are happy with him.

“We need to protect him. He got a knock against Manchester United and was a little bit more tired than normal, but we wanted to protect him after scoring the second goal. Trying to avoid a problem for the future.”

Malo Gusto, meanwhile, did not travel with the rest of the Chelsea squad up to South Yorkshire. The 20-year-old defender was given the weekend off after playing a lot of football recently.

Like Palmer, too, Gusto has been carrying a few little knocks in recent weeks. Pochettino took the decision to rest the French full-back but Chelsea certainly missed his talent on Sunday.

The next six days will be crucial for both Palmer and Gusto to recover. Chelsea will want the duo, who have been arguably the side’s two best players this season, to be in peak condition for when Everton come to west London next week.

Pochettino finds solution

In Chelsea’s last seven games in all competitions, there have been a staggering 35 goals scored. That averages to five goals per game. The Blues have netted 20 of them but have also conceded 15 in the process.

Pochettino’s team have turned into a bit of a chaotic team and while it is entertaining football to watch, it is not a sustainable way of playing. And Pochettino knows that: “I think the first part of the season we were a little bit more solid. We didn’t create too much or didn’t score. We were creating but we were not clinical.

“Now, we are scoring but we are conceding more. It’s about finding the balance. We tried adapting the system with different players also with different situations on the pitch. But the team is not showing in the last few months the capacity to be solid, even when after [the defeat to] Wolves we didn’t lose a game in the Premier League.

“We score goals but we are conceding. That is why we are being punished. Now we need to be positive, we have another game on Monday, we need to rest and recover to be ready.”

Finding a solution to the team’s problems is a manager, or in this case, head coach’s job. Pochettino and his backroom staff will be doing everything within their power to try and find the correct balance so Chelsea can attack with fluidity, purpose and intent, but equally defend in a more solid manner.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Articles