Mauricio Pochettino could have a change of plan against Everton due to Noni Madueke decision

Mauricio Pochettino could have a change of plan against Everton due to Noni Madueke decision

Mauricio Pochettino will undoubtedly make changes to his Chelsea team for their clash with Everton on Monday.

After a stale performance in South Yorkshire at the weekend, there is plenty of scope for Pochettino to make some alterations to his team for the trip of the Toffees. The setup the Argentine deployed at Sheffield United will have certainly caught some people by surprise.

In possession, Chelsea were using their orthodox 4-2-3-1 formation but without the ball, the Blues would often rotate to a three-at-the-back system. After the game, Pochettino revealed the plan was to try and find a shape where Chelsea would be more solid defensively. Needless to say that did not go to plan.

Axel Disasi started at right-back in place of the rested Malo Gusto, who did not travel with the squad to Sheffield. Conor Gallagher was used essentially as a left winger, although the 24-year-old did drift into central areas throughout the match, while Cole Palmer was the No.10 behind Nicolas Jackson.

Gallagher was much less impactful out on the wing and without the likes of Mykhailo Mudryk and Raheem Sterling in the side, there was nowhere near as much speed for Chelsea to use on the counter-attack. Mudryk did come on – meaning he has now played 456 minutes in his last eight appearances for the Blues in all competitions.

And while that is a drastic improvement on the eight games before that, where he played just 142 minutes, the 23-year-old would still like to be used more. Meanwhile, it has been the opposite for Sterling, who has barely featured since the FA Cup quarter-final victory over Leicester City last month.

Sterling was booed by a large portion of those inside Stamford Bridge on that day after a poor performance, that included a penalty miss and several wasted opportunities. The 29-year-old winger has featured for just 49 minutes over the course of the last three matches and was not turned to on Sunday in the draw with the Blades.

One of the two are expected to come back into the side for Chelsea’s clash with Everton. Logic over recent matches suggests it will be Mudryk. But that could mean Noni Madueke drops out of the side despite scoring the Blues’ second goal at the weekend – and his sixth of the season in all competitions.

It was a relatively quiet game for Madueke up until that moment of magic, but from what we’ve seen in his 14 months at Stamford Bridge, he can be that sort of player. He is very much a ‘moments’ player – and that is not necessarily a bad thing – it is why he is often very impactful from the bench late on in games.

Whatever team Chelsea do eventually out against Everton, it should have enough quality within it to get three points over the Toffees. Sean Dyche’s side are fighting for their lives in 16th-place in the Premier League table, with Everton being once again deducted points earlier in the week following a second breach of the competition’s Profitability and Sustainability Rules (PSR).

Everton were deducted six points earlier in the season, which was brought down from an initial 10 points after an appeal. The Merseyside club are just two points above Luton Town, who occupy the final relegation spot in the top-flight.

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