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Chelsea dealt another injury blow as Mauricio Pochettino forced to rethink Thiago Silva dilemma



Chelsea have enough first-team players out to fill an entire starting lineup as Mauricio Pochettino desperately looks to solve the club’s injury crisis

Thiago Silva of Chelsea gestures during the Premier League match between AFC Bournemouth and Chelsea FC at Vitality Stadium on September 17, 2023
Chelsea dealt another injury blow as Pochettino forced to rethink Silva dilemma

Mauricio Pochettino has been dealt another injury blow ahead of Chelsea’s clash against Aston Villa. The Blues will welcome Unai Emery’s side to Stamford Bridge on Sunday afternoon as the visitors look to pile on the misery in west London.

Chelsea head into the tie with enough first-team players in the treatment room at Cobham training ground to fill a starting lineup. The Blues boss has accepted that he’ll be without some big names like Christopher Nkunku and Wesley Fofana for a while, but there is hope that the likes of Romeo Lavia and Benoit Badiashile will return sooner rather than later.

The duo have been tantalisingly close to being discharged, with the former suffering an unfortunate setback on his road to recovery. Ahead of Chelsea’s meeting with Bournemouth last weekend, Pochettino confirmed that Lavia picked up another knock.

“We are really disappointed because I think he was training really well last week in the international break,” said the 51-year-old. “He twisted his ankle and now we are waiting for Monday to hear yes or no from the doctor.

“We hope that it’s not a big issue but in the last week he could not train with the team. It’s a sad situation because he was nearly fit to be involved again with the team. Now we need to wait and hope it is not a big issue for him, and the team of course because he cannot help the team.

“We don’t know how long it will be because we need to assess him, assess the nature of the injury. Until then we don’t how much time he will need to recover.”

Now, not only has Lavia’s return date been pushed back, so has Badiashile’s, according to journalist Nathan Gissing. The report states that the 22-year-old defender sustained a minor setback while recovering from a hamstring injury at the end of last week.

It’s said that Badiashile has now returned to individual training and the club are hoping to reintegrate him into team training again next week. The Frenchman’s return couldn’t come quick enough for Pochettino, who has a dilemma with his backline.

With the Argentine keen to play all of Thiago Silva, Axel Disasi and Levi Colwill, he’s pushed the latter into left-back. While the Cobham graduate has done well in a foreign position, the reshuffle forced Ben Chilwell into left-wing thus keeping Mykhailo Mudryk out of the starting lineup

The latest on Benoit Badiashile as the Chelsea defender suffers a minor setback on his recovery from the serious hamstring injury that has kept him out since the end of last season

Benoit Badiashile of Chelsea FC looks on during the Premier League match between Chelsea FC and Nottingham Forest

Benoit Badiashile sustained up a small setback to his hamstring injury towards the end of last week, understands. The 22-year-old defender was getting closer to a return to the Chelsea first-team but is now training alone at Cobham.

Badiashile is targeting a return to full training with the rest of the first-team squad next week but the latest setback has dented his recovery plan somewhat. Prior to the latest setback, was told there was a real chance the Frenchman could have made the squad for this weekend’s clash with Aston Villa.

The centre-back, who was signed from AS Monaco in the January transfer window, has been sidelined since the latter stages of last season with a serious hamstring problem. Badiashile is one of 12 Chelsea players currently unavailable to Mauricio Pochettino because of injury – with the Blues having picked up just five points from as many games at the start of the Premier League season.

Chelsea were held to a goalless draw away at Bournemouth at the weekend and some supporters could be heard booing the team at full-time. Pochettino, speaking in his post-match press conference, was asked if he understands the fans’ frustration.

“Because of expectation. No? I think the fans know if you invest the type of money people create in the media, okay, it is true, but this is an expectation,” Pochettino said. “If you don’t win it is normal that the fans are not happy.

“But what I can tell the fans is the circumstance, that we cannot change, the reality we cannot change. We have too many players [missing], of course we are a team that will be strong if we are all together.

“Even Manchester City, Arsenal, all the teams, with normal circumstances with all the squad fit of course can compete for everything. Why is it different for us? Why? It is because of what?

“We don’t have all the squad available from the beginning of the season. What can we do? For me I have nothing to say. The fans can do whatever they want. We know what we need to do, we are strong in our belief.

“We have had bad luck. We had 12 injured (out) today, plus Noni [Madueke], [Marc] Cucurella and [Moises] Caicedo. Then we have three, four young guys and two keepers on the bench. Okay am I going to cry, am I going to complain? I need to accept this, the challenge and keep being positive.

“Of course, Bournemouth is a good team and is going to compete. Every team is going to compete and be difficult. Fair or not fair, that is the circumstance we need to accept and we need to be positive, and patient.

“We are not going to change in the way we are doing things and then we have our opinion, our reality. We assess the team and in our opinion, our reality, in our circumstance, we are doing very, very good things, more than people can expect. But Chelsea’s expectation is to win.”

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Confirmed Chelsea line up vs Newcastle: Lesley Ugochukwu replaces Moises Caicedo as Palmer start with Gallagher in Midfield #NEWCHE




Mauricio Pochettino makes two changes to his Chelsea team for today’s game at Newcastle.

Benoit Badiashile comes in for his compatriot Axel Disasi in the heart of defence, while Lesley Ugochukwu replaces Moises Caicedo.

Otherwise, it is the same starting XI that began the 4-4 draw against Manchester City prior to the international break

That means Reece James, Thiago Silva and Marc Cucurella join Badiashile at the back, ahead of Robert Sanchez. Enzo Fernandezand Conor Gallagher continue in midfield, with Raheem Sterling and Cole Palmer supplying the width in attack, either side of Nicolas Jackson.

WhatsApp Image 2023 11 25 at 13 53 04

Caicedo and Levi Colwill, who was injured during the recent break, are among those named on the bench.

Alexander Isak returns for Newcastle after injury, but there is no Sean Longstaff.

Chelsea: Sanchez; James (c), Thiago Silva, Badiashile, Cucurella, Enzo, Ugochukwu, Gallagher, Palmer, Jackson, Sterling

Subs: Petrovic, Colwill, Disasi, Maatsen, Caicedo, Matos, Madueke, Mudryk, Broja

Newcastle: Pope, Livramento, Lascelles (c), Schar, Trippier, Guimaraes, Miley, Almiron, Joelinton, Isak, Gordon

Subs: Dubravka, Gillespie, Karius, Dummett, Ritchie, Diallo, Murphy, Ndiweni, Parkinson

Referee Simon Hooper

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How Palmer and Reece James Have Complemented Each Other in Chelsea’s Lineup This Season




Reece James just returned to action for Chelsea this season after recovering from an injury that kept him on the sidelines for weeks but the synergy between the Chelsea Skipper and Cole Palmer has emerged as a pivotal factor in Chelsea’s recent impressive performance.

Their relationship on the pitch showcases a dynamic partnership that has been significantly impacting the team’s overall performance.

One key element of this collaboration is the strategic placement of Cole Palmer in the middle, operating behind the striker.

This positioning capitalizes on Palmer’s unique skill set, acknowledging that he may not possess the blistering pace or sheer physicality to excel in isolated one-on-one situations with defenders.

Instead, Palmer’s strength lies in his ability to receive the ball on the half-turn, exhibiting clever passes that ignite the team’s attacking prowess.

Palmer’s fluid style, characterized by his adept use of pockets and floating movements, creates a symbiotic relationship with Reece James.

James, a versatile right-back, benefits from Palmer’s strategic play by having the freedom to occupy the wing.

This tactical understanding not only maximizes Palmer’s strengths but also amplifies James’s impact on the game.

What becomes evident in this partnership is Palmer essentially playing as a number 10, operating in a role that aligns with his capabilities and enhances the team’s attacking dynamics.

By strategically placing Palmer in a central position, Chelsea leverages his playmaking abilities, allowing him to orchestrate the flow of the game and provide crucial link-up play between the midfield and the strikers.

The tactical harmony between Palmer and James is not just about individual brilliance but also about how their styles complement each other seamlessly.

Palmer’s intelligent movements and distribution empower James to venture forward with confidence, creating a fluid and dynamic attacking unit for Chelsea

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Chelsea eye double £156m transfer swoop as Todd Boehly faces Saudi Arabia questioning




Catch all the biggest Chelsea headlines, including updates on Khvicha Kvaratskhelia, Todd Boehly’s questionable transfers and Benoit Badiashile

Victor Osimhen and Khvicha Kvaratskhelia
Chelsea are interested in Napoli duo Victor Osimhen and Khvicha Kvaratskhelia

Here is your morning Chelsea digest on Friday, November 24.

Kvaratskhelia interest
Chelsea have reportedly joined the race to sign Napoli superstar Khvicha Kvaratskhelia amid ongoing uncertainty over his long-term future with the Italian champions.

According to ESPN, Chelsea have joined the likes of Manchester City, Real Madrid, Barcelona and Newcastle United in holding an interest in Kvaratskhelia. Sources have told the outlet that Napoli value their star player in excess of €100million (£87million) and are hoping to fend off interest with a new and improved contract.

However, as the November international break has proven, Financial Fair Play (FFP) regulations aren’t to be messed with and the Blues must get their finances in order to avoid any additional punishment. Todd Boehly has spent over £1billion on new signings since completing his takeover in 2022 and currently has a net spend of over £692million.

Kvaratskhelia isn’t the only Napoli player on Chelsea’s radar, with Victor Osimhen also on Pochettino’s list. However, the pair are worth a combined €180m (£156m) by CIES Football Observatory.

Saudi Arabia transfers questioned
Former Premier League defender Gary Neville has questioned Chelsea’s transfer dealings with Saudi Arabian clubs last summer amid the ongoing threat of Financial Fair Play (FFP) regulations.

Ahead of the 2023/24 season, three players left Stamford Bridge to join the Saudi Pro League. N’Golo Kante’s seven-year stay in west London came to an end with a move to Al-Ittihad while Kalidou Koulibaly and Edouard Mendy joined Al-Hilal and Al-Ahli respectively.

Speaking on the Stick to Football podcast, brought to you by Sky Bet, he said: “I have no problem with Saudi Arabia setting up their league and spending as much money as they wish, but I did call for some sort of investigation into the deals Chelsea were doing when they were dumping players onto Saudi Arabian teams at the start of the season.

“It felt as though, to me, it needed a little bit of a look at – you can smell that something is not right.”

Badiashile going nowhere
Chelsea supporters have nothing to worry about in regards to Benoit Badiashile amid reported interest from AC Milan and AS Roma, understands.

According to Calciomercato, the two Italian clubs are keen on signing the central defender ahead of the January transfer window. Milan are without Pierre Kalulu and Marco Pellegrino due to injuries and are doing their best to replace them in the winter.

The report says that the Italian duo want to sign Badiashile on loan, but the defender will be staying at Stamford Bridge for the foreseeable future, understands. Badiashile’s focus is on Chelsea and getting back into the first-team and he has no intention to move elsewhere at this moment in time.

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