Due to ιnjury, neither of the French players could take part in Tuesday’s 6-1 drubbing of Middlesbrough in Chelsea’s 6-1 EFL Cup semi-final, which propelled the Blues to Wembley Stadium on aggregate victory of 6-2.
Summer contract Following a lengthy recovery from a severe knee ιnjury, Nkunku has only made four appearances for his new team since joining from RB Leipzig due to a hip ιnjury.
While right defender Gusto started in Chelsea’s January 13 West London derby victory against Fulham, he was a substitute in the thrashing of Boro due to an ιnjury that was not immediately clear.
Villa travel to Stamford Bridge for the fourth round of the FA Cup, and Mauricio Pochettino’s side only have 72 hours to prepare. On Thursday afternoon, the Blues announced their most recent ιnjury update.
Following a lengthy layoff due to a thigh ιnjury, Trevoh Chalobah has not played a single game this season; Chelsea also revealed that Nkunku and Gusto would be returning to the main group for a “reconditioning phase” in the update.
Although there is optimism that they will be able to participate when the Blues travel to Liverpool on January 31, Pochettino did concede in his pre-match press conference that both would not be available for the visit of the Lions.
Wednesday against Liverpool would be a possibility if they are available. We must observe their development over the next several days. Optimism reigns, but we shall see. According to Pochettino, they will not be available for tomorrow’s match.
In addition to the likely omission of Chalobah, who is currently not in the team’s plans, Chelsea will have to find a way to play with nine players out with injuries. These include Reece James (thigh), Wesley Fofana (ACL), Marc Cucurella (ankle), Robert Sanchez (knee), Lesley Ugochukwu (hamstring), and Romeo Lavia (thigh).
Ben Chilwell, who has only played twice since suffering a hamstring ιnjury, played 65 minutes in Tottenham’s 6-1 victory against Boro, but Pochettino is pessimistic about the left back’s chances of starting against Unai Emery’s squad.
Chilwell, who is 27 years old, has not started a competitive match since September 27, when Chelsea defeated Brighton & Hove Albion 1-0 in the third round of the EFL Cup. Pochettino has mentioned the possibility of benching Chilwell for Friday’s match.
Assuming he is healthy and able to play the whole 90 minutes, he is a crucial player. Pochettino elaborated that Tuesday was a bad day for him physically because he requested to be substituted after just ten or fifteen minutes of the second half.
We are still evaluating him to see if he can handle another game after three days off, so we aren’t sure if we should start him tomorrow. We want him to gain self-assurance and fitness so he can play the remainder of the season, so this is a huge decision.
In order to make the right choice, we are collaborating closely with the medical team and the performance analysts. Tomorrow, he will sit on the bench if he is unable to start. We will assess his performance and ability to contribute throughout the second half.
Although Chelsea are now fifth in the Premier League, five spots behind title contenders Aston Villa, they have won their previous seven home games and have not lost an FA Cup match at Stamford Bridge since February 2019, when they were defeated 2-0 by Manchester United.