Chelsea full 20-man squad vs Newcastle revealed with Moises Caicedo decision and Nkunku blow

Chelsea full 20-man squad vs Newcastle revealed with Moises Caicedo decision and Nkunku blow

Mauricio Pochettino is getting close to being able to select from a fully fit group of players. Even though the Blues’ manager still has six players out injured it is the best state of affairs since the season began.

With Trevoh Chalobah out of the squad and likely to depart he is not currently a major miss but there are some key names approaching a return that could have a massive impact on the rest of the campaign. In Christopher Nkunku and Romeo Lavia there are two players expected to have a giant say in how things had gone so far but long-term blows to them both has left the options depleted.

Despite a massive transfer spend once more Pochettino has at times this year been turning to two goalkeepers on the bench and a host of academy hopefuls as well. Now that the core of his team is available it gives him strength in depth to turn to mid-game as well as variety in choice from the start as well.

Against Newcastle, this will be even more valuable with Eddie Howe’s side struggling for numbers themselves. The Magpies could be in a position that Pochettino was landed in after the September international break, with over 11 players missing.

Luckily for the Blues boss, the time away from domestic action was a largely positive one for his players. Reece James rested and trained at Cobham after backing out of the England squad, Levi Colwill recovered from a shoulder injury in Surrey too after being ruled out of the Manchester City battle. Malo Gusto withdrew from the France Under-21 team himself with a knock. None of these appear to be an issue though.

“Now we need to assess,” Pochettino said on Friday when quizzed for the latest updates on his squad’s fitness. “They already know the starting XI for tomorrow but I’m not going to make it public. I think all arrive in a normal condition. Already picked the starting XI. I will give to you tomorrow.”

One player that isn’t certain but was available two weeks ago is Moises Caicedo. He played for Ecuador on Wednesday morning, not arriving back in training until Friday. It leaves him with a small recovery period as well as a long journey to the north east without the time to prepare for what promises to be an intense game.

Caicedo was missing from the team that drew 0-0 with Bournemouth over eight weeks ago after coming back from duty with a niggle and may well be rested from the start here in order to keep himself safe. The 22-year-old is the only player facing fresh problems though after the rest of the group returned in good health.

Both Conor Gallagher and Cole Palmer played for England but came through unscathed whilst Enzo Fernandez was in action for Argentina in South America in some extremely high-pressure environments. Axel Disasi was away with France’s senior side but found himself relatively untested, Thiago Silva took time off to go to Brazil for relaxation rather than football – again.

Pochettino himself went abroad, spending time in Barcelona which he often frequents, especially for some winter sun as the clouds and nights draw in quicker and longer in England. The team has had time off in the most and comes into the game high on confidence and all but Caicedo arrive with certainty.

Under a manager not known for lavish rotation or over-tinkering, if any tinkering, the squad he will pick seems near enough simple to pick. Here, football.london has predicted the most likely outcome.

Goalkeepers: Rob Sanchez, Djorde Petrovic

Defenders: Reece James, Thiago Silva, Axel Disasi, Levi Colwill, Benoit Badiashile, Malo Gusto, Marc Cucurella, Ian Maatsen

Midfielders: Enzo Fernandez, Moises Caicedo, Conor Gallagher, Lesley Ugochukwu

Attackers: Raheem Sterling, Nicolas Jackson, Cole Palmer, Mykhailo Mudryk, Armando Broja, Noni Madueke

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