How Chelsea ended up with their weakest team of the season for Arsenal game

Mauricio Pochettino has just put out his team to face Arsenal, and it’s full of surprises.

The long term injuries have finally collided headlong with the short term fitness problems to create this zombie team. Nobody is blaming Pochettino really, his hands are tied in most cases.

It’s hard to get your head around the selection, even when you break it down. But a combination of injuries, lack of match fitness and plain old bad form have conspired to bring us this team, described as a “preseason XI in April.”

Djordje Petrovic is fine. But Robert Sanchez is injured, so it’s not like Pochettino had a choice.

In defence, Malo Gusto and Reece James are injured, so Alfie Gilchrist is in. In the centre, Wesley Fofana and Levi Colwill are out. We’re not sure what happened to Thiago Silva and Trevoh Chalobah, who had a couple of good games together, but whatever the reason, they’re out and the significantly shakier Benoit Badiashile – Axel Disasi combination are in.

At left back, Ben Chilwell still doesn’t seem to be totally fit, so Marc Cucurella plays again. He was most people’s fourth choice in this position going into the season.

Now to midfield – the Enzo – Conor Gallagher – Moises Caicedo trio is the only part of the team we’re approaching full strength. But they’ve all been run into the ground, and in an ideal world this is probably part of the team we would rotate, were any of the alternatives fit.

Up front, Nicolas Jackson is the team’s best striker, but Noni Madueke and Mykhailo Mudryk are already almost 18 months in to very disappointing Chelsea careers so far. What’s up with Carney Chukwuemeka? We can only assume he’s not fit for 90 minutes. Raheem Sterling? No idea.

This is all going to end very badly.

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