Two factors which almost guarantee £20m attacker the starting role fans have been crying out for

Chelsea are already back in action tomorrow night, with the compressed calendar really pushing our squad to its limits. Mauricio Pochettino’s press conference this afternoon revealed that Cole Palmer is a major doubt for tomorrow’s game after a dangerous accumulation of minutes.

We know that Enzo Fernandez has a hernia that’s being managed too, and it feels unlikely he is put back into action so soon after Saturday.

That’s two players likely out, and given they are two players who can play centrally it’s a double loss that will require some changes from Pochettino. When Enzo has missed games before, Palmer has moved into Conor Gallagher’s central attacking role, with Gallagher dropping deeper to replace Enzo in the middle of the team.

With both out, it seems likely Gallagher makes that familiar move, but there will be no Palmer to replace him. Instead, unless there’s an injury we don’t know about, Carney Chukwuemeka is primed to step in.

A strong end to a disappointing season

It’s been injury which has really crushed a potentially promising season for Carney. Even since coming back from the major surgery which ruled him out since August, smaller problems have prevented him from getting a solid run. But in this case Pochettino really has no option other than to pick him in Gallagher’s usual role, and if he does well it should be a perfect platform for him to play a lot for the rest of this season.

Enzo Fernandez looks like he could get surgery and be shut down for the season, creating a perfect opporutnity.

Even if he doesn’t, Carney has shown plenty of ability to play in the wide roles in Pochetino’s formation, and given neither Noni Madueke nor Mykhailo Mudryk are taking their opportunities, the £20m signing looks like he can finally built up a run.

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