“We need to see” – Chelsea may be forced to give player 4th start in 10 days as squad stretches to the max

As is usual in very busy parts of the season with minimal turnaround time between games, Mauricio Pochettino has already given his pre-Sheffield United press conference, tagging it onto the end of last night’s post-Manchester United presser.

Most questions were still about the thrilling game that everyone had just seen. But there was also some news looking ahead to Sunday’s game.

One person who didn’t feature at all in the home win over Man U was Ben Chilwell, missing a second game following an international break with England where he started two games.

That clearly took its toll on the left back, and Pochettino doesn’t sound at all convinced that he will be ready for Sunday, even if he was able to train today:

“We need to see with Chilly. Still he is not training,” the manager explained in quotes on the club website.

“We will see if he can be involved [in training on Friday] but then Sunday is the game, so there isn’t much time. If he’s not ready for Sunday, then we hope for the next game he will be available.”

The coach would probably rather not use Marc Cucurella again either – he played for Spain last Tuesday, then has started both our games since. But with no real alternatives, we expect the former Brighton man to get a 4th start in 10 days, with Chilwell hopefully back in time for our next game so that Cucurella can be rotated out.

We’re into the final stretch of the season now, and while it remains vitally important to think about the big picture, this is also the time to roll the dice and push as hard as we can to squeeze out points from every game. Sheffield United are leaking goals, and if we can score a couple early and slow the game down, it shouldn’t be too taxing.

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