Mudryk in, Chukwuemeka for Fernandez – Chelsea team Mauricio Pochettino should pick vs Leicester

By Staff

The FA Cup is on the agenda for Mauricio Pochettino and Chelsea in their final game before the first international break of 2024 gets underway. Leicester City are the Blues’ opponents, with the sides facing off against each other at Stamford Bridge in a 12.45pm kick-off on Sunday afternoon.

Pochettino’s side were really made to work hard in the previous round against Championship side Leeds United and it will be more of the same against Leicester City this weekend. The Foxes are in an excellent position to return to the Premier League after one season away and it is a game Chelsea cannot underestimate at all.

So how exactly should Chelsea line up against Leicester? Our reporters at have made their team selections below:

Rob Guest – Football writer

Chelsea have a great opportunity to reach Wembley for a second time this season and it’s imperative that Mauricio Pochettino’s goes strong against Leicester City. The Argentine will have the opportunity to switch things about in his XI but it’s vital that he doesn’t fall into the trap of making too many changes.

The first alteration could come in goal as Robert Sanchez has only made one appearance since returning from injury. At the back, Ben Chilwell looks on course to come back into the team after his return from injury and that could result in Marc Cucurella dropping down to the bench.

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The opportunity could also be there to start Thiago Silva after his appearance on the bench in the last two games, with Trevoh Chalobah possibly the player at risk. Pochettino will definitely be forced into a change with Enzo Fernandez suspended for the FA Cup tie against the Foxes after picking up two yellow cards in the competition already this season.

Mykhailo Mudryk deserves a start after his cameo off the bench against Newcastle United on Monday night and the introduction of the Ukrainian could see Conor Gallagher move back into a deeper midfield role. Cole Palmer then operates in a central role so Mudryk can play from the wing.

Guest’s team: Sanchez; Gusto, Disasi, Thiago Silva, Chilwell; Gallagher, Caicedo; Mudryk, Palmer, Sterling; Jackson.

Lee Wilmot – Head of football

Chelsea could make big changes for the FA Cup match with Leicester City, but there’s a semi-final on the line and a big chance to win a piece of silverware in Mauricio Pochettino’s first season at the club.

Enzo Fernandez is suspended, so will not play, which gives at least one player an opportunity in the middle of the park. That position may well go to Carney Chukwuemeka.

Then there’s a case to be made for Raheem Sterling being given a rest, given he has not been at his best of late. Mykhailo Mudryk deserves a chance, so thre’s a second change.

Alfie Gilchrist could be worth a start, with Malo Gusto getting a bit of a rest at right-back and Robert Sanchez could come in to lessen the load on Djordje Petrovic perhaps, but that should be it.

Wilmot’s team: Sanchez; Gilchrist, Chalobah, Disasi, Chilwell; Chukwuemeka, Caicedo, Gallagher; Palmer, Jackson, Mudryk.

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