Anticipated Chelsea Lineup vs Newcastle as Pochettino Contemplates Christopher Nkunku’s Debut
As Mauricio Pochettino steers Chelsea toward a potential semi-final berth under his stewardship, the anticipation builds ahead of the Carabao Cup clash against Newcastle United at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday evening.
Pochettino, known for his strategic approach, has been judicious in rotating his squad during domestic cup encounters this season. With a chance to vie for silverware in the early stages of 2024, the significance of this fixture will not be lost on the Argentine tactician.
Despite maintaining a stable lineup in cup competitions, Pochettino faces decisions, and one intriguing prospect is the potential debut of Christopher Nkunku. The midfielder, not featured against Sheffield United, might make his inaugural appearance against the Magpies, although not from the starting XI.
Explaining his decision in a recent press conference, Pochettino emphasized caution: “The reality was, he wasn’t a player to be involved after 2-0. I didn’t want to take a risk with him. How I see today? I tell you maybe he can play 20 minutes. Before Sheffield United in my mind, I was 1% or 2% of doubt, that is why I did not want to take a risk.”
In goal, Djordje Petrovic, following a composed full debut, braces for a more challenging encounter against Newcastle. The potential return of Malo Gusto on the right flank brings defensive solidity, while Axel Disasi could feature alongside Benoit Badiashile in a formidable defensive partnership.
In midfield, Moises Caicedo aims to build on a promising performance, and Conor Gallagher, likely to captain the side, is integral to Chelsea’s identity. Enzo Fernandez, a World Cup winner, might reinforce the midfield, adding defensive stability.
On the attacking front, Cole Palmer, after a stellar second-half display, is poised to assume a role on the right, sharing the creative burden with Raheem Sterling. The winger seeks a return to the scoresheet after a standout free-kick against Newcastle last month.
Leading the line, Nicolas Jackson, despite some missed opportunities, remains a consistent goal threat and hopes to add to his tally at the iconic Stamford Bridge. As Chelsea eyes a semi-final berth, Pochettino’s lineup decisions will undoubtedly shape the outcome of this Carabao Cup showdown.