Pochettino Claims He May Be Forced To Start Chelsea Star Against Newcastle Who Hasn’t Played For 3 Months

Chelsea manager Mauricio Pochettino says that Marc Cucurella is in contention to start against Newcastle on Monday night.

Vice-captain Ben Chilwell has a knee injury and is not expected to be available to face the Magpies. Pochettino says Cucurella could be selected instead depending on his fitness:

“The most important thing for us is to work on us. We need to find different solutions again to deal with these injuries and see if Marc Cucurella arrives in good condition, to see if we are changing the way we play.”

Cucurella was named on the bench for the 2-2 draw against Brentford last weekend but he was an unused substitute. He hasn’t actually played a minute for the first team since early December after undergoing surgery on an ankle injury.

What is the latest on Chilwell?

Pochettino has confirmed that the left-back will see a specialist about his latest injury setback. The Blues boss says he is hoping it’s not a “big issue” but they are waiting to see what the prognosis is.

It has been an injury-ravaged season for Chilwell who spent three months on the treatment table earlier this campaign due to a hamstring problem.

Chelsea’s injury crisis has worsened

In addition to Chilwell, Levi Colwill has been ruled out of the Newcastle fixture due to a toe injury. The defender is currently undergoing a rehabilitation programme. Conor Gallagher is also absent due to a virus, with the midfielder having not trained at all so far this week.

It means there are no less than ten senior players on the sidelines. The two closest to making their return are Benoit Badiashile and Carney Chukwuemeka but Pochettino is having to make do with a threadbare squad at the moment, and the situation will certainly not help him turn around the club’s fortunes.

David Tully

David Tully

David has worked as a football reporter for the last fifteen years. Having started as an intern at Snack Media, he then went on to become a freelancer, working on various different sites. At the start of 2023, he took up his current role as content writer for National World's Football News Network.