Mauricio Pochettino joked he would be killed if he did not field Enzo Fernandez and Moises Caicedo against Arsenal despite the pair not being totally fresh – including by Chelsea’s owners.

Midfield duo Fernandez and Caicedo were late returners from international duty having been in action for Argentina and Ecuador in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

In an ideal world Pochettino might have preferred to ease the £222m midfield pair back in but admitted that was not an option for Saturday’s London derby.

He laughed: ‘Today Caceido and Enzo arrived after two games in America and they were not fresh. But they are important players for us.

‘So now we are going to have a week to work [until Brentford] and for sure they are going to be better and improve.

‘It’s crazy for players to come back from America on Wednesday and play on Saturday. But if I say “OK, I’m going to give them a rest” you will kill me, for sure if they don’t play. And the owner also!

‘It’s really tough to arrive like that. I hope now they can recover and train and in one week be at their best.’

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