“No choice” – Pochettino to start £40m Chelsea star against Brighton after lastest injury blow

Mauricio Pochettino has been given a major injury boost ahead of Chelsea’s clash against Brighton this weekend. The Blues will welcome the Seagulls to Stamford Bridge on Sunday afternoon as both sides look to climb the Premier League table over the festive period.

Chelsea head into the clash following a disappointing defeat to Newcastle United. The west Londoners had enjoyed a decent run of form up until their visit to Tyneside, storming past Tottenham Hotspur and snatching a well-deserved point from Manchester City.

As for Roberto De Zerbi’s men, they’re unbeaten in seven games across all competitions. While Brighton may be confident, they’ll be short on rest following a crucial Europa League group stage clash away to AEK Athens on Thursday evening

The Seagulls will also be without Lewis Dunk due to suspension. Chelsea are set to miss some big names too, with Reece James and Marc Cucurella serving bans while Christopher Nkunku and Romeo Lavia continue to their rehabilitation.

Another player who’s working hard at Cobham to nurse an injury is Wesley Fofana. The 22-year-old defender ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament in the summer and he’s set to miss a large chunk of the season.

While it remains to be seen exactly when the France international will be available for selection again, he’s posted a promising update to his Instagram story. Without a caption, Fofana posted an image of himself training outside in his Blues gear.

The Frenchman has been very unfortunate with injuries in recent years; in 2021, he broke his leg in a pre-season friendly against Villarreal and was ruled out for over seven months. Then, in March 2022, he eventually returned and played the remainder of the season before swapping the King Power Stadium for Stamford Bridge a few months later.

Then October last year, Fofana was ruled out for two months before triggering another knee issue which extended his absence into the New Year. Upon his return in February, he went on to make 13 appearances for Chelsea in the English top-flight

Under new management, Fofana was expected to play a crucial role for the west Londoners this term but yet another injury forced him out of action. When asked about his setback in the summer, Pochettino insisted that he and the club will do everything they can to help and support him during his recovery.

“Really sad, really bad news – we feel so sad,” said the 51-year-old. “We can only help him and to be again with the team we know it is tough. We need to help him and wish him all the best. We need to keep going, the competition is there. The competition doesn’t wait for anyone and we need to be ready.”

Then, on if Fofana could feature for the Blues this season, Pochettino added: “I hope yes. You have all of the information that this is difficult. He is evolving in a different way but hopefully his recovery goes very well.”

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