Chelsea vs Wimbledon: 5 Blues who must start

Chelsea (Photo by Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images)
Chelsea (Photo by Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images) /
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Chelsea (Photo by Matthew Ashton – AMA/Getty Images) /

Chelsea’s 2023/24 campaign has fully kicked off. The Blues have played three Premier League games sitting at 10th in the top half of the table for the first time in a while with four points out of a possible nine. The West Londoners now face a new challenge in their first non-league game of the season in the Carabao Cup tomorrow against League 2 side AFC Wimbledon.

The encounter will give the Blues an opportunity to rest some of the more senior players within the squad and allow the youngsters to show what they can contribute to this renewed Mauricio Pochettino side.  For a few players in particular, this game will be crucial in determining whether they can force their way into the boss’s plan and compete for Premier League minutes. Despite the level of opposition, this tie still remains a must-win and the Blues will need to field a starting 11 capable of getting the job done.

Here are five Blues who must start for Chelsea against Wimbledon

No.1 Noni Madueke

In a frustrating campaign last season that had little standouts individually for the Blues, now 21-year-old Noni Madueke brought a much-needed spark to Chelsea’s lackluster attack.  The U21 England international impressed with his fearlessness in taking players on and seamlessly coasting past opposition defenders with his pace and dribbling. Although his final product left more to be desired, it became certain that Madueke would play a crucial role in Chelsea’s front line for years to come.

Unfortunately, injuries have hindered his ability to hit the ground running this season, missing out on most of the fun during preseason and only registering 15 minutes in the league this season. This game against Wimbledon presents the perfect opportunity for Madueke to find his footing this season and prove that he can be competition for Raheem Sterling in that right winger role. Although his flair and dribbling are exciting, anything other than tangible output in the final third specifically in terms of goals or assists granted he starts will be disappointing.