Chelsea vs Burnley: 3 things to look out for

Aston Villa v Chelsea - Emirates FA Cup Fourth Round Replay
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Mykhailo Mudryk
Ukraine v Iceland: UEFA EURO 2024 Play-Offs Final / Mateusz Slodkowski/GettyImages

2. Will Mykhailo Mudryk and Noni Madueke get a start?

In a sparkling display of talent on the international stage, Mykhailo Mudryk shone brightly for Ukraine, scoring a crucial goal that propelled them into the Euro Cup set for this summer. Similarly, Noni Madueke made headlines with his contributions to England U21s, showcasing his involvement in key goals. As Chelsea gears up for Saturday's match, the spotlight falls on whether these two rising stars will crack into the starting lineup, a decision that rests in the hands of Pochettino.

Historically, Pochettino has shown a steadfast preference for Raheem Sterling, consistently selecting him for the starting XI despite a series of underwhelming performances. This unwavering faith in Sterling has often left fans puzzled, especially when considering the dynamic potential of players like Mudryk and Madueke. If Palmer returns to fitness and Chelsea opts for a 4-3-3 formation, it's conceivable that this talented duo might find themselves sidelined once again under Pochettino.

Mudryk and Madueke represent the future of Chelsea, possessing the raw talent and potential that promise to flourish with more significant minutes on the field. However, a perplexing loyalty to Sterling, whose recent form has been less than stellar, raises questions about Pochettino's tactical decisions. Sterling's struggles in front of goal have been glaring, contributing to Chelsea's woes in tight matches where every chance counts. Despite this, Pochettino's strategy continues to favor Sterling's experience over the youthful exuberance and burgeoning skill of Mudryk and Madueke.

As Chelsea continues to navigate a challenging season, the incorporation of Mudryk and Madueke into more prominent roles could inject much-needed vigor and creativity into the squad. Their recent international exploits underscore their readiness and capability to impact games at the highest level. As fans and pundits alike watch closely, the decision of whether to embrace the future or stick with the familiar will be a defining moment for Pochettino and Chelsea.