In their upcoming clash against Luton Town on the road, the focus for Chelsea will be on overturning their recent struggles away from home. Despite an impressive unbeaten run of six games in all competitions at Stamford Bridge, the Blues have encountered setbacks in their last four away fixtures. Enhancing their performance in rival territories is vital for Chelsea as they strive to climb the Premier League points standings. On Saturday, Mauricio Pochettino should consider starting four key players to bolster the team's performance.
1. Christopher Nkunku
While the Frenchman might not be physically prepared to endure the entire 90 minutes, his positive impact in Chelsea's last three matches is undeniable. His presence on the field significantly elevates the performances of those around him. Nkunku, having already found the net in the league, carries the benefit of not having debut goal pressure. Despite being just 26 years old, he brings a wealth of experience that surpasses many of his younger teammates. His seasoned background could offer vital support to a team currently grappling with a shortage in that aspect.
2. Myhkailo Mudryk
Although Pochettino appears to favor Raheem Sterling over Mudryk, the Ukrainian has had significant improvement in recent matches. Notably, he scored in consecutive home games, showcasing well-taken goals and an enhanced overall impact on the game. Mudryk's commitment to defensive duties has also seen improvement, a facet where Sterling falls short.
In the last match, Sterling's critical error in squandering a golden opportunity to give Chelsea the lead raises concerns, and such lapses, especially after missing a game due to suspension, a starting position should not be the reward. Adding to the dilemma is Sterling's inconsistency in performance, making a case for Mudryk to be the preferred choice right now.
3. Noni Madueke
If Chelsea deploys three attackers behind the striker, the third slot should be Madueke's alongside Mudryk and Cole Palmer. The matchwinner from Wednesday night displayed remarkable energy in his substitute appearance. Despite being unable to alter the outcome in Chelsea's favor last Sunday, he showcased a promising performance against the Wolves. Pochettino overlooked him for an extended period, but it's now opportune to acknowledge and reward the English U21 international for his patience and commendable contributions in the limited time he received recently.
4. Thiago Silva
The Brazilian veteran brought valuable experience to Chelsea's backline when he entered the game in the second half against Crystal Palace. His performance reflected a determined effort to shift the result in the home side's favor. Silva's positive influence on the game might have been even more evident had Nicolas Jackson not been deemed offside, denying Silva a well-deserved assist. The camaraderie he shares with the young players was apparent during that moment and towards the end of the match. Like Nkunku, Chelsea could gain substantial advantages by having players who can uplift their team with their experience.