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Chelsea predicted lineup vs Crystal Palace


An understrength Chelsea side will welcome Crystal Palace to Stamford Bridge in the Premier League on Wednesday night.

On top of the mountain of injuries amassed by the club’s expensively assembled squad, Mauricio Pochettino has lost both Raheem Sterling and Cole Palmer to suspension for Palace’s visit.

The former Manchester City teammates have either scored or assisted 16 of Chelsea’s 29 league goals this season (55%), including each of the last four.

Here’s the depleted lineup Pochettino may be forced to deploy.

Axel Disasi

Summer arrival Axel Disasi has rarely missed a minute since joining Chelsea / James Baylis – AMA/GettyImages

GK: Djordje Petrovic – A player from sporting stock, Petrovic’s father also found his place between the posts before becoming a gymnastics coach. Despite encouragement, Petrovic Jr opted for the pitch rather than the pommel horse.

RB: Malo Gusto – Despite creating just five chances all season – as many as centre-back Thiago Silva – Gusto can boast two assists.

CB: Axel Disasi – In his debut campaign in west London, no Chelsea player has accrued more minutes than Disasi this season.

CB: Benoit Badiashile – At the ripe old age of 39, Thiago Silva is older than some Premier League managers this season – not Roy Hodgson, of course – and may need a rest after starting on Christmas Eve. Badiashile is the Brazilian’s natural replacement.

LB: Levi Colwill – After a season on loan at Brighton, Colwill may carry a lingering sense of added disdain for the Seagulls’ traditional rivals Palace.

CM: Moises Caicedo – With Enzo Fernandez and Lesley Ugochukwu likely to be sidelined, Caicedo will need to get over a virus that sidelined him against Wolves.

CM: Conor Gallagher – In 39 games on loan for Crystal Palace, Gallagher scored eight goals. Across 66 appearances in blue, Chelsea’s academy graduate has netted just three times.

AM: Nicolas Jackson – Pochettino is wary of overworking Christopher Nkunku on his return from injury and may leave the Frenchman on the bench while Jackson gets another chance to add to his catalogue of missed opportunities.

RW: Noni Madueke – In a team with the worst discipline record in the Premier League, Madueke is one of only two players to have started a top-flight match for Chelsea this season and not been booked once.

ST: Armando Broja – Arguably the best Premier League goal of Broja’s nascent career came against Palace while lining up for Southampton in December 2021.

LW: Mykhailo Mudryk – In the absence of Sterling and Palmer, Chelsea are forced to look towards Mudryk for any trickery on the wings.

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