Predicted Chelsea lineup against Nottingham Forest: Gusto to return; Reece James in contention

Mauricio Pochettino hopes to have Reece James in the Chelsea matchday squad against Nottingham Forest on Saturday.

Chelsea will aim to continue pushing for a strong finish to the 2023/24 season when they lock horns with Nottingham Forest at City Ground on Saturday evening. And Mauricio Pochettino has greeted a positive update on the team news front ahead of his side’s latest fixture.

Reece James is close to returning to action after resuming training. While Saturday’s game might have come too soon for the Englishman to feature in the starting lineup, Pochettino hopes to have the club captain in the matchday squad.

Meanwhile, Robert Sanchez (match fitness), Ben Chilwell (knee), Wesley Fofana (knee), Lesley Ugochukwu (hamstring), Carney Chukwuemeka (knee), Romeo Lavia (thigh), and Enzo Fernandez (hernia) remain on the sidelines. Pochettino discussed James’s potential availability during his pre-match press conference.

The Chelsea manager said, “We need to assess today some players that maybe can be involved tomorrow in the game. I am happy because we are going to be in the last week of the season and nearly all the players will be fit to be available. It is a good end and to see the future more optimistic.”

“We need to see today but maybe he [James] can be available to be in the squad. The most important thing is that he is going to be there with us. Always to have your captain is a massive boost for any team. We have an amazing relationship and of course he is an amazing player.”

James should be on the bench, although it is unclear if he will be fit enough to make a cameo. Meanwhile, Malo Gusto should return to the Chelsea starting lineup, joining Thiago Silva, Trevoh Chalobah, and Marc Cucurella in the backline. Djordje Petrovic is an automatic pick between the sticks.

As for the midfield unit, there is no looking past Conor Gallagher and Moises Caicedo in the double pivot. Cole Palmer will reprise the no. 10 role, with Noni Madueke and Mykhailo Mudryk being the two wide attackers. Finally, Nicolas Jackson will spearhead the home side’s attack against Nottingham Forest on Saturday.

Predicted Chelsea XI: Petrovic; Gusto, Chalobah, Silva, Cucurella; Gallagher, Caicedo; Madueke, Palmer, Mudryk; Jackson

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