Chelsea predicted line-up vs. Brentford: Four key changes made from midweek with £52m striker sidelined

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All the latest team news and injury updates plus a predicted line-up ahead of Chelsea's Premier League clash with Brentford.

With a roller coaster week of cup fixtures in the rear view mirror, Chelsea will resume their regular Premier League programming with a short trip across London to face Brentford on Saturday afternoon – but they may have to make do without as many as nine players thanks to injury.

They were able to welcome first-choice goalkeeper Robert Sánchez back to the starting XI for Wednesday evening’s 3-2 win over Leeds United while Cole Palmer played despite illness, but there was bad news after the EFL Cup final defeat when Christopher Nkunku found himself back on the treatment table.

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We’ve collected all of the latest team news and injury updates below ahead of Saturday’s cross-capital showdown, and ventured our best guess at Mauricio Pochettino’s starting line-up. And if you’re looking for some hints for your Fantasy Premier League team, you can also read our high-flying FPL manager’s guide to Gameweek 27 by clicking here.

Goalkeeper & Defence

Sánchez’s return will make Pochettino’s life slightly easier, but there are still several injury issues in the back line. Reece James (hamstring), Wesley Fofana (cruciate ligament) and Benoît Badiashile (groin) are long-term absentees, while left-back Marc Cucurella (ankle) is expected to be out for at least another week.

Veteran centre-back Thiago Silva, who has missed the last three matches with a groin problem, could be in line for a return – Pochettino simply stated that “he has a chance, we will see.” Ben Chilwell, who had “some problems” ahead of the FA Cup win over Leeds, came on for the last half-hour and is presumed to be fit and ready to start this weekend.

Midfield

Another player who had an unspecified knock ahead of the Leeds match and failed to make the starting line-up was Conor Gallagher, but he too was able to get on the pitch for the last 30 minutes. Pochettino also confirmed that Palmer was benched for the midweek game due to illness, but he too played in the second half as a substitute. Both are presumed to be fit and ready to start.

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That means Chelsea shouldn’t have any fresh injury issues in midfield but will still be without several players who have missed minutes in recent weeks and months – Carney Chukwuemeka (ankle) and Lesley Ugochukwu (hamstring) remain unavailable, while summer signing Roméo Lavia (thigh), who has made just one league appearance since arriving from Southampton, is yet to return to training.

Forwards

£52m summer signing Nkunku has suffered another injury blow after he was hurt during Sunday’s game at Wembley having come on as a second-half substitute. The club have not specified the nature of the injury and have said that he will be evaluated this week, but the initial prognosis suggests that he will be out for three to four weeks. He will certainly miss the game against Brentford and the first game after the March international break looks like the earliest plausible return date for the Frenchman. That fresh setback means that Nicolas Jackson will likely continue at centre-forward after scoring a fine goal against Leeds in midweek.

Full predicted line-up vs. Brentford

Sánchez; Chilwell, Colwill, Disasi, Gusto; Fernández, Caicedo, Gallagher; Sterling, Palmer, Jackson.

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