Pochettino must release Chelsea's "frightening" £100k-p/w star
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Pochettino must release Chelsea’s “frightening” £100k-p/w star

Pochettino must release Chelsea’s “frightening” £100k-p/w star

Chelsea head into their biggest match of the season so far against Manchester City buoyed with confidence.

Mauricio Pochettino ended Tottenham Hotspur’s unbeaten start to the Premier League with a 4-1 victory earlier this week and while Spurs did have two players sent off, the result gives the Blues a big lift.

If they are to break into the European spots, securing positive results against teams like City is a must and over the previous few weeks, they have drawn with Arsenal and defeated Spurs, indicating that the team is gelling together well.

Pochettino’s side have also lost to Brentford and Nottingham Forest, however, and he must find a way to iron out more consistency in his team.

There could be a few changes to his starting XI this afternoon following on from the win over their London rivals.

Chelsea team news vs Manchester City

With the international break nearly upon us, the Argentinian may not risk a few players who are battling back from injury.

Armando Broja will be available after spending time out with a knee injury, yet Christopher Nkunku will have to wait until after the break to make his debut.

Trevoh Chalobah, Wesley Fofana, Romeo Lavia, Ben Chilwell and Carney Chukwuemeka will all miss the game and the former Paris Saint-Germain boss will be hoping his injury issues are alleviated soon.

One player who could be ready to go is winger Mykhailo Mudryk, as he made a cameo against Spurs from the bench and should be unleashed from the first whistle against City.

Mykhailo Mudryk’s season in numbers

The £100k-per-week winger has taken time to settle in to life at the Bridge, but under Pochettino, he can finally deliver on his immense talent.

Hailed as “frightening” by journalist Josh Bunting in 2022, the Ukrainian made one key pass and succeeded with two of his three dribble attempts against Spurs during his brief cameo, showing glimpses of his ability.

This season, he has netted twice in the top flight, averaged 0.7 key passes per game and averaged 0.9 successful dribbles per match – a success rate of 57% – indicating that he is slowly but surely adapting to the rigours of the Premier League.

Pochettino could unleash him on the left wing this afternoon against the champions, moving Raheem Sterling onto the right wing and deploying Cole Palmer in a more central role.

This attacking trio have scored nine goals and registered six assists combined across all competitions this season and, on paper, it certainly looks like the best option available to Pochettino.

With Nicolas Jackson likely to lead the line, Mudryk can use his pace and creativity to generate plenty of chances for the Senegal international, who will be filled with confidence following his hattrick against Spurs.

The 22-year-old has yet to hit the heights that have been expected of him following his blockbuster move to London back in January, but it looks as though Pochettino knows how to bring the best out of him.

Unleashing him to terrorise City could give him the platform to shine and prove why the left-wing slot should be his to lose.

Pochettino must release Chelsea’s “frightening” £100k-p/w star