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Mykhailo Mudryk back in full training; Reece James could start again; Armando Broja in with a chance to play as well

Team news ahead of Monday’s derby

Chelsea FC Training Session And Press Conference Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

Chelsea aren’t in action until Monday night, which gives us a couple extra days this weekend to get ready for this massive showdown against Tottenham Hotspur. And those extra days could also be helpful for those players whose fitness levels are questionable heading into the weekend.

Chief among those is club captain Reece James, who started on Wednesday and played about an hour as we slowly ramp up his workload after another multi-month injury. Fortunately, Reecey’s come through this step unscathed. That doesn’t mean he will start a second match in a row, but his chances of doing so are certainly better for a Monday match than, say a Saturday one.

“We’ll see first of all if he’s available. Then if my decision is to play with him or not. [He’s] our captain, he’s a very important player. Now we need to assess him to see if he’s ready to start or not on Monday.”

If James is only on the bench, he might be joined by both Armando Broja and Mykhalio Mudryk, with the former getting a surprise status upgrade from Pochettino and the latter’s return to “full training” on Friday confirmed by the official website.

“Today we were talking and maybe [Broja] will be available to be on the bench for Monday. He is training today and hope he can be involved.”

-Mauricio Pochettino; source: Football.London

Given Nicolas Jackson’s recent struggles, Broja could have a great opportunity to stake his claim on a starting spot. And if Mudryk’s available, we could also very well roll out the setup we utilized against Arsenal (and which worked so well), with Cole Palmer as a false-nine, supported by Conor Gallagher in the middle and Mudryk and Raheem Sterling running the wings.

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