London derby could prove feisty for Pochettino

Pochettino will be in his first London derby since his return to the capital. — AFP

CHELSEA’S stock has risen rather substantially in the wake of their draw with Liverpool last weekend.

Indeed, such has been the positivity that followed that more than just a few pundits have tipped them to easily see off West Ham United tomorrow.

And to prove that point, they were said to be on track this week to add Michael Olise and Romeo Lavia to their player roster, with transfers reportedly worth £35mil (RM207mil) and £58mil (RM343mil) from Crystal Palace and Southampton, respectively.

That was to follow the signing of Moises Caicedo from Brighton for £115mil (RM680mil) on Monday, a new British transfer record.

As ambitious as they are, Chelsea have reportedly now spent in the region of £1bil (RM5.93bil) on players since Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital took over the London club in May last year.

Against their London neighbours tomorrow, Mauricio Pochettino, the former Tottenham and Paris St Germain manager, will be expected to build on their lively start to the new season.

A top-four finish, which comes with a slot in the Champions League, will be the Blues revised target this season. But Pochettino, who knows the ins and outs of the Premiership, will also understand what it means to come up against the Hammers in a London derby.

The key to the visit to London Stadium will be who Pochettino goes with.

It is more than likely that he will give Caicedo a run-out and will almost surely again look to Nicolas Jackson to lead the line, even if he does need a bit more time to settle in up front.

Enzo Fernandez looked sharp in midfield, albeit in patches, and wingbacks Reece James and Ben Chilwell were also among those who impressed on opening day.

James, their new captain, left the field last weekend with what looked like a muscle problem, and it was unclear (at the time of writing) if he would start tomorrow.

Jarrod Bowen and Lucas Paqueta, the subject of a reported £70mil (RM414mil) target of Manchester City, gave a good account of themselves last time out and will start for David Moyes if they‘re still there tomorrow.

But regardless of who starts and who doesn’t, this fixture should prove quite feisty, just as so many have down the years.

Subscribe now to our Premium Plan for an ad-free and unlimited reading experience!

Pochettino , London , football


Next In Community Sports

Man United looking for a change in fortunes
Daunting task for Tottenham
Thrilling top-of-the-table clash
Pochettino has point to prove on visit to Newcastle
Outstanding sports achievers recognised
Amateur golf tournament sees thrilling finale
Proper test for revived Chelsea
Wounded Gunners out to bounce back in league
A symphony of golf and gastronomy
Quarter marathon to showcase Klang’s potential as tourist destination

Others Also Read