Christopher Nkunku starts, Malo Gusto returns – Dream Chelsea lineup for Nottingham Forest clash

Chelsea attacker Christopher Nkunku

Mauricio Pochettino was massively boosted last weekend as six players returned from injury to be named in the Chelsea squad that beat West Ham United 5-0 at Stamford Bridge.

While Levi Colwill and Raheem Sterling remained on the bench throughout the game, the likes of Christopher Nkunku, Axel Disasi and Malo Gusto were all brought on in the second-half. Meanwhile, Thiago Silva was thrown straight back into the lineup as the Blues cruised past the Hammers in west London.

Pochettino will be cautious with some of the returning players after their respective injury layoffs. Nkunku has played less than 400 minutes in his debut campaign in England because of numerous injury problems and will not be rushed back into action – despite Chelsea supporters being desperate to see the Frenchman, having been deprived of his talents this term.

So while it does seem unlikely that Nkunku will start on Saturday in Nottingham, Bobby Vincent takes a look at a world where the Frenchman is thrown in at the City Ground. Below, the 'dream' Chelsea lineup for this weekend is discussed.

Dream Chelsea lineup

Djordje Petrovic has back-to-back clean sheets now – the first time he has done that since joining Chelsea. The Serbian has been impressive since overtaking Robert Sanchez in the goalkeeper pecking order at Stamford Bridge, but some supporters are still on the fence when it comes to his abilities. Either way, Petrovic has to start in between the posts at the City Ground.

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Gusto would be the majority of people's preferred choice to come in at right-back. In recent games, with Gusto and captain Reece James injured, the Blues have been used Alfie Gilchrist and Trevoh Chalobah on the right-hand side of the defence.

Gusto, though, adds much more balance to the Chelsea side and his attacking threat could prove crucial in breaking down Forest – something the Blues failed to do in the reverse fixture towards the start of the season. It begs the question over who starts in the centre of defence and it could be bad news for Benoit Badiashile.

Badiashile has been much better recently but he may miss out in Nottingham on Saturday. Silva was immense on Sunday and Chalobah has been superb for almost three months now.

Marc Cucurella's new hybrid role has got plenty of supporters talking in recent days. The Spaniard is playing in an inverted role when Chelsea have possession of the ball. Since changing the way the team and Cucurella sets up, Chelsea have been brilliant.

Moises Caicedo and Conor Gallagher have looked great together since Enzo Fernandez had surgery. Having Cucurella move into midfield when the Blues have the ball allows Gallagher to drive forward and offers Caicedo the protection to not get overran in the centre of the pitch.

In order to facilitate's 'dream' XI, we have had to move Noni Madueke out to the left-hand side. The 22-year-old winger, who usually plays on the right, has been brilliant in recent games. Last time out against West Ham, Madueke put in a near-perfect display at Stamford Bridge, scoring and assisting on the afternoon.

Nkunku to play in the No.10 role, something he did in pre-season where he impressed in his link-up with Nicolas Jackson. Cole Palmer on the right-hand side, of course, although there is an alternative setup available.

Madueke could play on the right, as he has been, with Palmer in the middle and Nkunku on the left. We have not really seen Nkunku on the wing yet for Chelsea but it is certainly an option. The £52million signing played all across the front-line in his days with RB Leipzig in Germany.

'Dream' Chelsea lineup: Petrovic; Gusto, Silva, Chalobah, Cucurella; Caicedo, Gallagher; Palmer, Nkunku, Madueke; Jackson.