Full Chelsea squad revealed for Brighton as two miss out and Reece James decision made

Chelsea captain and defender Reece James

Mauricio Pochettino has a new dilemma on his hands. For the first time this season he could be able to leave players out of his first team squad.

It was just over two weeks ago that he was limited to 10 fit outfield players for the eventual 2-0 win over Tottenham, now his options are almost overflowing. It couldn't have come at a much better time.

The 52-year-old has been under immense pressure for lengthy spells of this season, often citing the availability of key players as a reason behind his strife. Although many are simply working their way back to fitness, the option to rotate and bring on assured quality from the bench is a new luxury.

"I think it was very good news last game to have so many players back on track," he said on Tuesday ahead of the trip to Brighton. "It is a very positive thing to finish the season with only a few players injured. It's good news to recover the players and be positive to start the pre-season with almost all of the players fit to train."

Having welcomed back Reece James for Saturday's 3-2 victory over Nottingham Forest there is a growing feelgood factor around the club. Christopher Nkunku made his second appearance from the bench in a row whilst Malo Gusto also returned. There is now a chance that all but four players are absent for the match against Brighton.

A win on the south coast would ensure Chelsea finish seventh at minimum, though a chance would remain to secure sixth, and possibly even fifth, on the final day. The Blues do not have it in their own hands to qualify for the Europa League but two wins from their final two matches would give them a strong chance, especially as Manchester United and Newcastle face-off on Wednesday too.

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Should United fail to win the FA Cup - and they are heavy underdogs - then sixth would be enough for a Europa League spot. Pochettino will be aiming to welcome back Ben Chilwell and Carney Chukwuemeka for the games as his squad moves towards full fitness.

"Chilly [Chilwell] is really close but I think he's not 100 per cent maybe to be part of the squad. Carney Chukwuemeka, also. But we need to assess if they can or cannot be part of the squad for tomorrow. If not, maybe for the weekend."

James, meanwhile, is aiming to ramp up his minutes in the final week of the season. "He's trained really well," Pochettino explained. "Now we need to control the game time because we want him to finish the season really strong. I hope tomorrow he will have the possibility to play a little bit more [than he did vs Nottingham Forest]."

It means the only players definitely out are Enzo Fernandez, Romeo Lavia, Robert Sanchez, and Wesley Fofana. It is the strongest depth Pochettino has had all season since a set of worries from the end of the US tour kicked the campaign off on the wrong foot.

What it means is that some of those who have been regulars in the matchday squad in recent weeks may not be included here. Should either Chilwell or Chukwuemeka be fit then Alfie Gilchrist is perhaps the most likely name to miss out, whilst teenage attacker Deivid Washington could be left to the sidelines with returning forwards.

Here, predicts the matchday 20 picked for the game.

Goalkeepers: Djordje Petrovic, Marcus Bettinelli

Defenders: Malo Gusto, Reece James, Axel Disasi, Thiago Silva, Trevoh Chalobah, Benoit Badiashile, Marc Cucurella, Alfie Gilchrist, Levi Colwill

Midfielders: Conor Gallagher, Cesare Casadei, Moises Caicedo

Attackers: Raheem Sterling, Cole Palmer, Nicolas Jackson, Noni Madueke, Mykhailo Mudryk, Christopher Nkunku