Noni Madueke posts early Chelsea team news hint for Tottenham clash as new undroppable emerges

Noni Madueke

Mauricio Pochettino has seen the bulk of his Chelsea starting XI to face Tottenham decided for him due to injuries. The Blues have been hampered by key absences this season with 14 senior players currently out after Enzo Fernandez, Axel Disasi and Thiago Silva all joined Chelsea's injury list.

On Thursday evening, Chelsea return to action for their fifth game in 18 days with just one victory arriving in that time. In a challenging run of fixtures, Pochettino has seen his side beaten by Manchester City and Arsenal and it looked as though a third successive defeat was to arrive against Aston Villa, however they fought back from two goals down to salvage a point.

Unfortunately, veteran defender Silva picked up an injury in the late stages before his expected summer departure was confirmed. His replacement on the night in Disasi has also picked up a knock which has seen him join Reece James, Malo Gusto, Levi Colwill, Ben Chilwell and Wesley Fofana as defenders in the treatment room.

That leaves Alfie Gilchrist, Trevoh Chalobah, Benoit Badiashile and Marc Cucurella as the only fit defenders, meaning the back four to face Spurs is already known. Further up the pitch, similar problems are present with it all-but-guaranteed the likes of Nicolas Jackson, Conor Gallagher and Noni Madueke among others will continue.

The latter of that trio has struggled for a consistent spot in the starting XI but he appears to have nailed down a spot in recent weeks. Ahead of the London derby against his former youth club Tottenham, Madueke has hinted at his prominent role continuing by posting a pre-match graphic on Instagram promoting the clash.

Noni Madueke's team news hint
Noni Madueke's team news hint

Injuries to Raheem Sterling, Christopher Nkunku and Carney Chukwuemeka means Madueke's spot in the starting XI is already secured, but even if all three of those names were fit, his performances certainly warrant consistent minutes with Pochettino also impressed.

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"He is doing well," Pochettino said in his pre-match press conference. "He scored against Aston Villa. He is improving a lot without the ball. The challenge for him is to improve without the ball, to be more connected in the defensive side. He can [do that]. I hope he can take advantage of the possibility to play more until the end of the season."