Malo Gusto update gives huge injury boost to Chelsea ahead of Manchester United clash

Malo Gusto update gives huge injury boost to Chelsea ahead of Manchester United clash

Chelsea are hopeful Malo Gusto will return from injury to face Manchester United on Thursday night.

The right-back was substituted in the 87th-minute of Saturday’s disappointing 2-2 draw at home against 10-man Burnley and was a fitness concern.

But Gusto is believed to have avoided a hamstring injury and was brought off due to cramp, which has since been treated at the training ground.

Mauricio Pochettino will make a final decision on whether to start the 20-year-old against United at Stamford Bridge.

But his fitness is a major boost for Chelsea, with captain Reece James still sidelined after hamstring surgery in December.

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Youngster Alfie Gilchrist is lined up to deputise for Gusto at right-back. The Academy graduate extended his contract until 2026 on Tuesday, with an option for another season.

Axel Disasi or Marc Cucurella have also played out of position at right-back when injuries have hit this season.

Ben Chilwell and Trevoh Chalobah are also pushing to return to face United. Chilwell suffered a knock on England duty and missed the Burnley game, while Pochettino described Chalobah’s injury last week as “not a big issue”.

Levi Colwill remains out with a toe problem but hopes to return to face Everton in 12 days before the FA Cup semi-final against Manchester City in a fortnight.

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Goalkeeper Robert Sanchez is also expected to return soon but is likely continue on the bench as back-up to Djordje Petrovic.

There remains little clarity about the return of James or Christopher Nkunku, who are being assessed week-by-week amid more niggly injury problems.

They both hope to play again this season, as do midfielders Lesley Ugochukwu and Carney Chukwuemeka. Romeo Lavia has been ruled out until the summer.

Chelsea have dropped to 12th place in the Premier League in a season blighted by around 50 different injury problems. There is some sympathy among the hierarchy with Pochettino, who has rarely been able to pick a stable starting XI in his first season at Stamford Bridge.

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