Home News Chelsea striker could feature vs. Liverpool despite just 45 HOURS between games

Chelsea striker could feature vs. Liverpool despite just 45 HOURS between games


Chelsea boss Mauricio Pochettino has hinted that striker Nicolas Jackson could be involved against Liverpool despite turning out for his country just 45 hours earlier.

The Reds will return to Premier League action against mid-table Chelsea at Anfield on Wednesday night, with Jurgen Klopp’s side looking to extend their run of seven straight wins in all competitions.

The two sides have drawn their last seven meetings with each other, although the two domestic cup finals in 2021/22 were later won on penalties by Liverpool.

Jackson has been away at the Africa Cup of Nations since the start of this month, but his Senegal side were dumped out of the competition in a shoot-out defeat to Ivory Coast.

It means the 22-year-old will soon be available to return to Stamford Bridge, but his manager has indicated that return could come as imminently as Wednesday night at Anfield.

Speaking ahead of the contest, Pochettino refused to rule out a place in the squad for Jackson, suggesting that he could make his way onto the pitch if he is back in England early enough.

Pochettino said in his pre-match press conference, as quoted by Chelsea‘s official website: “Maybe, why not, Nico [Jackson] for tomorrow, might be involved in the game – if he can arrive.

“We are seeing, it’s not sure, maybe it could happen, he could be there and involved in the game.

“If it gives us a one per cent better possibility to win the game, we will try. We are waiting for the confirmation, all I can say is maybe he is there.

“Last week it was Ghana who went out and Inaki Williams arrived a few hours before, played in the second half and scored a goal to help Athletic to beat Barcelona in the Copa del Rey.

“So why can’t Jackson arrive and score the winning goal?

“Without Nico we miss the possibility that he provides. He runs a lot, which is massive and helps the team to press high, and also scores goals because he has a good record at the moment.

LONDON, ENGLAND - Sunday, August 13, 2023: Liverpool's goalkeeper Alisson Becker makes a save from Chelsea's Nicolas Jackson during the FA Premier League match between Chelsea FC and Liverpool FC at Stamford Bridge. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

“I think we miss him a lot and so we are happy because we can recover him, but on the other side sad because they lost. But being selfish we are happy because maybe he can be with us at Liverpool.”

It is surprising to hear, particularly given the travel involved and the two-day turnaround between games.

Jackson came off the bench 67 minutes into his country’s last 16 clash, meaning he played the best part of an hour due to stoppage and extra time.

Chelsea will be pleased to welcome the striker back into the fold, particularly given that they are still without a number of key senior players for the encounter.

Reece James, Marc Cucurella, Romeo Lavia, Lesley Ugochukwu and Wesley Fofana are all currently sidelined, but it is hoped that Christopher Nkunku and Malo Gusto will be fit enough to be in contention.

LONDON, ENGLAND - Sunday, August 13, 2023: Chelsea's Reece James looks dejected during the FA Premier League match between Chelsea FC and Liverpool FC at Stamford Bridge. The game ended in a 1-1 draw. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The Chelsea manager continued: “I think Malo Gusto and Christopher [Nkunku] can be involved in the squad for tomorrow.

“They will travel with us and the team, that is the good news. Always, we are waiting for the last moment in case there is some surprise, but it is good news to have two players recovered to play.”

Liverpool were able to welcome back full-back pairing Andy Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold against Norwich, along with midfielder Dominik Szoboszlai.

It leaves Klopp with a greater percentage of his squad available than he has had in many months, which is ideal timing given the two huge Premier League clashes that await them this week.