Premier League Pochettino explains why Sterling was benched in Sheffield United draw

Ahead of Monday’s visit of Everton, Chelsea manager Mauricio Pochettino has discussed his approach to recent team selection calls and gave an update on the fitness of forward Raheem Sterling.

The Blues welcome Everton to the Bridge off the back of a mixed set of results, a dramatic 4-3 win over European rivals Manchester United, followed only days later by a draw at Sheffield United.

Pochettino gave Noni Madueke a chance to impress last time out at Bramall Lane, the winger repaying the decision with a strong performance capped off with a wonderful individual goal.

By contrast, Raheem Sterling and Mykhailo Mudryk, who between them had started two games each from Chelsea’s previous four matches, were on the bench against the Blades. The decision showed how competition for places in Pochettino’s side remains tough, particularly in the wide positions.

The Blues boss stated that calls such as these were not simply down to a player’s performance in one game, with Pochettino and his staff instead having a variety of factors to consider.

“It is because we assess all the players’ performance, training and everything else,” said Pochettino, adding: “And we need to try to be fair. So we gave the opportunity to Noni Madueke to play [against Sheffield United]. We put Cole Palmer in another position to try and find a good balance in the team, with [Conor] Gallagher on the left.

“We assess the players and then we will take the decisions from that. We analyse the form of all the players, then I need to make the decisions. We see the players training every day and we make an assessment, in our opinion, on who is the best placed to play.

“If they are performing well or better than another, that is what decides whether one plays or another. We are competitive but need to help each other, because we have enough talent to win games.”

Dennis Mabuka

Dennis Mabuka is a seasoned Kenyan journalist with 18 years of experience covering sports events. He is currently a sport content creator with

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