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Chelsea’s new signing passes audition for Fulham start while Pochettino drops team news hint

Mauricio Pochettino is invariably having to come to grips with the several dilemmas in his path ahead of Chelsea’s clash with Fulham on Monday night further exacerbated by the absence of Nicolas Jackson and Malo Gusto due to suspension.

Pochettino has given the nod to Cole Palmer being handed his first Premier League start for Chelsea in their match against Fulham as Marco Silva’s side welcome the Blues to Craven Cottage on Monday night in expectations of a fiery west London derby encounter.

Palmer has hit the ground running at Stamford Bridge after joining from Manchester City late into the summer transfer window and and looks set to become integral to the Argentine’s starting line-up for the remainder of the season. He fittingly earned his first start for the Blues against Brighton in the Carabao Cup third round on Wednesday night, after having provided the vital assist resulting in Nicolas Jackson netting the winner.

The question was put to Pochettino if the England Under-21 international will be a starter at Craven Cottage and the 51-year-old said:

“Yes, maybe, yes. I’m so happy with his performance after only a few weeks with us. He was able to perform very well and fit very well in the team. He is a talented player, young talented player but I think he is in my mind to start on Monday.”

The beleaguered Argentine is obviously eager to capitalize on the feel-good vibes prevailing currently at the club after Chelsea’s win over Brighton during the week.

He said: “I think it was a really important victory, not only because that victory puts us into the next round of the Carabao Cup, but to build our trust and for our confidence.

“I think another solid performance which we translate into a victory which the players need, the team need and the fans also need. The effort was fantastic from the team. This situation can make us stronger and make us confident for Monday.”

“The most important [thing] is to adapt to the squad and the players that might be available and to try and perform, to find a way to perform,” said the Chelsea boss. “We can play with one striker or maybe without a striker. I think it’s a difficult few days, I need to think and come up with a decision.”