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Chelsea predicted XI vs Preston: Mauricio Pochettino to hand 20-year-old first start of the season

Impressive youngster Alfie Gilchrist could be handed his first start against Preston North End.

Chelsea are light at full-back and Mauricio Pochettino could name youngster Alfie Gilchrist in the starting team against Preston North End this weekend. The youngster made his debut against Crystal Palace and got more minutes away at Luton

Pochettino is without two of his first-choice left-backs with Marc Cucurella out with an ankle injury while Ben Chiwlell is only making his way back to first-team training. Ian Maatsen who has this week been linked with a move to Dortmund also hasn't trained in the past two days and the Chelsea manager confirmed he would not be starting. 

Carney Chukwuemeka, Reece James, Wesley Fofana, Robert Sanchez, Trevoh Chalobah, Lesley Ugochukwu and Romeo Lavia will also miss the match at Stamford Bridge on Saturday evening. Striker Nicolas Jackson has left for the AFCON so Armando Broja will now likely be the main man with Raheem Sterling who hasn't played in the last two games also likely to come in. 

Chelsea have won all three of their FA Cup ties against Preston, beating them in a fourth-round replay in 1968-69, in the fifth round in 2001-02, and in the fourth round in 2009-10.

The Blues lost 4-0 against Manchester City in the FA Cup third round last season, their first elimination at this stage of the competition in 25 years. They last fell at this hurdle in consecutive campaigns between 1978-79 and 1980-81 (three defeats in a row).

So Pochettino will be going hard at this one and hoping to have a similar impact as he's had in the Carabao Cup. So with everything in mind, this is the team the Argentinian manager is likely to put up.

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