Two new suspensions is not what Chelsea needed given their lengthy injury list. Malo Gusto was handed a red card for his challenge on Lucas Digne after a VAR review saw his initial booking upgraded, while Nicolas Jackson picked up his fifth yellow card of the season when he stood in the way of an Aston Villa free kick.
Mauricio Pochettino noted his side would have to grow up to avoid such circumstances and now Gusto is set to miss three matches for the Blues having been sent off, against Brighton in the Carabao Cup, Fulham and Burnley. Jackson will miss next week's clash against the Cottagers.
Unfortunately for the Blues' head coach, he may not have natural replacements ready to start from the off. Reece James, despite making positive steps in his return from injury, has still not been in a Chelsea squad following the first match of the season. While Armando Broja is now an option up front, whether he will have built his fitness to a point of being able to start a game in the next week remains to be seen.
Pochettino may be required to find a delicate balance up front at Craven Cottage, but the decision of how to replace Gusto could be simpler. Axel Disasi has experience on the right side of defence and took on the role in the latter stages of the game against Aston Villa. He even showed some attacking intent, albeit alongside some wayward shooting.
That move would allow the backline to then shift over, with little other central option available. With Trevoh Chalobah and Wesley Fofana still out, both were present at Stamford Bridge on Sunday, Levi Colwill is the only option to partner Thiago Silva.
Pochettino has preferred to make use of an asymmetric set-up where one full-back offers an attacking threat while the other playsRead on football.london