The challenges for Pochettino as Spurs reunion looms

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The game against Tottenham at Stamford Bridge is a big one for both Chelsea and Mauricio Pochettino.

The match will be Pochettino's 400th match in English football after his spells at Southampton and Tottenham, while Chelsea's chase for European football means they have to get a positive result.

They have one game in hand and are just five points from seventh place and six points from sixth place.

Pochettino has been trying to build consistency at Chelsea throughout the season in his 'project' at Stamford Bridge but injuries have hampered him throughout the campaign.

In fairness, he has had a lengthy list of absentees to deal with most of the time he has been at the club. They currently have 14 first team players listed as out injured for the game with big money summer signings Romeo Lavia and Christopher Nkunku barely featuring for the Blues.

It is likely that there will be more young players in the squad this evening after Pochettino confirmed defenders Thiago Silva and Axel Disasi are the latest players to pick up knocks.

"We have a big challenge against a great team like Tottenham," Pochettino said in his pre-match news conference. "It is going to be a nice game to play and a great opportunity for some kids to be on the bench with a possibility to play.

"When the opportunity appears it is about being conscious, stepping up and being here and wanting to play for Chelsea."

It has taken a while for some Chelsea fans to warm to Pochettino because of his ties to Tottenham and Pochettino's comments about not being able to "hide his emotions" against his former club will not have gone down well with some.

He mentioned that it takes time to build a relationship and when he is out walking his dog and sees supporters, they show him appreciation.

However, Pochettino knows the only way to keep supporters totally happy is to be winning games. He will hope that starts with victory over Spurs.

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