Mauricio Pochettino is hopeful of having defenders Trevoh Chalobah and Malo Gusto in his side to face Manchester United tomorrow, but confirmed that Ben Chilwell's recovery from injury has suffered a set-back.

Chelsea return to Premier League action on Thursday evening, when we host Manchester United at Stamford Bridge. Looking to secure an important three points against fellow European hopefuls, Mauricio Pochettino is confident that his defensive options will be boosted slightly.

Goalkeeper Robert Sanchez and defenders Trevoh Chalobah and Ben Chilwell were all unavailable for our last match, a 2-2 draw with Burnley on Saturday, while Malo Gusto limped off with an issue late on in the game.

‘Trevoh and Malo were training with us and I think they will be ready to be involved with us in the squad,' said Pochettino.

‘We haven’t seen Chilly since Friday. That is the last time we saw him because the doctor and the medical staff removed from his knee a lot of fluid. That was the situation after he arrived from the national team and then on Saturday he got ill and wasn’t here on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and today. He is at home trying to recover.

‘Robert is training, we will see if he can be on the squad list or not.’

Our head coach also discussed the continued absence of Christopher Nkunku, admitting there is no firm timeframe on when the French forward might be able to return to the action.

‘At the moment we don’t still know when it will be possible for him to start to train with the team. At the moment he is not training with us. He hasn’t had a set-back, his recovery was longer than we expected.

'It was after the Carabao Cup final, when he played 30 or 40 minutes with a problem that we didn’t know about and only found out after the game. This type of circumstance affects in the end everything, because it’s not only him. There are too many players that suffer this season.

'But I hope that he can be involved again quick, as soon as possible in the team. It will be really good if before the end of the season we can count on him to be part of the team again. So we hope he will be.'

Two players who are available to be involved against Man Utd are young defender Alfie Gilchrist and England international forward Cole Palmer, who both earned praised from Pochettino.

The Argentine was pleased to see Gilchrist's breakthrough into the senior team rewarded with a new contract, but was keen to just focus on Palmer's football after speculation he could be offered his own new deal, in the wake of scoring both our goals in the Burnley draw.

‘It is good for a player who came through the Academy. You can see how Alfie feels the shirt and the badge. I congratulate him on getting the new contract,' continued Mauricio.

‘Cole is a player that arrived now and of course he is doing well but he signed a contract for several years. If the club believes that we need to compensate a player, for sure the club is going to do it.

'He’s playing football, that is why we brought him. He’s an offensive and creative player that is doing well, but always the idea when we sign players is that they perform in the way that he is performing.’

In addition, Pochettino felt the need to jump to the defence of Conor Gallagher, following images used out of context on social media leading to unacceptable abuse directed at the Blues midfielder.

Our head coach was unequivocal in both his support of Gallagher and his condemnation of the irresponsible online behaviour which seeks to create false stories.

'It’s upset me so much because no-one wants to do something like this with this intention,' he said. 'Conor was really good with both mascots, he is a great kid and always cares about everybody.

‘To abuse people today is so easy. Please stop. It’s made me very sad because I know Conor and he does not deserve to be abused – nobody deserves to be abused. Come on.’