Chelsea return to Premier League action for a London clash against Crystal Palace at Stamford Bridge, in a fixture that desperately calls for a home victory.
Having assumed the managerial role in the maiden period of the campaign, Graham Potter has been plagued by a barrage of issues, with the injury department at its brim and confidence depleted.
Against Palace, the Blues must bounce back from the 2-1 defeat away to rivals Fulham – their seventh defeat from ten outings across all competitions – and look to mount a charge back towards Champions League contention.
This season, Potter’s top Premier League goal-scorers are £50m summer signing Raheem Sterling and Kai Havertz, both with four; for comparison, Manchester City’s Erling Haaland has 21 strikes in the league alone.
With that in mind, three points are certainly paramount in order to combat the ailing fortunes.
Here is how Football FanCast expects Potter to field his starting 11 today against Crystal Palace, with as many as three changes…
Kepa Arrizabalaga will deputise between the sticks once again, having started the past four league matches, while Potter might maintain the back-three in defence – which worked well against Fulham despite defeat, so Trevoh Chaloba, Kalidou Koulibaly and Thiago Silva remain.
Marc Cucurella, however, will move back into a left wing-back role, replacing the blossoming 18-year-old gem Lewis Hall, while stalwart Cesar Azpilicueta will retain his deployment down the right flank.
The £50m “class act” that is Jorginho – as once lauded by Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher – will partner Mateo Kovacic in the centre of the park, dictating the play, with Denis Zakaria – on a loan deal from Juventus – withdrawn in the previous outing with a suspected injury.
With recent signing Joao Felix suspended, Kai Havertz might be shifted out wide to accommodate Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who has found the back of the net just three times since his summer move from FC Barcelona, while Mason Mount will look to drift out to the left in search of a sliver of creative ingenuity to steer his club to success.
Predicted Chelsea XI: Kepa; Chalobah, Koulibaly, Silva; Azpilicueta, Jorginho, Kovacic, Cucurella; Havertz, Aubameyang, Mount.
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