Chelsea’s predicted first line up under Graham Potter for Fulham clash
Chelsea fans react to Thomas Tuchel sacking
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Chelsea look set to make Brighton manager Graham Potter their new boss following the sacking of Thomas Tuchel after the Englishman reportedly verbally agreed to join the club and started saying his goodbyes to those at the Seagulls. He inherits a team in a state of disarray after a poor start to the season which has seen the club pick up just 10 points out of a possible 18 in the Premier League with performance issues in both defence and attack.
Here Express Sport suggests how he may choose to line up against London rivals Fulham this weekend as he seeks to arrest his new side’s current slump.
Goalkeeper: Eduoard Mendy
Despite being off form in recent weeks Senegal international Mendy is likely to just about keep his place. However, with Kepa Arrizabalaga waiting in the wings, it may not be long until the 30-year-old is taken out of the first team spotlight if he does not improve with Potter looking to quickly put his stamp on the club.
Defenders: Wesley Fofana, Thiago Silva, Marc Cucurella
Potter is likely to stick with a three-at-the-back formation given how much he liked the system at Brighton, and the Blues have grown familiar with it under Tuchel. One certainty to start is Silva. The Brazilian remains the club’s best centre-half despite his age and he will marshall the back three from the middle position.
The outside positions look more up for debate with the west London side’s defenders all struggling for form. Fofana is still bedding in since his move from Leicester but may still get a start with Potter favouring ball-playing defenders. Cucurella could fill in on the left-hand side with Kalidou Koulibaly off form having played the positions many times under the newcoming coach for Brighton last season.
Wing-backs: Reece James, Ben Chilwell
James is arguably Chelsea’s best player and is an undroppable presence within the first team. He is the club’s most dangerous attacking force at the moment and will line up on the right hand side.
Chilwell may come back to make his first start since the opening day of the season following a goal and an assist against West Ham last weekend. The England international has struggled for fitness since returning from an ACL injury but has proven quality to start.
Midfielders: Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Matteo Kovacic
With Jorginho badly off form and N’Golo Kante injured. Loftus Cheek and Kovacic may have the opportunity to start in the central area. Both players have struggled with injury niggles this season but bring huge amounts of energy to the starting lineup, something Potter has favoured at Brighton.
Conor Gallagher may also be in with a shout of a starting berth but does not seem as suited to playing in a two-man midfield meaning he may miss out on this occasion.
Forwards: Raheem Sterling, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Mason Mount
Potter has a wide variety of options to choose from in attack despite most of his options underperforming. Sterling is the only player who has produced regular goal involvements this season while Aubameyang made his debut against Zagreb and is likely to keep his place.
Mount could finish off the frontline despite falling far below his usual standards so far this year. The England international gives Potter tactical flexibility with his ability to play in both midfield and attack meaning the new boss can switch between systems during the game, something he often liked to do with the Seagulls.
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