Potter makes three changes, 23-year-old returns and winger gets rare start: Chelsea predicted XI vs Man City
Chelsea host Manchester City tonight in the Premier League for their first game at Stamford Bridge in 2023.
The Chelsea Chronicle has attempted a predicted Blues line-up to face Man City, which includes three changes from the side that could only manage a 1-1 draw with Nottingham Forest last weekend.
Graham Potter’s side will go into Thursday night’s contest as underdogs against the reigning champions, who they face again on Sunday in the FA Cup third round. However, there’s a lot of pressure to get a result given the Blues have slipped to 10th in the league table.
Predicted Chelsea line-up against Manchester City
Chelsea have lost their last three consecutive games across all competitions against tonight’s opponent. They did win all three matches prior to that, though.
There will need to be a big improvement in performance from the Forest draw, so we expect a few alterations against Man City.
GK and defence
Potter confirmed yesterday that goalkeeper Edouard Mendy is still “not fully fit”, so we expect Kepa Arrizabalaga in-between the sticks again.
Injuries to key players mean Cesar Azpilicueta and Marc Cucurella could keep their positions as the full-backs in the back four.
Thiago Silva, who looks head and shoulders above most of his teammates right now, will play again at centre-back.
The first of three changes does see 23-year-old Trevoh Chalobah replace Kalidou Koulibaly, with the latter really struggling for form right now.
There’s a lot of transfer speculation right now around Chelsea recruiting more midfielders this month, but for now they’ve got to stick with what they have.
Jorginho seems like the most likely deep-lying midfielder still.
Meanwhile, Mateo Kovacic replaces Denis Zakaria in the centre of the park to bring his experience and quality against Man City.
Finally, Mason Mount keeps his position as the attacking midfielder.
It will be interesting to see if Potter fancies using the energy and hustle of Conor Gallagher tonight, but he’s mainly been used as a bench option lately.
Finally, we can picture Blues winger Hakim Ziyech, 29, getting a rare start this evening. He could come into the starting line-up at the expense of Christian Pulisic.
Ziyech has started one league match all season, proving to be very out of favour. His World Cup form surely has to count for something, though.
That leaves Raheem Sterling and Kai Havertz to complete the attacking trio.
Azpilicueta Chalobah Silva Cucurella
Kovacic Jorginho Mount
Ziyech Havertz Sterling
IN: Trevoh Chalobah, Mateo Kovacic, Hakim Ziyech
OUT: Kalidou Koulibaly, Denis Zakaria, Christian Pulisic