Potter makes three changes, 24-year-old returns and £50m star dropped: Chelsea predicted XI vs Salzburg
Chelsea are currently preparing for this evening’s game against Red Bull Salzburg in the Champions League group stages.
The Blues have travelled to Austria for another meeting with Salzburg, with the previous group game between the sides finishing in a 1-1 scoreline at Stamford Bridge last month.
In fact, Graham Potter’s first ever match in charge as Chelsea boss was the previous game against Salzburg. Therefore, it’ll be interesting to see how things play out on Tuesday night.
Incidentally, it’s a very important European fixture in a group where anybody can still quality for the knockout rounds.
The Chelsea Chronicle has predicted the side Potter may pick later, which includes three changes from the XI that started the weekend’s 1-1 draw against Manchester United in the Premier League.
GK and defence
Kepa Arrizabalaga has started all eight of Potter’s matches in charge, so expect him to be picked in-between the sticks again.
The defence could be the same back four that featured against Man United, albeit the original set-up was a back five before Marc Cucurella was substituted off during the first-half.
After the tactical tweak, it was a backline that consisted of Ben Chilwell and Cesar Azpilicueta at full-backs. Thiago Silva and Trevoh Chalobah partnered each other at centre-back, too.
In this predicted XI, it’s the same back four that finished the game on the weekend.
A midfield trio against Salzburg could include Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Jorginho and Conor Gallagher.
The first of three changes to the side has Gallagher replacing Marc Cucurella, with Potter strengthening the centre of the park with an extra midfielder.
Mateo Kovacic is the glaring omission from the predicted starting line-up, but Potter’s comments on the weekend suggest he’s being careful with him. Chelsea’s boss explained that he actually used the Croatian midfielder from the bench for longer than planned against Man United despite him nursing a knee problem this season.
Mason Mount starts again in one of the creative positions. For certain, he looks the most likely in the Blues side right now to produce a magical moment.
It’s a double change in the forward line to complete the side, though.
First of all, 24-year-old Christian Pulisic returns to replace £50million attacker Raheem Sterling. Pulisic definitely deserves some more minutes on the pitch, and he’s not started since 8 October against Wolves. Meanwhile, Sterling isn’t quite at his best level right now.
The third and final switch is Kai Havertz coming into the team for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in the striker position.
Predicted Chelsea line-up against Salzburg
Azpilicueta Chalobah Silva Chilwell
Loftus-Cheek Jorginho Gallagher
IN: Conor Gallagher, Christian Pulisic, Kai Havertz
OUT: Marc Cucurella, Raheem Sterling, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang