Potter makes three changes, 26-year-old dropped and £40m player returns: Chelsea predicted XI vs Nottingham Forest

Chelsea are back in action tomorrow when they travel to the Midlands to play against Nottingham Forest in the Premier League.

The Chelsea Chronicle has attempted a predicted line-up for Sunday, something which has been very difficult to get right during Graham Potter’s reign in charge so far at Stamford Bridge.

The Blues beat Bournemouth 2-0 earlier in the week to gain a much-needed three points. There’s big pressure from supporters to get another win during their travels on New Year’s Day, too.

Predicted Chelsea line-up against Nottingham Forest

In our view, there may be three changes to the starting line-up that faces Forest from the Bournemouth result.

With a double header against Manchester City on the horizon, it’s going to be interesting to see what Potter does with his selection.

There were some real positive signs this week, especially in the first-half, so we predict the same core to get another go at Forest.

Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

GK and defence

We expect Kepa Arrizabalaga to continue in-between the sticks as Chelsea’s keeper. Potter has confirmed that Edouard Mendy is a doubt for the weekend, but regardless, it definitely looks like Kepa is in possession of the number one shirt.

The first change could come at right-back, with club captain Cesar Azpilicueta replacing injured teammate Reece James.

Also, there may be a second alteration in the backline at centre-back. Trevoh Chalobah steps into this predicted line-up for Thiago Silva, who is given a rest ahead of a Man City showdown.

That leaves Kalidou Koulibaly and Marc Cucurella as the two individuals to complete the new-look back four.


Jorginho continues at the base of midfield in the deep-lying position. Meanwhile, Mason Mount starts again as the advanced midfielder with a licence to roam.

The third and final change could come in the centre of the park in Chelsea’s box-to-box midfield position.

26-year-old Denis Zakaria, who did play well against Bournemouth, could be dropped from the team given his lack of game time this season. There’s no doubt he’s in line for more minutes looking ahead, though.

£40million Blues star Mateo Kovacic, who’s now back and available after the World Cup, comes into the midfield.

SALZBURG, AUSTRIA – OCTOBER 25: Mateo Kovacic of Chelsea FC during the UEFA Champions League group E match between FC Salzburg and Chelsea FC at Football Arena Salzburg on October 25, 2022 in Salzburg, Austria. (Photo by Severin Aichbauer/SEPA.Media /Getty Images)


Potter could stick with the front three again tomorrow as he tries to find some consistency in the Chelsea forward line.

Raheem Sterling and Christian Pulisic line up on the wings either side of Kai Havertz, who could get an extended opportunity to prove himself in the No.9 position.

Predicted line-up

Azpilicueta Chalobah Koulibaly Cucurella
Kovacic Jorginho Mount
Sterling Havertz Pulisic

IN: Cesar Azpilicueta, Trevoh Chalobah, Mateo Kovacic
OUT: Reece James, Thiago Silva Denis Zakaria

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Dom is a Chelsea supporter who has worked in online publishing for more than six years. Graduated from Staffordshire University in 2016, he now writes exclusively for The Chelsea Chronicle covering news, analysis and match coverage. He enjoys the dream position of writing about his boyhood club, which seems to be involved in more drama every single day than an episode of The Bill. Aside from his love for Chelsea, he supports and follows the England cricket team. He also fancies himself as the Sunday League version of Michael Essien.