Chelsea manager Graham Potter admitted he did not want to take risks with several players who are dealing with fitness problems and, therefore, decided to rest them in Saturday’s 3-0 win over Wolves.
Potter made seven changes in the team after a comfortable win against AC Milan in midweek.
Managers tend to stick to their winning team, especially after such a good performance, but not Potter, which clearly illustrates his faith in his Chelsea squad.
Next Wednesday’s visit to AC Milan’s San Siro might have played a part in Potter’s team selection, although he insisted that he just wanted to avoid unnecessary risks.
“Thiago [Silva] had a heavy cold at the start of the week but played against Milan,” Potter said about the Brazil international’s absence after the game (via Football London).
“Two days to recover is really short for him, so we didn’t want to take the chance there.
“Ben Chilwell playing three games in a week recovering from an ACL injury, that wouldn’t have been the smartest thing to do to put him out there, especially when we’ve got Marc Cucurella.
“Reece James had a dead leg that wasn’t fully recovered yesterday, so we wanted to give him a bit of extra time and use him at the back end of the game rather than the start.”
Potter also mentioned that Mateo Kovacic, who made an appearance as a substitute against Wolves, has also been nursing a knee injury, hence his starting Jorginho and Ruben Loftus-Cheek in midfield.
Raheem Sterling and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, on the other hand, were rested due to their workload, Potter added.
These are obviously a lot of fitness problems to deal with, even for a Chelsea manager, but Potter managed to lead his team to a dominant win, albeit against a struggling Wolves side.
Most importantly, a number of players took their chances after the team rotation, including Armando Broja, who finally scored his first senior goal for Chelsea.
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