Potter hands 20-year-old first start - Chelsea predicted XI vs Palace

Potter leaves £33m player out, but gives 20-year-old full debut: Chelsea predicted XI for Palace

Graham Potter has certainly been handed a decent amount of time to prepare for his first Premier League game as manager of Chelsea.

Despite the Champions League game with RB Salzburg, the league fixtures against Fulham and Liverpool were postponed due to the Queen’s passing.

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Even with many first team players disappearing on international duty, there has still been a lot of time for the former Brighton boss to put a team together to get the Blues back to winning ways.

With Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park certainly not an easy game, here’s our predicted team to take on the task in the London derby.

GK and Defence

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With Edouard Mendy only just returning to training following an injury, Kepa Arrizabalaga will be handed his second start under the new manager in goal.

As for defence, it is likely to be a fluid back four and three, used in a similar way to how it was against Salzburg.

Reece James will undoubtedly be handed a start down the right, with his freedom to attack last time out crucial to creating chances.

Following Cesar Azpilicueta’s struggles last time out in that formation, Wesley Fofana will start, with his pace key to the backline.

Alongside him, Thiago Silva will continue to defy the ageing process by starting again, with him always comfortable in a back three. This will see Kalidou Koulibaly miss out, with him yet to appear for the new manager.

Marc Cucurella will continue under his former boss, and his ability to play both left-back and centre-back will be crucial in Potter’s system.

Midfield

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Jorginho will be used in the holding role of midfield. Despite Potter reportedly seeing a future for Trevoh Chalobah there, the Italian’s experience will be essential in a massive game for the Blues.

Mateo Kovacic will be the first of two shuttling midfielders, with N’golo Kante still on his way back from injury.

Alongside him, Mason Mount will look to pick up where he left off from on international duty, where he scored his first goal of the season

Attack

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Kai Havertz will start wide of the striker for this one, with Potter hoping a shift from the central role will see him begin to up his performances.

Raheem Sterling will obviously start, and his position is likely to be blurred between winger and wing-back like it was against Salzburg, where he starred.

The striker position will see a first start for Armando Broja, who has been pushing to start since Potter came in, with the Blues in a big goal drought.

Jack is a writer for The Chelsea Chronicle. He has been a part of GRV Media since June 2022. He has a First Class Honours degree in Football Journalism from the University of Derby, graduating in 2021. Jack has experience working freelance for The Sun and The Athletic, whilst also being published for the Non-League Paper and reporting for Burton Albion's academy side. He is a lifelong Chelsea fan and will debate with anyone about everything and anything football related. He also holds a passion for gaming and music, and thinks he knows every word to every Oasis song ever released