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Chelsea’s Predicted XI To Face Salzburg

Considering it is his first game in charge, boss Graham Potter is unlikely to make too many changes in terms of personnel or formation when the Blues play Red Bull Salzburg on Wednesday night.

At Brighton, he generally played with three at the back and you’d expect him to continue to use the same system at Stamford Bridge.

Of course, it is a clean slate for everyone in the squad but, at the same time, Potter will want players who are match fit so they can help him to secure some early wins.

Press the next page as we predict the starting lineup for the game at Stamford Bridge tomorrow evening.

GK – Kepa Arrizabalaga

The Spaniard didn’t do anything wrong against Dinamo Zagreb and, considering Edouard Mendy’s poor form, Potter may decide to keep faith with the 27-year-old for now.

Kepa is also very comfortable with the ball at his feet and, considering how Potter plays, that could also help his case to be the club’s number one.

RWB – Reece James

Thomas Tuchel seemed pretty determined to convert the 22-year-old into a centre-back but, whether Potter will have the same point of view, we shall have to wait and see.

James’ key traits are best suited to being a wingback, though, and you’d expect him to be selected in that role against Salzburg.

CB – Wesley Fofana

The Frenchman didn’t look comfortable in the centre of a back three during the defeat to Dinamo last week, and Thiago Silva’s return should allow him to slot back into a more familiar position on the right-hand side.

Potter may be tempted to start club captain Cesar Azpilicueta due to his experience but the Spaniard is looking a spent force these days and he may have to settle for a place among the substitutes.

CB – Thiago Silva

The Brazilian’s leadership and authority were badly missed out in Croatia, and Potter will have no hesitation about recalling him to the starting lineup on Wednesday.

Silva was a close ally of Tuchel so it will be interesting to see how he responds. The centre-half is, though, a consummate professional.

CB – Marc Cucurella

The Spaniard played mostly as a left-sided centre-back for Potter last season so it seems logical that he would be selected to start in that role against Salzburg.

It’s fair to say that Kalidou Koulibaly has looked rather shaky recently and he may have to face a spell on the bench, with Cucurella taking his place.

LWB – Ben Chilwell

Considering Potter has regularly utilised wingers (such as Leandro Trossard) as wingbacks, there are no guarantees that Chilwell will be a regular starter, so he needs to show his best form.

Chilwell has had a difficult recovery from a serious knee injury and he will be desperate to get back to putting in top performances on a regular basis.

CM – Mateo Kovacic

The midfielder is likely to get A LOT of game time under Potter, as long as he can stay fit. The likes of Yves Bissouma and Moises Caicedo were utilised as box-to-box midfielders in his system at Brighton, which suits Kovacic’s game perfectly.

He was one of the few players who put in a decent performance against Dinamo last time out so he’s expected to keep his place in the eleven.

CM – Jorginho

The Italian has had a rather strange season so far, with some very good performances, combined with a fair few stinkers as well. He should, though, get a lot of the ball against Salzburg,

Jorginho will probably be handed the captain’s armband too, if Azpilicueta is benched, so Potter will want to have his experience on the pitch.

RW – Mason Mount

As we said in the introduction, Potter may be reluctant to start players who may not be match fit. Neither Hakim Ziyech nor Christian Pulisic have played a lot recently so Mount may keep his place.

The England international has been poor at the start of the campaign but he will be very keen to impress his new manager.

CF – Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

The 33-year-old has reportedly been given assurances that he is still in the club’s plans despite ostensibly being signed because of Tuchel.

Potter may be tempted to start Armando Broja, but the Albanian has never started a Champions League match before so Aubameyang may be favoured for that reason.

LW – Raheem Sterling

The 27-year-old was feeding off scraps against Dinamo so he will be hoping that Potter can create a system and style of play that gets the best out of his talents.

Sterling has had a pretty solid start to his Chelsea career but he’ll be looking to kick on by making some key contributions in future matches.

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