Graham Potter previews Brighton return
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Chelsea boss Graham Potter will make his return to Brighton this weekend as he looks to continue his unbeaten start in the hot seat at Stamford Bridge. The Englishman is yet to name an unchanged side since his arrival and that record looks set to continue against his former team as he looks to keep his players fresh in the final run before the World Cup.
One of the biggest question marks is the striker position after Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang started the last two matches, with an expectation that he will be rested against the Seagulls. There are also question marks in defence with Kalidou Koulibaly, Reece James and Wesley Fofana all out with injury.
Here, Express Sport predicts how Potter might line up at the Amex as he sets his sights on entering the top four.
Goalkeeper: Kepa Arrizabalaga
The Spaniard has been tremendous since Potter’s arrival, playing every match since the Englishman took the helm. He is highly unlikely to lose his place at the Amex with Eduoard Mendy forced to settle for a reserve role.
Defence: Trevoh Chalobah, Thiago Silva and Marc Cucurella
Chelsea are down to the bare bones in defence after Koulibaly, Fofana and James were ruled out with injuries. Chalobah has impressed since he was given his first team opportunity against AC Milan earlier this month and has started every game since. He is likely to do so again this weekend.
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Silva remains the best centre-back at the club despite being 38 years old and remains difficult to go without. Cucurella could also find himself in line for a start at his former club, with the Spaniard helping provide some balance on the left-hand side of the back three. Cesar Azpilicueta is a perfectly capable deputy should Potter decide to rotate any of the trio, who all started against RB Salzburg in midweek.
Wing-backs: Raheem Sterling and Ben Chilwell
Potter has an unconventional approach to the wing-back position and this is likely to continue against Brighton. Chilwell fulfils the position in the more traditional sense and will help provide the balance for Sterling on the opposite side.
The former Manchester City man will be a wing-back in the loosest sense should he be given the nod at the Amex. He is likely play in a very advanced area helping to provide the Blues with width in the final third.
Midfield: Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Jorginho
With Matteo Kovacic suffering from calf fatigue, it is likely he will be rested for the match at the weekend, with Loftus-Cheek coming back into the side to take his place. The 26-year-old has been on great form recently and is making a late push to be involved in the England squad at the World Cup.
Jorginho helps provide in the central area and is therefore likely to start again, leaving Conor Gallagher unfortunate to be forced to stay on the sidelines.
Forwards: Mason Mount, Kai Havertz, Armando Broja
Mount was rested in midweek and is likely to come straight back into the side, especially after looking back to his best in recent weeks. Havertz scored the winner in the Champions League fixture, which may help him earn a spot in the first team for the Premier League encounter.
The biggest questions remain in the No 9 position, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang likely to be rested after starting the last two matches. The German is capable of filling the position himself but tends to perform better alongside a partner. This could open the door for Broja to pick up his second start of the season as Potter looks to a different target man.
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