The Chelsea management bizarrely dismissed Thomas Tuchel from his managerial role following the club’s dreadful defeat against the European minnows Dinamo Zagreb. Their new owner Todd Boehly has been vastly criticized for such a premature decision and the pressure should now be on Graham Potter who left his Brighton job to become the next Blues boss.
The West London derby versus Fulham was called off last weekend following the Queen’s death. Potter, therefore, got a few more days to know his players and strategise the plan ahead of hosting RB Salzburg on Wednesday night. They must win this tie to avoid further misery in the Champions League as well as regain confidence ahead of locking horns with Liverpool next Sunday.
Predicted 3-5-2 Chelsea Lineup To Face RB Salzburg
Despite being the understudy to Édouard Mendy, Kepa Arrizabalaga showed his spark against Dinamo Zagreb last midweek. Mendy has been struggling of late and the Spaniard deserves to keep his place between the sticks for the upcoming contest.
Potter earned immense success at Brighton with a ‘back three’ formation. He is unlikely to alter the same at Stamford Bridge but, at the same time, must restore Thiago Silva to the heart of the backline. Wesley Fofana, the mega-money recruit from Leicester City, should be shifted down the right, whereas the veteran Kalidou Koulibaly needs to improve his display after a nervy start to life since completing a summer move from Napoli.
Reece James has been the only bright spark in this Chelsa side over the past few years and the lethal right wingback must aim for making a difference with his marauding runs, crosses, link-up play and shooting attributes. Ben Chilwell is expected to get the nod over Marc Cucurella even though the latter flourished under Potter during their Brighton days.
N’Golo Kante’s injury absence is a massive blow for the Blues, but they still have the likes of Mateo Kovacic and Jorginho who should operate centrally given their experience and expertise in the middle of the park. Mason Mount has not been his usual self lately, but an advanced midfield role might help him rediscover his form shaking off recent shambles.
Raheem Sterling has fired in a few goals so far this term and the former Liverpool and Manchester City attacker must be deployed high up the pitch alongside Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. Armando Broja, Hakim Ziyech, Christian Pulisic and Kai Havertz remain the other attacking options who could feature at some stage late in the contest.