Ahead of Graham Potter’s vital Premier League clash with Leeds United at Stamford Bridge, The Pride of London assess Chelsea injury news and predict a Blues XI. In their previous five outings in all competitions, the west London club have lost three and drawn two, which is sackable form for the Englishman.
The word from in the know journalists and general media stories is that Potter now has two games remaining in order to turn fortunes around on Fulham Road. And that is absolutely understandable: CFC chairman and co-owner Todd Boehly and Behdad Eghbali have ‘trusted the process’ long enough. If there actually is a system evolving at Chelsea, it is an unsatisfactory one which is arguably taking up too much time in the early development stages.
I know Leeds are only 17th in the English top-flight, but they can be a particularly competitive and surprising side in their current inclination on the back of Marcelo Bielsa’s foundation of pure intensity and talent. Former Watford and Valencia head coach Javi Gracia is now at the Whites helm, and he seems up to the task. The Yorkshire club won their last EPL fixture against fellow strugglers and relegation-threatened Southampton. However, Leeds went on to lose to Fulham in the FA Cup Fifth Round; the Saints were incidentally eliminated from the competition by Grimsby Town, subsequent to upsetting Chels’.
Let’s look at the team we believe the Ex-Brighton & Hove Albion boss may select for Saturday afternoon. Firstly, injury news: Thiago Silva is out for approximately six weeks; Edouard Mendy is progressing; N’golo Kante had returned to full training but needs time; Mason Mount won’t be available this weekend; Reece James competing hasn’t been ruled out. Therefore PoL’s predicted XI is below the link.
Kepa Arrizabalaga; Ben Chilwell, Kalidou Koulibaly, Wesley Fofana, James; Mateo Kovacic, Enzo Fernandez; Joao Felix; Raheem Sterling, Noni Madueke; Kai Havertz.