Potter reveals 5 players likely to be dropped ahead of Fulham clash
Chelsea manager, Potter is likely to drop five players from his squad after suffering consecutive losses to Manchester City within a week, Chelsea will look to begin moving in the right direction beginning with Thursday’s trip to Fulham.
Graham Potter’s side are currently behind their London rivals in the Premier League standings, with Marco Silva’s side in seventh and the Blues in tenth.
Potter will be hoping not to hear his predecessor Thomas Tuchel’s name sung by the club’s own fans again, and he may make several substitutions against Fulham on Thursday in an effort to earn a win.
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Against Manchester City, Potter opted for a more defensive 4-3-3 formation, as opposed to the 4-2-3-1 that had been used since the World Cup break. Conor Gallagher was brought into the team.
Gallagher played with Jorginho and Mateo Kovacic, but the trio lacked the desired effect and struggled to compete with Rodri, Phil Foden, and Bernardo Silva.
Dennis Zakaria has been one of Chelsea’s bright spots despite their recent form, as the forgotten man from the first half of the season has slotted into the midfield since the restart of the Premier League.
The Juventus loanee will likely return to the team regardless of the formation employed by Potter, most likely replacing Gallagher.
Trevoh Chalobah started at right back against Manchester City as Cesar Azpilicueta was rested, as the 33-year-old Spaniard was asked to fill in for the injured Reece James.
However, fullback is not Chalobah’s natural position, and there is a possibility that he will return to the center-back position, although Potter has demonstrated that he has a preferred back four.
Since the conclusion of the World Cup, Azpilicueta, Marc Cucurella, Kalidou Koulibaly, and Thiago Silva have appeared in the majority of Chelsea’s games, and Potter could opt for the same defensive formation against a Fulham side without Aleksandar Mitrovic.
Lewis Hall was given the entire 90 minutes at left-back in the FA Cup, while Marc Cucurella remained on the bench.
The Spaniard has struggled since his £60 million transfer from Brighton, with Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher criticizing his defensive performance against Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City side.
With Ben Chilwell still sidelined by injury, though he has returned to first-team training, Hall may get another opportunity to make an impression, but Potter could rely on his trusted players in a time of crisis, and Cucurella has been a key player for Potter since he joined Brighton 18 months ago.
Hakim Ziyech excelled at the World Cup with Morocco, helping them advance to the semifinals. However, his Chelsea career has not gone as planned, and he is rumored to be leaving the club.
The winger joined the team due to injuries to Raheem Sterling and Christian Pulisic, with the latter facing months on the sidelines. However, he was replaced by Omari Hutchinson at the hour mark on Sunday, and the latter could be given a chance to start.
There is also a possibility that new loan signing Joao Felix will replace him on Thursday, as Potter confirmed that the Portugal forward has a chance to play.
He confirmed that the 23-year-old trained with the rest of the squad on Wednesday and that the club is awaiting confirmation from the Premier League regarding his eligibility to face Fulham.
Bashir Humphreys was one of several young stars that Potter decided to play in the cup match against Manchester City, allowing Silva to rest despite his busy schedule. The Blues have recently acquired Benoit Badiashile from Monaco for £33 million, giving the 19-year-old more competition in the starting lineup.
It remains to be seen whether the new French defender will make his debut alongside Koulibaly or in place of the Senegalese star, but despite Humphreys’ continued development at the club, he is unlikely to make a second start within a week.