Chelsea will resume their search for their second victory of 2023 with a visit from old rivals Leeds United on Saturday.
Graham Potter’s Blues have been nothing short of woeful in recent weeks and have quietly slipped to within ten points of the relegation zone. It goes without saying, then, that this is a massive game for both the club as a whole and Potter as an individual.
With so much on the line, here’s the lineup Potter should go for.
GK: Kepa Arrizabalaga – The mysterious absence of Edouard Mendy, who is out with a broken finger, means there is no threat to Kepa’s place.
CB: Cesar Azpilicueta – A switch to a back three is needed and Azpilicueta can come in to help out after clearing concussion protocol.
CB: Kalidou Koulibaly – Sent off against Leeds earlier this season, Koulibaly should move into a central role to help make up for the massive loss that is Thiago Silva.
CB: Benoit Badiashile – With Silva out, there’s an argument to suggest Badiashile is actually Chelsea’s best defender right now.
RM: Reece James – Getting James more involved in attack is crucial so bumping him up to this wing-back role feels like the way to go.
CM: Enzo Fernandez – Despite some concern over his defensive statistics, Fernandez remains Chelsea’s chief midfield creator and his position should not be in doubt.
CM: Denis Zakaria – Zakaria was Chelsea’s best midfielder before he went down with injury and he deserves a chance to prove what he can do alongside Fernandez.
LM: Ben Chilwell – Patience with Marc Cucurella has worn thin among fans and so dropping Chilwell would be a hugely controversial call.
AM: Joao Felix – The positivity surrounding Felix has disappeared somewhat in recent days but a big performance here would go a long way to reclaiming some of that fan support.
AM: Raheem Sterling – Sterling has stood out among Chelsea’s struggling attackers in recent weeks, so his selection is a no-brainer.
ST: Kai Havertz – Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang got a shot off the bench against Tottenham but it’s hard to see the Gabon international getting a start, even if Havertz probably doesn’t deserve to keep this spot.