Following the firing of Thomas Tuchel after the Englishman apparently verbally agreed to join the club and began saying his goodbyes to people at the Seagulls, Chelsea appear likely to name Brighton manager Graham Potter as their next manager.
After a dismal start to the season that saw the club earn only 10 points out of a possible 18 in the Premier League due to performance difficulties in both defence and offence, he inherited a squad in chaos.
Here, Express Sport offers a possible starting lineup for him this weekend as he looks to snap his new team’s current losing streak against London rivals Fulham.
Goal keeper: Eduoard Mendy
Mendy, a Senegal international, is set to just about preserve his spot despite having been out of sorts lately. If the 30-year-old does not improve, though, with Kepa Arrizabalaga waiting in the wings and Potter seeking to immediately make his mark on the squad, it might not be long before he is yanked out of the first team limelight.
Defender: Wesley Fofana, Thiago Silva, and Marc Cucurella
Given that Potter enjoyed the three-at-the-back configuration so much at Brighton and the Blues have been accustomed to it under Tuchel, Potter is likely to remain with it. Silva is a sure thing to start with. Despite his advanced age, the Brazilian is still the team’s top centre defender and will command the back three from the middle position.
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With all of the defenders for the west London team having form issues, the outside spots appear to be more debatable. Fofana is still settling in after moving from Leicester, but Potter like ball-playing defenders, so he may yet receive a start. Cucurella, who played the positions frequently for Brighton under the departing coach last season, might step in on the left side if Kalidou Koulibaly is out of sorts.
Wing-backs: Reece James and Ben Chilwell
James is unstoppable in the first team and is perhaps Chelsea’s finest player. He will start on the right flank and is now the most dangerous attacking force for the team.
Following a goal and an assist against West Ham last weekend, Chilwell might make his first start since the season’s first game. The England international has experienced fitness issues since recovering from an ACL injury, but he has started well.
Midfielders: Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Matteo Kovacic
With Jorginho badly off form and N’Golo Kante injured. Loftus Cheek and Kovacic may have the opportunity to start in the central area. Both players have struggled with injury niggles this season but bring huge amounts of energy to the starting lineup, something Potter has favoured at Brighton.
Conor Gallagher may also be in with a shout of a starting berth but does not seem as suited to playing in a two-man midfield meaning he may miss out on this occasion.
Forwards: Raheem Sterling, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Mason Mount
Despite the fact that most of his options are underwhelming, Potter has a vast range of assault alternatives at his disposal. Only Sterling has consistently contributed to goals this year, and Aubameyang, who made his debut against Zagreb, is expected to maintain his spot.
Even though Mount has performed significantly below his typical level thus far this year, he may yet finish off the frontline. With his versatility to play in both midfield and attack, the England international provides Potter tactical options. The new manager may move between systems throughout a match, something he frequently did with the Seagulls.