Potter urged to drop big Chelsea stars in first lineup vs RB Salzburg
Chelsea fans have had their say on Potter’s first lineup as Blues boss and there’s some surprise choices
It is a baptism of fire for Graham Potter in his first match at the Chelsea helm. A man who has never basked in the in-real-time glory of the Champions League anthem, let alone managed in one, will be tasked with lifting the Blues out of a doldrum start in Group E.
Potter’s future may not hinge on Champions League success, but the long history of European success dictating the lifespan of a Chelsea manager is difficult to shake.
The postponement of last weekend’s Premier League match with Fulham has left the new manager with little time for experimenting and flushing out. Will Potter stick with a 3-4-3, or shake things up against Red Bull Salzburg? Will the postponement of Chelsea’s clash with Liverpool this weekend change Potter’s thinking? Is Marc Cucurella – who played under Potter at Brighton – a shoo-in?
According to fans, Potter’s starting XI should feature plenty of twists from the starting XI in Zagreb. A 3-4-3 formation is still the preferred formation of choice, but Kai Havertz makes way for Christian Pulisic in the front trio, while Mason Mount drops out for Denis Zakaria in midfield for his debut.
Meanwhile, Kalidou Koulibaly and Cesar Azpilicueta are both dropped in Chelsea’s back three to make way for the return of Thiago Silva and a left centre-back berth for Currella.
Elsewhere, Kepa keeps the gloves, while Reece James and Ben Chilwell are the undroppable duo on Chelsea’s wings. What Potter can coax out of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Raheem Sterling will make for plenty of intrigue, but after a fitfully insipid display against Dinamo Zagreb, a good showing against RB Salzburg is precisely the tonic Potter needs to get his new era off to a sprinting start.
More chelsea latest news: People I speak to: Journalist shares what he’s heard about Potter’s first few days in charge at Chelsea
More Chelsea Latest news: Graham Potter sends first message to doubters after taking Chelsea training at Cobham
More chelsea latest news: Chelsea most important player rejects new contract offer and looks set to leave next summer
More Chelsea latest news: Graham Potter has instant Loftus-Cheek Chelsea gift and Marc Cucurella proves it
More Chelsea latest news: Graham Potter urged Chelsea to sign this player while Tuchel was still manager