Chelsea face Nottingham Forest later today, and Graham Potter faces a number of difficult decisions regarding his team selection as the Blues prepare to kick off in 2023.

Chelsea’s Thiago Silva cheers.
Thiago Silva may be rested for Chelsea’s match against Nottingham Forest later today.

The new year has arrived, and it is a big one for Chelsea.

Last year was a whirlwind, to say the least, for the club, which was sold after Roman Abramovich decided to put the club up for sale before the Russian was sanctioned by the UK Government back in March. There were numerous bidders for Chelsea, but Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital eventually completed their acquisition.

Then, under Boehly’s ownership, Chelsea had a somewhat chaotic summer transfer window in which they spent nearly £300 million on new recruits. Thomas Tuchel believed he had a new squad for the season as he attempted to return Chelsea to the top of the Premier League.

Tuchel was fired by Chelsea in September, and he was quickly replaced by Graham Potter. Potter left his position as Brighton manager to take the same position at Stamford Bridge, where he is expected to lead the long-term project envisioned by the club’s new owners.

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Potter has had a mixed start to life in the Chelsea dugout, but there are signs that his ideas are already reaching the players. The 47-year-old is aware, however, that 2023 must be a much better year for the Blues in terms of football if he and the owners are to achieve their objectives.

The new year begins with a trip to Nottingham to face a Nottingham Forest team that is currently second-bottom of the Premier League table. Chelsea should be confident after defeating Bournemouth 2-0 on Tuesday.

Chelsea were very impressive in the first half of the match against the Cherries. Potter’s 4-3-3 formation was extremely effective, and there was some extremely exciting and dangerous attacking play.

But who will play against Forest? Will he stick with the 4-3-3 formation or go back to a three-back system?

Personally, I believe Potter should stick with the formation that worked so well against Bournemouth. With Edouard Mendy suffering from a minor injury, Kepa Arrizabalaga will almost certainly start in goal.

Cesar Azpilicueta is likely to replace the injured Reece James, leaving Potter with few options at right back. Marc Cucurella impressed against Bournemouth and could return to the starting lineup on the other side of the defensive four with Ben Chilwell still out.

Thiago Silva suffered a minor injury against the Cherries and could be rested this afternoon despite finishing the game in west London. Trevoh Chalobah could step in for him and partner Kalidou Koulibaly, with Wesley Fofana still out injured.

Mateo Kovacic, who returned to training earlier this week, could be inserted into the midfield three. Potter, on the other hand, will not risk the Croatian if he is not in peak condition following his country’s World Cup performance.

Denis Zakaria, meanwhile, could return after another strong performance earlier in the week. Mason Mount and Jorginho could be given another chance after impressing against Bournemouth.

Thiago Silva suffered a minor injury against the Cherries and could be rested this afternoon despite finishing the game in west London. Trevoh Chalobah could step in for him and partner Kalidou Koulibaly, with Wesley Fofana still out injured.

Mateo Kovacic, who returned to training earlier this week, could be inserted into the midfield three. Potter, on the other hand, will not risk the Croatian if he is not in peak condition following his country’s World Cup performance.

Denis Zakaria, meanwhile, could return after another strong performance earlier in the week. Mason Mount and Jorginho could be given another chance after impressing against Bournemouth.

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The starting three should remain unchanged. In the week, Christian Pulisic, Raheem Sterling, and Kai Havertz all appeared to be newcomers. Potter should restart all three of them and see if they can gain some traction as the attacking trio.

Chelsea’s predicted starting XI is as follows: Kepa; Azpilicueta, Chalobah, Koulibaly, Cucurella; Jorginho, Kovacic, Mount; Sterling, Pulisic, Havertz.

 

By admin