Graham Potter welcomes Enzo Fernandez to Chelsea
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Chelsea boss Graham Potter will have to decide whether to start Mykhaylo Mudryk for a third consecutive game after the winger was brought off at half time against Fulham last weekend. The Blues are set to travel to London Stadium to take on West Ham in the Premier League on Saturday (kick-off 12.30pm) as they go in search of what would be just a third win in 12 top-flight matches. Potter has come under increasing pressure, with his side languishing in 10th place in the Premier League table. And Express Sport takes a look at the starting team the 47-year-old could roll with.
Goalkeeper – Kepa
Kepa Arrizabalaga has displaced Edouard Mendy as Chelsea’s first-choice goalkeeper this season and kept his seventh clean sheet in 13 Premier League games last weekend as his side were held to a goalless draw by Fulham. The 28-year-old will therefore keep his place between the sticks against the Hammers.
Defence – James, Silva, Badiashile, Cucurella
The Blues defence has looked much more solid in recent weeks, with Potter’s side conceding just four goals in seven top-flight matches since domestic football returned following the conclusion of last year’s World Cup.
Marc Cucurella, who has come under fire for his poor form since moving to Stamford Bridge from Brighton last summer, will be clinging to the left-back jersey now that Ben Chilwell is fit again but could be given one final opportunity to show he is superior to the England international. Reece James, meanwhile, should line-up on the right side of defence, with Thiago Silva and Benoit Badiashile occupying the centre-back positions.
Midfield – Gallagher, Fernandez, Mount
Chelsea shelled out a British record £107million to sign Enzo Fernandez from Benfica on transfer deadline day. And the Argentina World Cup winner made his Blues debut against the Cottagers last time out.
The 22-year-old could be tasked with orchestrating the Blues team from the middle of the park as he gets up to speed with English football. Conor Gallagher, who has started 10 top-flight matches this season, could also find himself being handed a starting berth, while Mason Mount should be involved from the off as well.
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Forwards – Ziyech, Havertz, Mudryk
Chelsea have an embarrassment of riches all across the pitch thanks to the recent spending of owner Todd Boehly. And Potter must decide whether to keep faith with Mudryk, who joined Chelsea in an £88m move in early January after the west Londoners hijacked Arsenal’s move for the ace. Mudryk was brought off at the midway stage against the Cottagers as he was suffering with a cold but will be hoping to start ahead of Raheem Sterling against West Ham.
The goal shy Kai Havertz appears to be Chelsea’s most likely starter in a centre forward position, despite notching just six goals in 28 matches this season, while Hakim Ziyech could keep his place on the right wing.
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