Saturday’s London derby between Chelsea and Crystal Palace should be exciting. Blues head coach Graham Potter has yet to win a Premier League game, so he’ll be eager to do so.
West London are seventh in the Premier League, eight points behind Arsenal. The international break gave the former Brighton boss time to devise a plan to get Chelsea back on track, but Patrick Vieira’s Palace have been tough to beat during his tenure.
Potter is injured. Marc Cucurella is ill and N’Golo Kante isn’t ready to return. Chelsea’s head coach said on Friday: “They’re fine and ‘NG’ has been on the grass. Next week? Marc Cucurella’s illness.”
Potter said Carney Chukwuemeka won’t play at Selhurst Park. He still has options for the game.
The Englishman used a 3-5-2 against RB Salzburg in September, but Brighton was a fluid team. Potter changed tactics and personnel game-by-game and may do so in west London.
Potter used a 3-5-2 formation last season and in a few games this season. This included a 3-5-1-1 against “tougher” opponents and an unorthodox 3-3-3-1 in the 2-1 opener against Manchester United. Also common is 3-4-2-1.
Goalkeeper is another contentious position. Some have called for Kepa Arrizabalaga to replace Edouard Mendy because he’s better with his feet.
Let’s look at some possible Chelsea lineups for Saturday.
3-5-2: Mendy; Koulibaly, Silva, Fofana; James, Kovacic, Mount, Jorginho, Chilwell; Sterling, Aubameyang.
3-4-2-1: Kepa, Koulibaly, Silva, Fofana; Chilwell, Jorginho, Kante, James; Sterling, Havertz; Aubameyang.