Graham Potter’s first taste of life as Chelsea manager will come in the Champions League against Red Bull Salzburg on Wednesday.
The Blues fell to Dinamo Zagreb in their first group stage game – the final nail in Thomas Tuchel’s coffin – and cannot afford a similarly flat performance here if they want to keep their European dreams alive for another season.
Here’s how Potter could set up for his first game.
GK: Kepa Arrizabalaga – Potter has confirmed that Edouard Mendy is out injured, meaning Kepa will get another taste of Champions League action.
CB: Wesley Fofana – Fofana didn’t cover himself in glory against Dinamo, but in his defence, nobody did.
CB: Thiago Silva – One week since his last game and ten days until his next? Silva’s ageing legs will be loving this rejigged schedule.
CB: Marc Cucurella – It was Potter who turned Cucurella into a phenom on the left of a back three. This spot seems like a certainty.
RM: Reece James – Potter demands a lot from his wing-backs and James can offer more than most in this role. The sky really feels like the limit.
CM: Mateo Kovacic – As a mobile creator, Kovacic should see plenty of minutes in Potter’s midfield, filling in the Alexis Mac Allister role.
CM: Conor Gallagher – N’Golo Kante remains out through injury so Gallagher’s energy should give him the nod here.
LM: Ben Chilwell – Chilwell is inching ever closer to a return to full fitness and will be licking his lips at the idea of linking up with Cucurella down the left.
AM: Mason Mount – High pressing and energy will be crucial from Mount, who may well end up playing some minutes in Kovacic’s deeper role further down the line.
AM: Raheem Sterling – The summer signing has tried to bring goals to Chelsea and might be let off the leash following Tuchel’s departure.
ST: Kai Havertz – Just who Potter will opt for in attack is a mystery. He likes a fluid forward line, and with that logic, Havertz gets the nod.