Wesley Fofana return, Kai Havertz change – What Graham Potter and Chelsea should do vs Palace

Wesley Fofana return, Kai Havertz change – What Graham Potter and Chelsea should do vs Palace

The last time Chelsea kicked a ball competitively was against Red Bull Salzburg at Stamford Bridge. Graham Potter has had a rather bizarre start to life in the dugout at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea have seen two games postponed in the Premier League – a home clash with Liverpool and a trip to Fulham both being called off for reasons related to the Queen’s death.

Now Potter is set for a massively busy month, with October serving up nine games for Chelsea in all competitions. Up first in the Premier League for Potter is a trip to Crystal Palace and football.

Wesley Fofana, who was signed for a whopping £70million, was not involved in Potter’s only game in charge so far. Cesar Azpilicueta has been in poor form recently and the Spaniard needs to spend some time out of the side.

The 33-year-old defender has been a fantastic servant to Chelsea down the years but the recent past has shown signs of his ability deteriorating.

We could see the back-three of Fofana, Thiago Silva and Kalidou Koulibaly, which, on paper, looks to be Chelsea’s best defensive trio. Chelsea supporters – those who aren’t English – would have been delighted to see Kai Havertz on the scoresheet twice on Monday night.

Havertz started the game as the one central striker for Germany, but Hansi Flick made the decision to place him deeper in the second-half. The decision proved to be a masterstroke from Flick, with Havertz looking twice the player in the second period.

Over recent times, we’ve seen the former Bayer Leverkusen star play as the centre-forward for Chelsea. He did so in Potter’s only match in charge, where he set up alongside Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in a 3-5-2 formation.

The fact that he seems to be shining in a deeper role – see the first 20 minutes or so in Chelsea’s loss to Dinamo Zagreb recently, for example – suggests a position change could be on the way. It’s definitely worth a go, with the likes of Havertz and Mason Mount behind Aubameyang.

N’Golo Kante returned to training on Tuesday in what is a major boost for Potter ahead of the weekend. Saturday could prove too soon for Kante and Potter will be all too aware of his recent injury problems so the Chelsea head coach may be reluctant to rush the midfielder back to competitive action.

If not, then Potter should go with a midfield two of Mateo Kovacic and Jorginho. Raheem Sterling shone at left wing-back against Salzburg earlier in the month, so he could again be deployed on the left-hand side.

Conor Gallagher hasn’t shown great form this season, so Potter could leave the England U21 international out of the line-up. Ruben Loftus-Cheek could get a run out in midfield, with the 26-year-old working closely with Potter while others have been on international duty over the last two weeks.

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