Chelsea‘s season hangs in the balance and arguably only a win and Champions League progression against Borussia Dortmund at Stamford Bridge tonight can save it.
The Blues are languishing in tenth position in the Premier League after a woeful run of form under Graham Potter, with a top-four finish looking extremely unlikely given their recent form.
Last month saw Chelsea lose out 1-0 against Dortmund at Signal Iduna Park, so Potter’s side still have a real chance of progression, but will have to be at their very best to beat Edin Terzic’s in-form Black and Yellows.
How should Chelsea start against Dortmund tonight?
Chelsea can build confidence from their 1-0 win against Leeds last weekend, and the English manager should aim to achieve some consistency with a regular starting side, which means changes should be limited.
Here is how Football FanCast thinks Potter should line his side up at Stamford Bridge, with two changes from the team that started against Leeds.
With Edouard Mendy still injured, Kepa Arrizabalaga looks incredibly likely to keep his place in between the sticks.
There is one change in defence, as Marc Cucurella comes in for Benoit Badiashile, who was interestingly omitted from Chelsea’s Champions League squad.
He partners Kalidou Koulibaly and Wesley Fofana in the back three after they played a vital role in the Blues’ victory and clean sheet at the weekend.
Will Chelsea progress tonight?
Ben Chillwell was also key to that on the left-hand side so he keeps his place, while Reece James returns on the right-hand side after recovering from the hamstring tightness that kept him out against Leeds.
He replaces Reuben Loftus-Cheek in that position, as while the “fantastic specimen“, in the words of Rio Ferdinand, did himself no harm on Saturday, James can offer a serious attacking threat in a game where Chelsea need goals.
Enzo Fernandez and Mateo Kovacic look likely to continue their partnership in the middle of the park, although N’Golo Kante may be fit enough to feature on the bench.
Potter has spoken in the build-up about wanting to unleash Raheem Sterling against Dortmund so he starts on the left wing, with Joao Felix on the opposite flank.
With Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang also left out of the Champions League squad, Kai Havertz should start again in attack, although the Germany international may have to improve upon his goalscoring woes if Chelsea are to progress against the Bundesliga side this evening.