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Predicted Chelsea XI to face FC Salzburg: Mendy & Kante ruled ruled out as Potter selects first Blues team for UCL clash



Chelsea welcome FC Salzburg to Stamford Bridge in the Champions League group stages on Wednesday night.

Graham Potter’s tenure at Chelsea begins in west London with a European clash as they welcome the Austrian side to the capital for the Group E clash.

The 47-year-old arrived last week replacing Thomas Tuchel following the opening group game defeat to Dinamo Zagreb.

Potter will be experiencing his first ever Champions League game, and is looking forward to the special occasion at Stamford Bridge.

Ahead of the game, the Chelsea head coach admitted: “This is an amazing evening for us, for all of us, we are super excited.

“At the same time, we have been preparing a team, getting to know the players. It’s a fantastic opportunity.

Graham Potter speaking to the media. (Alamy)
Graham Potter speaking to the media. (Alamy)

“Wherever we start, it’s a heck of an introduction. With respect to everything that has happened with this football club, demands, wherever we start is brilliant. We start here (in the Champions League).”

Potter added: “Honest, responsible group. Positive around training ground. They want to achieve and do well. Happy with the squad. Full of quality.”

Predicted Chelsea XI to face FC Salzburg: Kepa, Fofana, Silva, Cucurella, James, Jorginho, Kovacic, Chilwell, Mount, Aubameyang, Sterling

Kepa Arrizabalaga will start in goal for the Blues due to Edouard Mendy being ruled out through injury. The Senegal international missed training on Tuesday at Cobham ahead of the European clash.

Potter said: “Eddie has responded well, but his knee has bothered him for a bit. I don’t think it’ll be long, but we need to give him some time.”

Chelsea training at Cobham ahead of their Champions League clash vs FC Salzburg. (Alamy)
Chelsea training at Cobham ahead of their Champions League clash vs FC Salzburg. (Alamy)

Marc Cucurella offers Potter with familiarity following their days at Brighton together, while Thiago Silva is fully fresh after being rested last week and is set to start.

Potter has a decision on his hands over who starts in attack. Mason Mount, Raheem Sterling, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Armando Broja, Kai Havertz, Christian Pulisic and Hakim Ziyech will all be hoping for the nod, but only three could get the chance to begin in attack.

It’s a guessing game as to who Potter will select, but after watching his new players for many days, his first starting XI could be quite telling

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