Graham Potter is set to take charge of his first game as the new Chelsea boss on Wednesday night.
The Blues will face FC Salzburg at home in matchday two of the Champions League.They are competing in Group E of the competition along with AC Milan and Dinamo Zagreb.
Chelsea have already been defeated in this season’s tournament, losing 1-0 to Zagreb earlier in the week. Just a day after the disappointing result in Croatia, Thomas Tuchel was sacked as the Chelsea boss after just over 19 months in charge.
The west London side soon eyed Potter as their replacement for the German, and the 47-year-old soon made the switch from Brighton to Chelsea. Premier League games were postponed on Saturday due to the passing of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II. Chelsea were due to play in a west London derby that day against Fulham, which will now be contested at a later date.
However, they will now be prepared to face Austrian opposition at Stamford Bridge in the coming days, as Potter looks to send out a team that will improve from their first Champions League appearance of the campaign.
He already has a big decision to make in between the sticks with Edouard Mendy being the club’s first choice goalkeeper, but due to the Senegalese international’s recent mistakes, Kepa Arrizabalaga started in goal against Zagreb. Chelsea could opt for their usual 3-4-3 formation once again, a system that although has struggled in recent weeks, has been successful overall during the last few months.
Having been left out of the game against Zagreb, Thiago Silva could be set to return in the backline for the Blues, with summer signings Kalidou Koulibaly and Wesley Fofana potentially in the running for further starts.
Reece James has been Chelsea’s standout performer so far this season, and he is likely to maintain his starting spot at right wing-back. On the opposite side, Potter will have to decide between Ben Chilwell and Marc Cucurella, with the former being the hero against West Ham last weekend.
N’Golo Kante remains out through injury but Mateo Kovacic has recently returned, and he could be partnered in the midfield alongside the fellow experience of Jorginho.
In the opening stages of the defeat against Zagreb, a Chelsea front three of Raheem Sterling, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Kai Havertz showed signs of promise. Potter could opt to stick with such a selection, but he could offer chances to Mason Mount and Christian Pulisic.
Wednesday’s game will also be the new manager’s first at Stamford Bridge since his arrival, with the pressure on for him to guide his new side to improved results over the coming weeks.