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How could Chelsea lineup against Fulham

Predicted Chelsea XI to face Nottingham Forest: One enforced change as Mount, Havertz & Pulisic retain starting roles

Chelsea manager Graham Potter could be without no fewer than 10 players for the Blues’ Premier League West London derby with Fulham on Thursday evening at Craven Cottage.

Already guaranteed to be without Edouard Mendy, Reece James, N’Golo Kante, Wesley Fofana and Armando Broja, Chelsea have seen all of Christian Pulisic, Raheem Sterling and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang sustain injuries in the past week.

Pulisic will likely take weeks to recover from the knee issue he suffered in Thursday’s loss to Manchester City, while Sterling is nursing a hamstring problem sustained in the same game.

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Meanwhile, Aubameyang missed the weekend’s FA Cup defeat to City due to back trouble, and Potter will also need to assess Ben Chilwell and Ruben Loftus-Cheek ahead of Thursday’s match.

Kepa Arrizabalaga retains possession in the gloves in the absence of Mendy, while Thiago Silva and Kalidou Koulibaly should keep Benoit Badiashile waiting for his debut at the back.

Cesar Azpilicueta and Marc Cucurella ought to revert to their full-back roles, while Jorginho, Mateo Kovacic and the impressive Denis Zakaria could all start in the engine room for the Blues.

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A lack of attacking options should mean nailed-on starts for Kai Havertz, Hakim Ziyech and Mason Mount, although David Datro Fofana could be a wildcard option in the striker’s spot.

Chelsea are also thought to be closing in on the signing of Atletico Madrid’s Joao Felix on loan, but the Portuguese is unlikely to complete his move in time for Thursday’s derby.

Chelsea possible starting lineup:

Kepa; Azpilicueta, Koulibaly, Silva, Cucurella; Kovacic, Zakaria, Jorginho; Ziyech, Havertz, Mount

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