BREAKING: Wesley Fofana debut, tricky Kai Havertz decision: Predicted Chelsea XI for West Ham United clash
Chelsea will be looking to return to winning ways on Saturday afternoon against West Ham United in the Premier League
Chelsea are back in Premier League action this afternoon as they host West Ham United at Stamford Bridge. The Blues were beaten 2-1 at the hands of Southampton on Tuesday night in what was an extremely disappointing performance from Thomas Tuchel’s side.
Since then, plenty has happened. The last few days of the summer transfer window brought us plenty of off-the-pitch drama with Chelsea one of the busiest clubs.
Todd Boehly managed to sign three new players in the final couple of days of the window, with Wesley Fofana, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Denis Zakaria all coming in. However, only one of them is eligible to make his debut and that’s Fofana.
Aubameyang is injured after he suffered a broken jaw after his house was robbed in Barcelona. Tuchel addressed his situation in his pre-match press conference on Friday.
“At the moment, he cannot train, we just have to make sure he gets a mask,” the Chelsea head coach said on his new number nine. “We need to provide him with a mask to protect his jaw and then we can start to try with the mask from next week.”
Meanwhile, Zakaria is ineligible with Chelsea still needing to sort his work permit. Fofana, though, could come straight into the XI after completing his £70million transfer from Leicester City on the penultimate day of the window.
Edouard Mendy is expected to start in goal on Saturday despite a couple of hiccups in recent games. Fofana could come in on the right-hand side of a back-three, as mentioned above, with Thiago Silva in the middle and Kalidou Koulibaly on the left-hand side. On paper, that looks a very solid back trio.
Reece James is expected to return after he missed the trip to Southampton through illness, so he is set to start at right wing-back. It’s a tough decision for Tuchel regarding Marc Cucurella and Ben Chilwell – but the former, Cucurella, has shown excellent form of late and is our pick to go at left wing-back.
In the double pivot in midfield, it could see Mateo Kovacic returning to the starting XI. The Croatia international was only fit enough to play 45 minutes down on the south coast, but Chelsea could choose him from the start against West Ham.
For the front three, two of the names probably pick themselves. Although Mason Mount has struggled to show his true ability in the opening matches of the season, you feel as if it’s a matter of time until something finally clicks.
Raheem Sterling is a guaranteed name on the team sheet after he scored three goals in Chelsea’s last two matches. The big question is the central striker role.
As mentioned previously in the article, Aubameyang is not fit enough to start at Stamford Bridge. So it’s a choice between Kai Havertz and Armando Broja.
Havertz has suffered a poor start to the campaign and many Chelsea supporters on social media have called for him to be dropped. Broja could get a chance this weekend and that’s what we’re banking on.
Predicted Chelsea XI: Mendy; Fofana, Silva, Koulibaly; James, Jorginho, Kovacic, Cucurella; Sterling, Mount, Broja.