It's back to Premier League action after a two-week break for Chelsea as they look to earn three points as they bid to end Friday night as high as sixth in the table. The Blues welcome Fulham to Stamford Bridge after falling to a 2-1 defeat against their local rivals in January.
Graham Potter will have a vast array of options personnel-wise compared to those he has seen in recent weeks, with the return of Reece James, Ben Chilwell and Raheem Sterling, who have been a welcome presence on the training pitches during the club's break. Of course, he has some new options entirely following the arrival of Noni Madueke and Enzo Fernandez.
Chelsea await news on whether their record signing will be available to feature against the Cottagers. A start may prove difficult even if he is eligible after Fernandez did not appear to train on Thursday. Hakim Ziyech was present, however, after the collapse of his loan move to PSG on transfer deadline day.
READ MORE : Graham Potter makes Hakim Ziyech decision as Chelsea receive triple injury boost ahead of Fulham
The Blues boss recognises he has a challenge that will leave some players disappointment when selecting his squad, but it is one he is excited for.
He said in his press conference: "I think challenge is the right word but I'm not complaining about it. It's exciting and a test for me, of course, and the staff. But it's an exciting one. We've got a lot of really good players and we have to create an environment where there is healthy competition and players can push each other.
"We have to understand that there will be frustration at times because only eleven can play, but that is how it is. We have a lot of important games and we have to improve our results. So it's about playing, supporting the team, and being ready."
football.london 's Chelsea reporters look at the line-ups they would choose to take on Fulham.
After the best part of two weeks to work with his squad, this is a big game for Graham Potter and Chelsea. Secure victory and momentum can build. Suffer defeat and negativity will again rear its head.
There will be new faces for the Stamford Bridge faithful to be introduced to. Noni Madueke is in contention to feature, while Mykhailo Mudryk should make his first outing on home soil after an impressive cameo off the substitutes’ bench against Liverpool.
Late addition Enzo Fernandez did train this afternoon and there are also expected to be welcome returns to the squad for Reece James, Ben Chilwell and Raheem Sterling.
Potter has a decision to make as to what system he sets up his side: 4-3-3 has predominantly been used since the World Cup break but that has been in the absence of both James and Chilwell. On the assumption the Chelsea head coach sticks with that shape, Kepa Arrizabalaga should continue in goal behind a back four of Trevoh Chalobah, Thiago Silva, Benoit Badiashile and Marc Cucurella.
N’Golo Kante, Denis Zakaria and Mateo Kovacic are all ruled out due to injury and Jorginho has moved on to Arsenal. That does create a hole in the Chelsea midfield and a problem to solve. Ruben Loftus-Cheek is likely to come in and play as the six, while Conor Gallagher’s energy will be important against an impressive Fulham side. The midfield three could then be completed by Fernandez.
Mudryk, despite his lack of game time, should be unleashed from the start on the left flank. Kai Havertz is the obvious candidate to start through the middle once more and I’d bring Raheem Sterling back into the starting XI on the right flank. The England international hasn’t featured since early January due to a hamstring injury but returned to training earlier this week.
Adam's XI: Kepa; Chalobah, Silva, Badiashile, Cucurella; Loftus-Cheek, Gallagher, Fernandez; Sterling, Havertz, Mudryk.
There will be few easy choices moving forward for Graham Potter but for now starting with Kepa Arrizabalaga in goal remains an easy one. Jorginho's departure and injuries to Mateo Kovacic, N'Golo Kante and Denis Zakaria leave the Blues lacking in the base of midfield and that could see the Chelsea boss return to a back three to keep things secure.
Thiago Silva and Benoit Badiashile will be favourites to start in the backline, while Trevoh Chalobah will be the best fit on the right. Reece James may not yet be capable of 90 minutes but if he's fit enough for the squad should start as the west London side look to start on the front foot, while Marc Cucurella's presence means time can be taken with Ben Chilwell.
That leaves Conor Gallagher and Ruben Loftus-Cheek a possible midfield pairing, unless Enzo Fernandez can be approved to play in time. However, it appears a start is unlikely after he wasn't among the released photographs of Thursday's training.
Mason Mount may be able to provide a degree of utility on the front three to be able to help out in the midfield too if given some freedom, while Mykhialo Mudryk could help support the attack from the start after the excitement he generated against Liverpool.
Scott's XI: Kepa; Chalobah, Silva, Badiashile; James, Loftus-Cheek, Gallagher, Cucurella; Mount, Havertz, Mudryk.
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