Without wanting to be accused of hyperbole, Chelsea's Premier League clash against Fulham this evening may be the most important game of the Blues' season.
Graham Potter has had the best part of two weeks to work with his squad, key players such as Reece James and Ben Chilwell are available after overcoming injury, and a number of new signings can be unleashed in front of the Stamford Bridge faithful for the first time.
Secure victory and the optimism that has built following a lavish January transfer window will only grow. Suffer defeat and the ultra-critical, pernicious section of the Chelsea fanbase will grow louder once again. That is something that Potter and his players simply can't allow to happen.
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"Everybody that has been in this room over the last four months, the word that we've always spoken about is pressure," Potter said at his pre-match press conference. "That isn't going to change. Clearly, if you spend money, the external noise goes up. I understand that. I've also said that resources are one thing and spending money is another.
"You need to be able to align them, make the right decisions, and create a team culture because it isn't the amount you spend on its own that gets success.
"Whether it's just the January window closing or a two-week break that has felt like a pause, as I've said, there is still a lot of football to be played. We are excited for that and for the remaining matches. We need to quickly establish the team, perform well, and win some matches."
James and Chilwell are not the only players back in contention after lengthy absences. Ruben Loftus-Cheek is fit and ready for selection, as is Raheem Sterling, who hasn't featured since the defeat to Manchester City in early January. New signings Enzo Fernandez, Mykhailo Mudryk, and Noni Madueke could all make their full debuts.
In goal for the Blues once again is expected to be Kepa Arrizabalaga. And should Potter continue with a back four, then Trevoh Chalobah may be utilised at right-back once again. James is not ready to feature for 90 minutes and it would be the smart option to introduce the England international from the bench.
Thiago Silva will line up in central defence alongside Benoit Badiashile, who has impressed in his two outings following a winter move from Monaco. Marc Cucurella can then fill in at left-back, with Chilwell able to make his return from the substitutes' bench.
There will be no N'Golo Kante, Mateo Kovacic and Denis Zakaria due to injury while Jorginho departed on transfer deadline day for Arsenal. That may result in Fernandez coming straight into the starting XI despite having just one training session with his new teammates.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek could be used in a deeper role alongside the Argentine star; the 27-year-old is more suited to playing as a six than Conor Gallagher or Carney Chukwuemeka. Mason Mount can then be used as a link player between midfield and attack.
Mudryk's exciting cameo against Liverpool at Anfield may be enough to earn him a start against Fulham. Kai Havertz will almost certainly be leading the line and despite a deadline day switch to Paris-Saint Germain falling through, Hakim Ziyech could keep his role on the right flank.
Predicted Chelsea XI: Kepa; Chalobah, Silva, Badiashile, Cucurella; Loftus-Cheek, Fernandez; Ziyech, Mount, Mudryk; Havertz
Who starts in your XI?
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