Chelsea will be looking to find their winning form again with victory over Manchester United on Saturday. The Blues were held to a 0-0 draw against a battling Brentford side on Wednesday but Graham Potter will be confident that his side can get a result at home to the Red Devils. A point away to the Bees and United’s 2-0 win over Tottenham means that there’s just one point between the two sides heading into the weekend.
Positively, Chelsea are still undefeated under Potter and they’ll be looking to continue that come Saturday. Although the Blues have every chance of taking all three points, Potter does have a number of concerns to contend with. In addition to the ongoing injury issues with Wesley Fofana, Reece James and N’Golo Kante, Conor Gallagher felt ill on Wednesday.
Mateo Kovacic replaced Gallagher inside the opening quarter of an hour of Chelsea’s clash with Brentford due to a suspected injury. At first, it seemed as if the 22-year-old had picked up a knee injury after the ball was seen to canon onto his knee with his leg planted in the turf. But, it turns out that Gallagher just felt ill, which is a huge relief. Speaking after the game, Potter said:
“Conor felt ill like he was going to be sick. You could probably see that in the first 15 mins, he wasn’t quite himself. Hopefully, it’s just a 24-hour thing.”
Meanwhile, as Chelsea have had three games over the course of the past week, 38-year-old Thiago Silva must be managed with caution.
“It’s obviously 24/48 hours [since Aston Villa], so we need to make sure the recovery is right for him. But no problems injury-wise. It is just the recovery,” Potter said in his pre-match press conference before. “I have to involve him in the conversations. He is 38 years old and is a man who knows himself better than I do. He’s a really important person, a really important player for us, but we have to manage him correctly, and he has to be involved in that process.”
As he’s still such an integral part of Chelsea’s plans, Silva is expected to play a starting role against United, especially considering how big of a game it is. With all that in mind, let’s take a look at the squad available to Potter for the clash.
Goalkeepers: Kepa Arrizabalaga, Edouard Mendy, Marcus Bettinelli. Defenders: Ben Chilwell, Kalidou Koulibaly, Thiago Silva, Marc Cucurella, Cesar Azpilicueta, Trevoh Chalobah. Midfielders: Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Mateo Kovacic, Jorginho, Denis Zakaria, Mason Mount, Conor Gallagher [doubt], Carney Chukwuemeka. Forwards: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Armando Broja, Kai Havertz, Christian Pulisic, Raheem Sterling.