How Graham Potter could set up at Chelsea

Tom Gott
Potter has questions to answer at Chelsea
Potter has questions to answer at Chelsea / Bryn Lennon/GettyImages

Graham Potter's maiden Chelsea outing has been pushed back, giving the new boss more time to figure out his perfect setup.

During the final few months of his reign at Brighton, Potter deployed a 3-4-2-1 formation which wasn't too dissimilar from that used by Thomas Tuchel at Chelsea. He chopped and changed, but Potter's preference appeared to be a three-man defence, and given his new squad is already set up for that, it's a safe assumption that he will stick with that at Stamford Bridge.

So, what will Potter's preferred Chelsea XI look like?

Graham Potter's predicted Chelsea lineup (3-4-2-1)

Kai Havertz
Havertz best role is up in the air / Visionhaus/GettyImages

GK: Edouard Mendy - Potter likes his goalkeepers to be open for a pass, and while that's not Mendy's strong suit, he remains the best option at the Bridge.

CB: Wesley Fofana - The club's new big-money signing has experience on the right of a back three and will surely keep that spot under the new boss.

CB: Thiago Silva - The veteran defender remains one of the best around and will surely be a starter when fit, with Kalidou Koulibaly operating as more-than-competent cover.

CB: Marc Cucurella - It was Potter who turned Cucurella into an excellent outside centre-back and it's hard to see the Spaniard not reclaiming that role now the pair are reunited.

RM: Reece James - Tariq Lamptey shone under Potter and Solly March was this season's beneficiary, with the boss' system designed to make space for wing-backs and encourage them to get as involved as possible in attack. That sounds like fun for James.

CM: N'Golo Kante - This season, Moises Caicedo has earned plenty of praise for being a dominant hybrid of a box-to-box midfielder and defensive anchor. Kante is the best option for that when fit, with Conor Gallagher his capable backup.

CM: Mateo Kovacic - Kovacic's mobility should give him the edge over Jorginho in Potter's system. As evidenced by Alexis Mac Allister, Potter wants this midfielder to be both creative and active enough to press. Don't be surprised if Mason Mount gets a run here too.

LM: Ben Chilwell - Expect Chilwell and Cucurella to do a scary amount of interchanging on the left. Both are desperate to get into the box and Potter will do what he needs to facilitate that.

AM: Mason Mount - Mount's energy and willingness to work hard has made him popular under every manager he has worked with and Potter will be no different. He'll encourage the academy graduate to get among the goals once again.

AM: Raheem Sterling - Expect Sterling to occupy the same left channels that Leandro Trossard called home under Potter.

ST: Kai Havertz - Flashback to 2021/22 Brighton for memories of Neal Maupay dropping deep to get involved in the build-up and arriving late in the box to fire home. Potter's striker needs to be willing to move and work hard, and that may give Havertz the edge over Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.