Since their 2-1 victory over London rivals West Ham at Stamford Bridge on September 3 – while Thomas Tuchel was still in charge – Chelsea hasn’t participated in a Premier League match.
Graham Potter’s team will face Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park on Saturday in Chelsea’s return to Premier League play.
Potter will play his first competitive game since taking over for Thomas Tuchel as Blues manager earlier this month.
Since their 1-1 Champions League draws against Red Bull Salzburg at Stamford Bridge on September 14, Chelsea has not competed. Following the Queen’s demise earlier this month, their most recent Premier League matches against Fulham and Liverpool were postponed.
It is unknown whether Chelsea midfielder N’Golo Kante (thigh) or goalkeeper Edouard Mendy (knee) have fully recovered from their current problems. Potter is yet to confirm whether any Chelsea players have sustained an injury during the international break.
Potter is anticipated to use a 3-5-2 system against Palace on Saturday afternoon, assuming both players are still absent. If Mendy’s knee is still bothering him, Kepa Arrizabalaga will stay in goal and have a chance to impress Potter.
Thiago Silva or Wesley Fofana might fill in through the middle, with captain Cesar Azpilicueta likely playing on the right of the back three. Potter’s former Brighton teammate Marc Cucurella is anticipated to remain on the left side of the back three.
Jorginho, Mateo Kovacic, and Mason Mount play in midfield. The latter scored England’s second goal in their dramatic 3-3 tie against Germany on Monday night at Wembley after coming off the bench.
Right-wingback Reece James will likely play against Palace in the same position. Raheem Sterling started on the opposite wing in the draw with Salzburg, so the key question is who fills that position.
Ben Chilwell can join the team since Sterling is unlikely to stay in that position. Alternatively, Potter might utilize Cucurella’s attacking skills by playing him in that position and putting Kalidou Koulibaly or Fofana on the left of the back three.