Exclusive : Chelsea Head Coach Graham Potter explains the Reason behind his latest team, snubbing of some players and why the team has been on a good form in recent matches

Chelsea boss Graham Potter has revealed that illness kept Thiago Silva out of his side to face Wolves on Saturday.

The veteran defender was a surprise omission from a routine 3-0 victory that saw Blues cult hero Diego Costa return to Stamford Bridge and Armando Broja net his first goal for the club, with Trevoh Chalobah partnering Kalidou Koulibaly at centre-back and captain Cesar Azpilicueta also playing his first Premier League match since August.

Chelsea’s defence ended up having a straightforward afternoon as lowly Wolves failed to score for the sixth time in nine matches having sacked manager Bruno Lage after last weekend’s dismal loss at West Ham, registering only two shots on target.

Speaking after his first home win since swapping Brighton for west London last month, Potter allayed any injury concerns over Silva, 38, after he played the full 90 minutes of the Champions League victory over AC Milan in midweek. Chelsea travel to the San Siro for the return fixture on Tuesday.

“Thiago had a heavy cold at the start of the week but played against Milan,” the Chelsea boss told reporters. “Two days to recover is really short for him, so we didn’t want to take the chance there.”

Thiago Silva was a surprise omission from the Chelsea squad to face Wolves on Saturday,

Potter showcased his formidable squad depth amid a hectic pre-World Cup fixture pile-up across all competitions by making a surprising seven changes in total against Wolves, with the likes of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Reece James, Ben Chilwell, Mateo Kovacic and Raheem Sterling all dropping to the bench and Wesley Fofana joining N’Golo Kante on the sidelines.

He explained that James was restricted to a second-half cameo due to a knock received during his star turn against Milan.

Addressing those changes in full, Potter said: “Ben Chilwell playing three games in a week after recovering from an ACL injury. That wouldn’t have been the smartest thing to do to put him out there, especially when we’ve got Marc Cucurella.

“Reece James had a dead leg that wasn’t fully recovered yesterday, so we wanted to give him a bit of extra time and use him at the back end of the game rather than the start. Obviously, we missed Wesley and Mateo Kovacic, three games in a week for him would’ve been too much as he has been nursing a knee problem. So, again we can use Jorginho and Ruben [Loftus-Cheek].

“Raheem has had a load of football this season, so we thought it would be good for him to have a breather and help us at the back end of the game if we needed him. It’s similar with Auba. Even though he is in a great moment and forwards rely on rhythm, he hasn’t had that much football previous to coming to Chelsea and has had an injury.

“It felt like today was a good chance to give him a breather, and if we needed him at the back end of the game, we could’ve used him. That was the thinking process.”

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