Chelsea are back in action this evening against Newcastle United in the Premier League, which is the final game they’ll play before the World Cup break.
For Blues manager Graham Potter, he could really do with a result after three defeats in the last four games across all competitions.
They go into the weekend sat seventh in the league table. In contrast, high flyers Newcastle United are third after an excellent campaign so far.
The Chelsea Chronicle has predicted the starting line-up that Potter may select on Saturday at St James’ Park. This predicted XI includes five changes from the Blues team that were beaten 2-0 in midweek by Manchester City in the Carabao Cup.
GK and defence
With Kepa Arrizabalaga still sidelined through injury, goalkeeper Edouard Mendy will surely keep his spot in-between the sticks.
It’s a back three that’s made up of Trevoh Chalobah, Thiago Silva and Kalidou Koulibaly.
Silva, 38, is one of five Chelsea players recalled to the side for the final league game until 27 December.
Club captain Cesar Azpilicueta is back in the XI as the right wing-back, with Marc Cucurella operating on the opposite side.
It’s a midfield pivot of Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Mateo Kovacic that will try to compete against a very strong opposition in Newcastle.
Potter confirmed yesterday that Jorginho may be available again after returning to training, but it would be a surprise to see him thrown straight back into the starting line-up.
The final trio of changes comes at the top end of the pitch.
Armando Broja, Christian Pulisic and Hakim Ziyech started the loss to Man City, but they may all lose their starting roles.
For £58million winger Pulisic, he must be frustrated that he’s not getting a regular run of starts. However, the United States national team might be glad if their player avoids any risk of injury on the eve of the World Cup.
It’s the recognised faces of Raheem Sterling, Mason Mount and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang that may come back into the XI.
Predicted Chelsea line-up against Newcastle
Chalobah Silva Koulibaly
Azpilicueta Kovacic Loftus-Cheek Cucurella
Mount Aubameyang Sterling
IN: Cesar Azpilicueta, Thiago Silva, Mason Mount, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Raheem Sterling
OUT: Denis Zakaria, Lewis Hall, Hakim Ziyech, Armando Broja, Christian Pulisic