After an international break that felt like an eternity — two full weeks, and then some! — Chelsea football is finally back this weekend, as we make the journey across town and to the other side of the river to take on Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park on Saturday.
It will be Graham Potter’s second match in charge, and his first league outing for us, and though we did have this break, he didn’t really get to work with the team too much. The vast majority of the squad were on international duty, while the rest of the first-team were given a week off.
In his first game, we played a hybrid, asymmetrical, and already quite fluid formation, shifting between 3-5-2 / 3-1-3-3 in possession and a back-four our of possession. That sort of system will only benefit from more time to build familiarity and understanding.
Still, Potter has had more time than most mid-season appointees (be they interim or non-interim), and he also might get N’Golo Kanté back. NG has returned to full training from his hamstring injury, though he may be lacking match fitness. Édouard Mendy should also be good to go, which would give the squad a clean bill of health — even the likes of Thiago Silva and Christian Pulisic didn’t have to travel as far as usual, and were done with their national team duty on Tuesday already.