Predicted Chelsea XI to face West Ham: Joao Felix returns as Potter makes key midfield decision to join Fernandez
Chelsea face West Ham on Saturday afternoon looking to complete the Premier League double over their London rivals.
Graham Potter‘s side are hoping to clinch their first league win on the road since October 2022 and come up against a struggling West Ham side, who are placed just one point above the relegation zone.
Meanwhile, the Blues are ten points off the top four places and will be keen to continue their unbeaten run ahead of their Round of 16 Champions League tie against Borussia Dortmund next week.
West Ham vs Chelsea: Live stream, TV channel, kick-off time, team news and prediction
Potter knows it won’t be an easy ask as they look to put a stop to the poor record away from home. Ahead of the game, the 47-year-old said: “It’s not a statistic that we like and something we are trying to address.”
He added: “Historically, they (West Ham versus Chelsea) are always tough games. David Moyes’ side are always organised, they have some really good players and defend well in numbers.
“For us, it’s understanding the environment, London derby, match the intensity, start the game well and try to take three points.”
Chelsea will have multiple players back for the derby on Saturday, giving Potter good options as they travel east.
So how could Chelsea line-up against West Ham?
Possible XI: Kepa, James, Silva, Badiashile, Chilwell, Fernandez, Gallagher, Madueke, Felix, Mudryk, Havertz
Edouard Mendy, N’Golo Kante, Christian Pulisic and Armando Broja remain sidelined. Despite stepping up their returns, Wesley Fofana and Mateo Kovacic remain unavailable, while Denis Zakaria’s inclusion is unlikely for Saturday.
“Wesley has been training with the team, Denis Zakaria’s been training with team,” said Potter.
“Mateo has trained but it’ll be too soon for him.”
Raheem Sterling is unavailable after a setback in training after taking a kick in the knee. He only returned last week against Fulham after being absent for around a month.
New signings Mykhailo Mudryk, Noni Madueke and Enzo Fernandez will all be keen to start against the Hammers, while Joao Felix is available again after returning from suspension.
“It’s great,” added Potter on the Portuguese forward. “We all saw his impact before the red card. You can see his quality everyday, a player who can make a difference for us.”
Reece James will be hoping for another start after his return against Fulham. Mason Mount has been out of form in recent weeks so could drop down to the bench for Saturday’s derby.
With the lack of midfield options, Conor Gallagher could be given the nod to partner Fernandez as Carney Chukwuemeka and Ruben Loftus-Cheek push for a starting role in the capital.