Date: 9th February 2023 at 7:46pm
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Chelsea will be boosted by the return of a number of players when they make the short trip across London to face West Ham United on Saturday. 

The Blues have been inconsistent so far this season and currently find themselves in ninth place in the Premier League table.

Graham Potter’s side have won one and drawn two of their last three league games, although they did win just one of 11 games in all competitions prior to that.

Chelsea supporters will be buoyed by the return of a number of key players, though, while Potter will have plenty to think about ahead of the game.

Here, we predict the XI that Potter will select for the game at The London Stadium.


Kepa Arrizabalaga has started every one of The Blues’ games since the return of club football following the World Cup, and the Spaniard is set to continue in the absence of Edouard Mendy. The Senegal international remains sidelined due to an ongoing shoulder injury.


Right-back Reece James made his long-awaited return against Fulham last time out and avoided injury before being substituted off in the second half. The England international picked up a recurring injury when he last returned against Bournemouth in December, but having made it through the game against Fulham without any issues, Blues fans will be hopeful that James can soon get back to his best.

In the middle, Thiago Silva looks likely to start. The veteran defender has been superb so far this season, although he is set to be out of contract at the end of the current campaign. He previously revealed that he is in talks to extend his stay at Stamford Bridge by a further 12 months, and Chelsea fans will be hopeful that he does so.

Chelsea will once again rely on Thiago Silva at the back

Kalidou Koulibaly has fallen out of favour in recent weeks and looks set to once again be named among the substitutes, with new signing Benoit Badiashile likely to be given another start. The Frenchman has started Chelsea’s last three and hasn’t yet conceded a goal in blue, so Potter is unlikely to drop him.

Trevoh Chalobah has impressed when called upon but is unlikely to start, while Wesley Fofana remains short of fitness.

On the left, Marc Cucurella could make way for the returning Ben Chilwell following the Spaniard’s poor performance against The Cottagers last time out. The ex-Brighton man has failed to impress since moving to London, and Chilwell could be fit enough to start after making a cameo appearance last week.


Record signing Enzo Fernandez looks certain to start after an impressive debut against Fulham. The £107 million man stood out as one of the most impressive performers on the pitch at Craven Cottage and will be looking to further justify his price tag against The Hammers.

Fernandez was arguably Chelsea’s best player against Fulham

Conor Gallagher started against Fulham but could revert to the bench, with both Denis Zakaria and Mateo Kovacic back in full training. The latter would appear most likely to partner Fernandez in midfield, while N’Golo Kante remains injured but is nearing a return.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek is expected to be among the substitutes, while Mason Mount could join him following a sub-par run of form. The England international remains a fans’ favourite at Stamford Bridge, but he could be forced to give up his place to the returning Joao Felix, who is back in contention following a suspension and is arguably best utilised behind the striker.


Across the frontline, Potter could name an entirely new trio. Mykhaylo Mudryk impressed during a 30-minute cameo against Liverpool a fortnight ago but failed to continue his form last week, although the Ukraine international is still likely to start on the left.

Mudryk will be hoping to start against West Ham

On the opposite flank, Noni Madueke could make his full debut for the club following a bright substitute appearance on his debut against Fulham.

Raheem Sterling returned from injury during that game but could be named as a substitute, while Christian Pulisic remains injured.

Hakim Ziyech was a surprise inclusion in the starting 11 against Fulham considering that he was reportedly on the verge of leaving the club just days before, but the Morocco international will likely revert to the bench for this one.

Through the middle, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is unlikely to be involved amid ongoing speculation surrounding his future.

Kai Havertz has lead the line more often than not lately, but he could make way for David Datro Fofana, who looked good on his debut against Fulham and was unfortunate not to find a winner.

Predicted XI: Arrizabalaga; James, Silva, Badiashile, Chilwell; Fernandez, Felix, Kovacic; Madueke, Fofana, Mudryk

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