Graham Potter explains his first team selection as Chelsea boss for RB Salzburg clash

    Graham Potter takes charge of Chelsea for the first time on Wednesday night (Picture: Getty Images)

    Graham Potter has made some changes to the Chelsea starting XI for his first game as manager, but was coy on why he did so and his plans for the clash with RB Salzburg in the Champions League.

    Summer signings Kalidou Koulibaly and Wesley Fofana have to make do with places on the substitutes’ bench on Wednesday night, with the new boss looking like he was opting for a back four.

    Reece James, Cesar Azpilicueta, Thiago Silva and Marc Cucurella appeared to be making up that back four, although asked by BT Sport if that was his plan, Potter just said: ‘Could be, could be.’

    He was not just teasing fans as it turned out this was not the case, with Azpilicueta, Silva and Cucurella making up a back three early on and Raheem Sterling unusually at left wing-back.

    Kepa Arrizabalaga comes in for the injured Edouard Mendy in goal, with a midfield of Mateo Kovacic and Jorginho and Mason Mount, behind Kai Havertz and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang up front.

    Explaining his selection, the former Brighton boss said: ‘We’ve gone for good experience, good know-how of the Champions League and this football club.

    ‘I won’t give too much away, you can keep guessing.’

    Chelsea v Club América - Preseason Friendly
    Kepa Arrizabalaga is back in the Chelsea due to an injury to Edouard Mendy (Picture: Getty Images)

    ‘We’ve been working for a few days, hopefully looking to use the strengths and the qualities of the players

    ‘The response has been fantastic from the boys and we’re looking forward to the game.’

    It is an extremely strong bench for Potter against Salzburg, with the likes of Fofana, Koulibaly, Christian Pulisic, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Armando Broja, Ben Chiwell, Conor Gallagher and Hakim Ziyech all available.

    MORE : Chelsea fans plan minute’s applause for Thomas Tuchel in Champions League match vs Red Bull Salzburg

    MORE : Thomas Tuchel was furious with Todd Boehly for insisting Wesley Fofana had Chelsea medical in New York

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