Graham Potter takes charge of Chelsea for the first time tonight as they host RB Salzburg in the Champions League. It is only seven days ago that Thomas Tuchel was sacked following the Blues’ defeat against Dinamo Zagreb – Potter has admitted that period has felt more like months.
There is a need for Chelsea to quickly find some form under the new manager, not wanting to lose too much ground in Group E ahead of back-to-back matches against AC Milan. Potter revealed he has never previously even attended a Champions League match, as a fan or a coach, so this will be his first experience of European football’s top table.
N’Golo Kante and Edouard Mendy are both out with injury but the Blues have no other injury concerns apart from that. With this weekend’s match against Liverpool postponed ahead of the Queen’s funeral, tonight is Chelsea’s last game before the international break. Follow all the action with Standard Sport’s LIVE blog below!
Potter: This is my first ever Champions League match
Graham Potter revealed tonight will be the first ever Champions League game he has attended – both as a fan and in a professional capacity.
The 47-year-old leads his team out for the first time at Stamford Bridge, having last week joined from Brighton to replace the sacked Thomas Tuchel.
“Off the top of my head, no, I don’t think I have [ever been to a Champions League match],” Potter said at Stamford Bridge. “It is a good time to go in the dugout, why not! I think wherever we would start, it is a heck of an introduction with respect to everything that has happened at this football club.”
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That postponement to Chelsea’s match against Fulham means Potter’s first match in charge of the club comes on home soil and he will keen to make an immediate impression.
Goals have been a problem for the Blues, their front-line not clicking into gear and that is one of the big challenges facing the new boss.
Salzburg carry a real attacking threat themselves and will fancy their chances of getting on the scoresheet, but Chelsea should have enough to come out on top and get their European campaign back on track.
Chelsea to win, 2-1.
Early team news
Graham Potter has an almost fully-fit squad to pick from for his Chelsea bow tonight.
N’Golo Kante and Edouard Mendy are out of the Champions League clash, leaving 24 players to choose from for the Blues’ new manager.
The Blues are likely to follow former manager Thomas Tuchel’s approach and use a 3-4-3 system, giving Potter time to stamp his authority on the team over time.
Predicted Chelsea XI (3-4-3): Kepa; Fofana, Thiago Silva, Koulibaly; James, Kovacic, Jorginho, Cucurella; Havertz, Aubameyang, Sterling
How to watch Chelsea vs RB Salzburg
TV channel: The match will be televised on BT Sport 3, with coverage starting at 7.15pm.
Live stream: BT Sport subscribers will be able to watch the match online via the BT Sport website or app.
Live blog: You can follow all the action right here, with Nizaar Kinsella at Stamford Bridge providing expert analysis.
Hello and welcome to Standard Sport’s LIVE coverage of Chelsea vs RB Salzburg in the Champions League.
It’s Graham Potter’s first match in charge of the Blues, a week on from Thomas Tuchel’s sacking after that defeat in Zagreb.
We’ll have all the latest build-up and team news ahead of kick-off, which comes at 8pm BST from Stamford Bridge. Stay tuned!