Aubameyang reunion as Kovacic hands Blues huge fitness boost for London

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Chelsea are back in Premier League action on Sunday afternoon when they face Arsenal at Stamford Bridge, and Graham Potter has several selection decisions to make.

Potter will be hoping to guide the Blues back to winning ways in the Premier League and carry on the momentum from midweek after defeating Dinamo Zagreb in the Champions League.

The loss to former club Brighton & Hove Albion caused pain for the 47-year-old last weekend and they face another tough test against Mikel Arteta’s men on Sunday.

Chelsea have not been victorious in a league game since they defeated Aston Villa 2-0, so they require a lot of improvement if they are to take down the league leaders.

“Good performance vs Zagreb, trained well and now we have to take that into Arsenal.”

Handing praise to the opposition, the Englishman shared: “They’ve recruited well in the summer. (Oleksandr) Zinchenko and Gabriel Jesus know what you need to do to win and they’ve also carried on their idea.

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta and Gabriel Jesus during a training session at London Colney. (Alamy)
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta and Gabriel Jesus during a training session at London Colney. (Alamy)

“It’s a really good example of how success can come.

“He’s had to face some pressure from the outside, but the club have stayed supportive and stuck to their ideas.

With several injuries to contend with, Potter will need to find solutions for his final home starting XI prior to the World Cup as they await the visit of the Gunners.

Predicted Chelsea XI to face Arsenal: Mendy, Chalobah, Silva, Koulibaly, Cucurella, Azpilicueta, Jorginho, Kovacic, Mount, Aubameyang, Sterling

Thiago Silva is set to return to the starting XI after coming off the bench in midweek and will likely team up with Trevoh Chalobah and Kalidou Koulibaly in a back three. While centrally in defence the Blues are not hampered, they will be without wing-back Ben Chilwell who suffered a hamstring injury that could keep him sidelined for up to three months.

The 25-year-old’s World Cup dream is over and Potter revealed on Wednesday night that the defender was “disappointed and upset”.

Ben Chilwell of Chelsea is helped across the pitch after the game after he picks up an injury. (Alamy)
Ben Chilwell of Chelsea is helped across the pitch after the game after he picks up an injury. (Alamy)

Cucurella will be hoping to improve upon his performance against his former club, Brighton, last week if given the start at wing-back, with Azpilicueta most likely on the other side.

In midfield, the west London side have been handed a boost as Mateo Kovacic returned to training in the week after being rested against Zagreb.

Him and Jorginho should pair up in the middle of the park and despite Denis Zakaria’s impressive display in Europe he may only play a role from the bench.

Mateo Kovacic during the Premier League match between Brighton & Hove Albion and Chelsea. (Alamy)
Mateo Kovacic during the Premier League match between Brighton & Hove Albion and Chelsea. (Alamy)

Mason Mount was awarded Player of the Match in midweek and will be ready for involvement against Arsenal, while Sterling could also be the option of choice for Potter after netting in midweek for the first time in eight games.

Up top, it will be a massive game for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang against his old team should he get the nod.

Potter detailed: “He’s looking forward to the game. He’s been pretty normal (this week). Come matchday, I’m sure he will be pretty determined.”