GRAHAM POTTER has handed two Chelsea players their full debut against Crystal Palace amid the Blues’ injury crisis.
January signing Benoit Badiashile will start for the first time in what should be a hotly-contested London derby.
Badiashile has a chance to impress the Chelsea faithful today by keeping out the Palace attack[/caption]
Carney Chukwuemeka, a summer signing from Aston Villa, will also make his first start after a couple of impressive substitute appearances in recent weeks.
The line-up offers a huge opportunity for the new faces to stamp their mark on the club.
Rising star Badiashile signed for £35m from Rennes earlier this month and has yet to appear off the bench.
Potter has opted for the new faces amid an injury crisis which has ruled out 11 first-team players, including Raheem Sterling, Christian Pulisic, Reece James and Ben Chilwell, while new signing Joao Felix is suspended.
The Chelsea manager will be desperate his debutants can make the difference this afternoon at Stamford Bridge.
Pressure is growing on the ex-Brighton boss as Chelsea’s form continues to deteriorate.
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Defeat at Fulham at Thursday was the latest negative result amid a shocking downturn of form that started before the World Cup.
The Blues have only won one of their last 11 domestic games.
Defeats to Manchester City ended their Carabao and FA Cup campaigns, while top 4 already appears out of reach for Potter’s strugglers.
This is despite a lorry load of signings both in the summer window and already in January.
Felix is so far the biggest name to have confirmed to have signed, but his encouraging debut was ended prematurely when he was sent off at Craven Cottage.