Head coach Graham Potter has hinted that he is prepared to constantly make changes to Chelsea’s formation over the coming weeks.
Since replacing Thomas Tuchel last month, Potter has recorded wins over Crystal Palace and AC Milan after initially starting his reign with a 1-1 draw at home to Red Bull Salzburg.
In each of those fixtures, the Englishman has lined up with different partnerships and formations in defence, the only constant being veteran Thiago Silva.
Chelsea’s options in that area of the pitch were reduced on Wednesday when Wesley Fofana sustained a knee injury which will keep him sidelined until November.
Potter now only has three recognised centre-backs at his disposal, with full-backs Reece James, Cesar Azpilicueta and Marc Cucurella also capable of being used in a back three.
Potter was quizzed on his dilemmas and selection issues in front of him at his press conference ahead of Saturday’s Premier League fixture with Wolverhampton Wanderers, admitting to the media that he is open to fluctuating between systems.
Speaking to reporters, Potter said: “You always consider the opponent, always consider the players that we have. We lost Marc through illness from Salzburg to Crystal Palace, and one or two other things were happening, and that can change how you want to approach the game.
“I think it is important to have a couple of options because the personnel will not be the same for the next 10 or 11 games, however many we have until the World Cup break. It is a really intense period where it is important to have some options.
“It’s trying to balance the difference between change and consistency. Things have to be consistent or else it can be destabilising, so that is the thing that we have to work with.”
Chelsea head into the meeting with Wolves having recorded three wins from their last four outings in the top flight, all by 2-1 scorelines
The clean sheet kept during the 3-0 victory over AC Milan on Wednesday evening represented Chelsea’s first shutout since the opening weekend of the season.
As many as 12 strikes were conceded during the eight outings between those matches, but Chelsea have only shipped three more goals than Everton, who possess the best defensive record in the Premier League.