The first of three home games in a row will see Chelsea take on AS Roma on Wednesday as we look to straighten the ship after receiving bone-shaking broadsides from Manchester City and Crystal Palace. With N’Golo Kante and Victor Moses having fallen overboard, plus Danny Drinkwater busy being lost below decks, we will have to do so with a reduced, tired, possibly crestfallen group of players.
Hopefully we are made of sterner stuff than that of course, both physically and mentally as this game will need everyone to be at their best and most motivated. Getting Alvaro Morata back should be a big help and it should unlock the viability of the 3-5-2 once again. Chelsea have largely stuck with the 3-4-3 for home games, including over the weekend, but given Roma’s strength in midfield, weakness in defense, and danger in attack, solidifying our middle with a third midfielder seems like the proper way to go, especially in Kante’s enforced absence.
Ideally, the third (or most defensive) midfielder would be Bakayoko or Kante (as against Atletico Madrid), but in the latter’s absence, the only man for that job is David Luiz. If Drinkwater were to make a sudden appearance, he could possibly slot in next to Fabregas and push Bakayoko back, but as it stands, David Luiz is basically our only viable option. Andreas Christensen has proven more than capable of taking David’s place in defence, while next to him, two of Cahill, Azpilicueta, and Rudiger have to be picked. As much as it pains me to say, Azpilicueta has been the one least in form of that trio, so perhaps he could do with rotation to the bench.
Since Morata’s injury, no one has really impressed in attack, so we might as well go with the two best we have.
Courtois | Cahill, Christensen, Rudiger | Alonso, Fabregas, David Luiz, Bakayoko, Zappacosta | Hazard, Morata
The WAGNH community’s preference lies along similar lines, but with Azpi retaining his spot and with the preferred formation more along the lines of a 3-4-3 (57%) than a 3-5-2 (36%). In practice, there may not be much difference between those two.
Courtois (98%) | Rudiger (86%), Christensen (78%), Azpilicueta (91%) | Alonso (92%), David Luiz (78%), Bakayoko (98%), Zappacosta (90%) | Hazard (96%), Morata (79%), Fabregas (81%)