clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Fans’ choice Chelsea lineup against Manchester United: Morata almost earns start

New, comments

Chelsea vs. Manchester United, Premier League: Predicted, preferred lineups

Chelsea v Manchester United - Premier League Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Proper football is back and it’s the weekend’s biggest matchup as Mourinho’s Manchester United come to Stamford Bridge for the third time. Chelsea won the previous two occasions by a combined 5-0 score. But even with Mourinho backed into a corner, they should not be underestimated.


PREDICTED LINE-UP

The only confirmed injury concerns for today are Ross Barkley and two players who weren’t going to feature anyway, Ethan Ampadu and Callum Hudson-Odoi. Antonio Rüdiger and Mateo Kovačić have been both declared fit.

Between the posts, Kepa Arrizabalaga has not only been in fine form but he’s been consistently getting better and better, so there’s no debate who will be starting in goal. Kepa will be looking to impress ahead of his Spain teammate David de Gea, who will be trying to do the same at the opposite end of the pitch.

Much to Andreas Christensen’s chagrin, there’s absolutely no chance that Maurizio Sarri will change his trusted back four of César Azpilicueta, Antonio Rüdiger, David Luiz and Marcos Alonso for such a crucial fixture. Christensen may be on the bench, though the experience of Gary Cahill is often preferred in that role.

Chelsea’s midfield should see the return of the familiar faces of Mateo Kovačić, Jorginho, and N’Golo Kanté. There are some minor concerns over Kovačić overall fitness, but he would have to be significantly hobbled to miss out on this one. With Ross Barkley also dealing with a minor injury, if the Real Madrid loanee cannot start, we could conceivably see Cesc Fàbregas make his first Premier League appearance of the season.

In attack, Eden Hazard will be the first name on Sarri’s team sheet. Pedro seems to be a better fit than Willian (and also a goal threat) for the right wing still, and while Morata has found the back of the net in his last two Chelsea games, Manchester United’s expected conservative approach should make Olivier Giroud the better option.

4-3-3:
Arrizabalaga | Alonso, Rüdiger, David Luiz, Azpilicueta | Kovačić, Jorginho, Kanté | Hazard, Giroud, Pedro


THE PEOPLE’S CHOICE

There is not much debate about the majority of the WAGNH community’s choices, with 8 of the 11 starters garnering over 90% of votes cast. Barkley (37%) put up a fight for the third spot in midfield, as did Morata (41%) for center forward. Willian (26%) was the only other player to collect a decent amount of votes.

4-3-3:
Arrizabalaga (99%+) | Alonso (98%), Rüdiger (96%), David Luiz (91%), Azpilicueta (98%) | Kovačić (61%), Jorginho (99%), Kanté (97%) | Hazard (99%+), Giroud (57%), Pedro (71%)


PREFERRED LINEUP

My preferred lineup is once again in line with both the predicted lineup and the community’s preference. This is simply the best eleven we can field at the moment. Morata may very well be on his way back to form — I truly hope he is — but this doesn’t feel like the right game to start him. Maybe Alvaro will come off the bench to score the winner, you never know.

4-3-3:
Arrizabalaga | Alonso, Rüdiger, David Luiz, Azpilicueta | Kovačić, Jorginho, Kanté | Hazard, Giroud, Pedro

COME ON, YOU BLUES!