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Fans’ choice Chelsea lineup against Southampton: No alarms, no surprises

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Southampton vs. Chelsea, Premier League: Predicted lineup

Chelsea v Liverpool - Premier League Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

In the last game before the second international break of the season, Maurizio Sarri will be looking to keep Chelsea’s unbeaten run going as the Blues travel south to take on Southampton at St Mary’s. Despite the Saints having had a terrible start to the season with just 1 win in 7 games, we can expect Sarri to field the strongest possible lineup in order to keep Chelsea ahead of the hunting pack for top 4.


PREDICTED LINE-UP

There cannot be anyone else other than Kepa Arrizabalaga in goal. He has been in fine form, making some truly wonderful saves of late. Sarri’s preference to go with the young goalkeeper in both the Premier and the Europa League (and the League Cup , even) is paying off as he’s getting better and better.

Chelsea fielded an entirely different back four during Thursday’s win against Vidi FC — Emerson especially putting in a good performance — but Marcos Alonso, Antonio Rüdiger, David Luiz and César Azpilicueta are all expected to return to the starting lineup as the usual first-choice selection.

Anything else other than the usual midfield trio of Kovačić, Jorginho, and Kanté would be a huge surprise. Both Loftus-Cheek and Barkley have been showing glimpses of their potential, but it’s unlikely that they will be displacing any of the starters anytime soon.

In attack, Hazard is an indisputable starter after several phenomenal performances in September and Giroud seems to have become Sarri’s number one choice down the middle. Whether the head coach will go with Pedro or Willian is the only real question; if Pedro’s shoulder is good to go, he’s probably getting the nod.

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


THE PEOPLE’S CHOICE

The WAGNH community’s choice is a carbon copy of the predicted lineup and the vast majority of positions had large margins of victory. Eight of the eleven starters got at least 88%. The other three positions weren’t that close either. Kovačić easily beat out Barkley (18%) and Loftus-Cheek (12%) and both Giroud and Pedro almost doubled up Morata (34%) and Willian (34%), respectively.

4-3-3:
Arrizabalaga (98%) | Alonso (96%), Rüdiger (98%), David Luiz (87%), Azpilicueta (98%) | Kovačić (71%), Jorginho (96%), Kanté (96%) | Hazard (99%), Giroud (61%), Pedro (59%)


PREFERRED LINEUP

My preferred lineup is unsurprisingly the same as well. This is the best eleven Sarri can field at this moment. While one can make a case for the inclusion of certain players such as Christensen or Emerson, there’s no need to rotate before the international break.

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

COME ON, YOU BLUES!