After a lackluster and highly disappointing loss at the hands of Leicester City, Chelsea travel to Watford in desperate need of a convincing victory and three points. All eyes will be on Maurizio Sarri’s team selection as and whether he makes any significant changes to the lineup that proved largely ineffective on Saturday.
Kepa Arrizabalaga was the only bright spot against Leicester City, and with Watford scoring seven goals in their last three games, he will have to be on top of his game once again.
In a similar situation against Wolverhampton a couple weeks ago, Sarri rotated in Andreas Christensen for David Luiz, a move that may have very well happened again if young Andreas hadn’t injured himself in the meantime. So it seems highly likely that Sarri will once again count on Marcos Alonso, Antonio Rüdiger, David Luiz and César Azpilicueta.
Sarri’s looking for a good reaction from Chelsea after defeat, and few players are as key to the system as Jorginho, so he probably will start again. Kanté should be one of the first names in the lineup regardless of his position, while someone other than Kovacčicć is likely to fill the third spot.
The false nine experiment failed on Saturday and Álvaro Morata is still not fit enough — or already preparing for a move away? — so Olivier Giroud seems destined to start. Eden Hazard and Pedro may not have had their best games on Saturday either, but the two will hopefully be out to prove a point as they continue to represent our best options on the wings.
Arrizabalaga | Alonso, David Luiz, Rüdiger, Azpilicueta | Loftus-Cheek, Jorginho, Kanté | Hazard, Giroud, Pedro
THE PEOPLE’S CHOICE
The WAGNH community’s preferred lineup mirrors the predicted one with the exception of Marcos Alonso (29%) being dropped for Emerson — and it was not a close contest. Ross Barkley (30%) and Mateo Kovačić (35%) are left out by a similar margin as Loftus-Cheek is preferred. Up front, Callum Hudson-Odoi (40%) came close to making things interesting for either Giroud or Pedro, with Willian (16%) and Morata (11%) lagging far behind.
Arrizabalaga (98%) | Emerson (68%), David Luiz (83%), Rüdiger (97%), Azpilicueta (93%) | Loftus-Cheek (70%), Jorginho (68%), Kanté (93%) | Hazard (97%), Giroud (53%), Pedro (63%)
My preferred lineup is the same as the community’s. Emerson simply has to start. While one can debate whether Emerson is truly Chelsea’s long-term option at left back, Alonso’s recent dip in form most certainly justifies the calls for the former AS Roma-man to finally get a proper chance. Similarly, Loftus-Cheek has been one of our most potent goal threats in the past weeks so the talented midfielder simply has to start against a strong and physical Watford team.
Arrizabalaga | Emerson, Christensen, Rüdiger, Azpilicueta | Loftus-Cheek, Jorginho, Kanté | Hazard, Giroud, Pedro
COME ON YOU BLUES!