After the painful second half collapse against Wolves on Wednesday, Chelsea will be looking to make amends against dominant league leaders Manchester City. It will certainly be a test of character for the team.
Maurizio Sarri continues to rely on his trusted 4-3-3 formation and tactics, but rotation and the poor form of several players could make him reconsider some of his usual starting eleven. We certainly wouldn’t want a repeat of our Community Shield debacle.
Despite not looking good on Wolves’ first goal, Arrizabalaga has been brilliant for Chelsea this season and a single mistake won’t change that.
Marcos Alonso has been performing very poorly of late and his crossing has gotten so bad, it’s made me miss Ivanović. Whether Sarri will finally give Emerson the chance to prove himself, which has been long overdue, seems unlikely however. César Azpilicueta and Antonio Rüdiger will definitely retain their places, while David Luiz should return to the starting eleven after sitting out the midweek game in favor of Andreas Christensen.
Manchester City’s midfield is very strong and Chelsea’s locked-on starters Jorginho and N’golo Kanté will have their work cut out for them to put their mark on the game. If we’re to go by form, then Ruben Loftus-Cheek should probably start, but it’s much more likely that Mateo Kovačić (or perhaps Ross Barkley, if healthy) will get the nod after RLC’s 90 minutes on Wednesday.
Not one of Chelsea’s forwards seems to be in form these days, but Hazard obviously has to start while both Morata and Willian started on Wednesday so perhaps it’s Giroud and Pedro’s turn.
Arrizabalaga | Alonso, David Luiz, Rüdiger, Azpilicueta | Kovačić, Jorginho, Kanté | Hazard, Giroud, Pedro
THE PEOPLE’S CHOICE
The WAGNH community’s preferred lineup drops several key players currently in bad form, including Alonso (45%) and Kovačić (49%). David Luiz handily retains his place over Christensen (30%) despite all the criticisms however, but neither Fàbregas (7%) nor Barkley (4%) nor Willian (18%) nor Morata (21%) factor greatly into the lineup.
Arrizabalaga (98%) | Emerson (49%), David Luiz (59%), Rüdiger (97%), Azpilicueta (96%) | Loftus-Cheek (59%), Jorginho (86%), Kanté (97%) | Hazard (98%), Giroud (71%), Pedro (73%)
The defeat against Wolves really hurt. Maurizio Sarri needs to drop the players not performing and start building some momentum, or Chelsea will continue to struggle. Emerson simply has to start ahead of Alonso, whose overall play has been infuriating of late, while Loftus-Cheek is the only player seemingly capable of scoring goals.
Arrizabalaga | Emerson, David Luiz, Rüdiger, Azpilicueta | Loftus-Cheek, Jorginho, Kanté | Hazard, Giroud, Pedro
COME ON YOU BLUES!