Since winning 1-0 at home against Swansea City back in November, Chelsea's season has been a bit of a mixed bag, to put it mildly, as consistent wins have been hard to come by. In the last few weeks however, Chelsea seem to have found some form, just in time for the final run-in of the season. The Blues have done so in part by coming up with some new ideas.
The two striker system proved to be a great option against Burnley and the (forced) introduction of Emerson as a more dynamic left wing-back has been quite successful as well so far. With Marcos Alonso serving the final match of his three-match suspension today, Emerson is set for another start. But what about the duo of Olivier Giroud and Alvaro Morata, who showed some promising link up play and combinations? Conte was pleased enough, to be sure.
Conte on using two strikers again: "I think they played a really good game against Burnley. They [Giroud+Morata] showed me I have another option." #CFC— Nizaar Kinsella (@NizaarKinsella) April 27, 2018
As a result, today's predicted line-up will opt for exactly that, the new 3-5-2 formation spearheaded by the two strikers.
In midfield, the combination of Kanté and Bakayoko with a slightly more forward Eden Hazard should be sufficient for all three points. I decided to drop Fabregas in favor of Bakayoko’s physicality — I’ve not yet given up on him! Additionally, Cesc has always been a fantastic impact substitution and that could come in handy tomorrow.
In defense and at wing back, changes shouldn't be necessary as the current combinations seem to be working out quite well. This means Rüdiger, Azpilicueta, and Cahill — “now I think it is right to play Gary; he is deserving this,” said Conte in his press conference regarding the captain — in the back three, with the recently rather decent Moses and an impressive Emerson on the flanks. At goalkeeper, Courtois naturally keeps his spot.
You know what they say, never change a winning system!
My predicted line-up is therefore as follows:
Courtois | Rüdiger, Christensen, Azpilicueta | Emerson, Bakayoko, Kante, Hazard, Moses | Morata, Giroud
The WAGNH community’s preferred line-up scores a narrow victory for the 3-4-3 (40%) over the two-striker 3-5-2 (39%), and that’s backed up by the player choices as well, Fabregas, Morata, and Bakayoko all hover around the 50% mark but Willian is solidly in the mid-60s. Morata (56%) technically outgained Fabregas, but is dropped to the bench to make the formation work.
Courtois (91%) | Rüdiger (87%), Christensen (68%), Azpilicueta (98%) | Emerson (93%), Kanté (99%), Fàbregas (51%), Moses (71%) | Hazard (94%), Giroud (80%), Willian (64%)