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Fans’ choice Chelsea lineup against Nottingham Forest: All the youth to join Fabregas in farewell match

Chelsea vs. Nottingham Forrest, FA Cuo: Predicted, preferred lineups

Chelsea v Manchester United - The Emirates FA Cup Final Photo by Rob Newell - CameraSport via Getty Images

Chelsea kick off their defense of the FA Cup against Championship side Nottingham Forest after a frustrating and lackluster performance during the week. The Blues have quite a bit to atone for and will be looking for a convincing win despite several injuries sustained over the holidays. Aitor Karanka’s side have had somewhat of a mixed season themselves as 9 wins from 26 games has led to them sitting in seventh just outside the play-off spots. Chelsea won their last encounter against Forest 5-1 in last year’s third round of the competition so let’s hope we can emulate such a result for this tie.


Willy Caballero has been a sound choice when called upon this season and it seems very likely that he’ll be giving Kepa Arrizabalaga a well-earned rest.

Chelsea’s back four has been solid in recent weeks but Maurizio Sarri will likely resort to his usual rotation here as Emerson, Andreas Christensen and Davide Zappacosta come in for the usual suspects. I’d like to think Ethan Ampadu is also given a chance but something tells me Gary Cahill will be left in the side for his experience.

With this most likely being Cesc Fabregas’ last game in a Chelsea shirt, the Spaniard’s name will be the first one on the team sheet as I’m quite certain he’ll also receive the captain’s armband for the night. Joining him could be Ross Barkley and Mateo Kovačić, with Jorginho and Kanté in desperate need of rest.

It’s no secret that Chelsea’s attacking band is worryingly depleted due to injuries at the moment and therefore it will be interesting to see how Sarri will handle the situation. Alvaro Morata may once again be linked with a move away but he’s likely going to start this one as Olivier Giroud remains out. With Eden Hazard reportedly rested, Callum Hudson-Odoi could be joined by Ruben Loftus-Cheek on the wings.

Caballero | Emerson, Christensen, Cahill, Zappacosta | Barkley, Fabregas, Kovačić | Hudson-Odoi, Morata, Loftus-Cheek


The WAGNH community’s preferred lineup deservedly selects Fabregas in the center, while Barkley and Loftus-Cheek are rotated in for Kovačić (15%) and Kanté (26%). It’s also worth noting that loan returnee and Academy graduate Kyle Scott received a very decent 20% of the votes. Up front, choices remain limited as Hudson-Odoi and Piazon are picked ahead of Hazard (16%) and — I never thought I’d write his name here — Islam Feruz (14%). At the back, Gary Cahill (38%) misses out to Ampadu in what could be the club captain’s last opportunity to play for Chelsea.

Caballero (46%) | Emerson (99%), Christensen (96%), Ampadu (81%), Zappacosta (81%) | Loftus-Cheek (92%), Fàbregas (93%), Barkley (79%) | Hudson-Odoi (89%), Morata (81%), Piazon (38%)


Rotation is key for this game as Chelsea’s current congested schedule is relentless and won’t be ending anytime soon. That said, I’m still picking Hazard as there is a dearth of viable options. Let’s hope he’s not needed for too long! Otherwise, it’s the same as the community’s choice.

Arrizabalaga | Emerson, Christensen, Ampadu, Zappacosta | Loftus-Cheek, Fàbregas, Barkley | Hazard, Morata, Hudson-Odoi


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