Chelsea finally get back to business as they take on a struggling Newcastle United side at Stamford Bridge. Injuries haven’t been too kind on the Blues over the international break and several key figures will miss the game, including first and foremost, N’Golo Kanté.
THE PEOPLE’S CHOICE
Due to all the absentees, the WAGNH community didn’t have too many tough choices to make. Formation was one of them however, with the 4-2-3-1 edging out the 4-3-3 (41%) once again.
With Andreas Christensen and Antonio Rüdiger both ruled out, Fikayo Tomori and Kurt Zouma were the only real choices at centre back. At full back, César Azpilicueta and Marcos Alonso were picked ahead of injury doubts Reece James (12%) and Emerson, who wasn’t even on the ballot.
The ongoing health issues of N’Golo Kanté (10%) and the uncertainty surrounding Mateo Kovačić (29%), which was only cleared up on Friday, were a real concern for the voters. Consequently, Jorginho and Barkley were the clear favourites. This pairing started the 2-0 win over Brighton as well. Billy Gilmour did garner a very decent 11% in the midfield voting though.
There were no surprises up front, with Pedro (6%), Michy Batshuayi (3%) and Olivier Giroud (3%) all finishing in the single digits, and Christian Pulisic (26%) barely making any inroads. The first-choice preferences are quite clear right now, although some rotation will be needed in subsequent weeks.
Arrizabalaga (99%) | Alonso (95%), Tomori (99%), Zouma (93%), Azpilicueta (94%) | Jorginho (97%), Barkley (53%) | Hudson-Odoi (91%), Mount (94%), Willian (81%) | Abraham (95%)
MY PREFERRED LINEUP
My preferred lineup is almost a carbon copy of the community’s, with the one exception of Mateo Kovačić starting instead of Ross Barkley. I am undecided on the formation however, which would largely dictate how far forward Mason Mount would play. Despite not being his biggest fan, I can’t not include Willian, who’s been a player reborn under Lampard recently.
Arrizabalaga | Alonso, Tomori, Zouma, Azpilicueta | Kovačić, Jorginho, Mount | Hudson-Odoi, Abraham, Willian
COME ON, YOU BLUES!!!