After three whole days of rest — one more than our opponent — Chelsea take on Manchester United at Stamford Bridge in the fourth round of the Carabao Cup. Frank Lampard has already hinted in his pre-match press conference that we might see a fair amount of rotation, and it seems like most agree with him in that regard.
THE PEOPLE’S CHOICE
The WAGNH community is certainly not afraid of rotating for this game, voting for an ambitious starting eleven, full of intriguing combinations, especially up front. The preferred formation, however, remains the same 4-2-3-1 as it has been for several weeks now, with the 4-3-3 (37%) fading a bit in recent votes.
Willy Caballero remains the Cup goalkeeper, as he has been for some time, though, for me, it’s still a little bit surprising to see him preferred to Kepa Arrizabalaga (34%) by such a large margin given the magnitude of the encounter.
Chelsea U23 captain Marc Guehi (50%) put in a respectable challenge at centre back, but the pairing of Fikayo Tomori and Kurt Zouma remain favored. César Azpilicueta (21%) and Marcos Alonso (16%), however, are given much needed rests, with Reece James and Emerson replacing them. James leads all players in total votes, in fact, and is the only player to garner over 80% consensus.
In midfield, Academy standout Billy Gilmour has been given a massive vote of confidence by the community, with Jorginho (52%) making way. Mateo Kovačić does not get a rest however, more than doubling up Ross Barkley (34%).
Chelsea have plenty of attacking options and it’s where we should be seeing the most rotation. Michy Batshuayi wins out ahead of Olivier Giroud (22%), with Tammy Abraham (12%) getting a well-deserved breather. Hat-trick hero Christian Pulisic retains his spot from the weekend, while Pedro and Hudson-Odoi rotate in ahead of Willian (16%) and Mason mount (32%).
Caballero (65%) | Emerson (77%), Tomori (67%), Zouma (75%), James (90%) | Kovačić (74%), Gilmour (68%) | Pulisic (63%), Pedro (67%), Hudson-Odoi (76%) | Batshuayi (72%)
MY PREFERRED LINEUP
I rotated slightly less compared to the community, because I want to beat this United team desperately after the humiliation at Old Trafford. I played it safe and stuck to Arrizabalaga ahead of Caballero while favouring Jorginho to Gilmour. I have great faith in the latter, but maybe not in a game of this stature.
Arrizabalaga | Emerson, Tomori, Zouma, James | Kovačić, Jorginho | Pedro, Pulisic, Hudson-Odoi | Batshuayi
COME ON, YOU BLUES!!!