The last international break of 2019 is officially over and it’s finally back to business for Chelsea! Fortunately, the past two weeks were uncharacteristically kind to us injury-wise and we can count on an almost entirely healthy squad, something that will be very much needed in the weeks ahead.
THE PEOPLE’S CHOICE
The WAGNH community was a bit more divided on the formation than in recent weeks, with the 4-3-3 (39%) making inroads on the preferred 4-2-3-1 setup.
Despite Andreas Christensen (11%) returning from injury, the clearly favoured pairing at centre-back are Fikayo Tomori and Kurt Zouma. It was a different story at right back, though, Reece James (61%) still misses out against César Azpilicueta by the narrowest of margins. Azpilicueta’s left back vote (~20%) undoubtedly helped his case, with Emerson easily winning out over Marcos Alonso (7%).
The big question over the past weeks was who would miss out in Chelsea’s midfield now that N’Golo Kanté is fit again and the preferred answer is ... no one! All three of Kanté, Jorginho, and Mateo Kovačić start, as does Mason Mount, who thus will have to push to a wing role — though Lampard loading the midfield with bodies to help press and contain Manchester City might not be the worst idea.
Up front, Mount joins Willian and Tammy Abraham. Christian Pulisic (40%) was confirmed fit to play by Lampard yesterday, but the uncertainty before the news broke will have heavily influenced the voting. Conversely, Callum Hudson-Odoi (28%) still seems to be not ready, and that was before he was ruled out with a hamstring injury. Pedro (3%), Batshuayi (3%), and Giroud (1%) were all non-factors in the voting.
Arrizabalaga (99%) | Emerson (73%), Tomori (97%), Zouma (92%), Azpilicueta (64%) | Jorginho (95%), Kanté (96%) | Mount (69%), Kovačić (73%), Willian (90%) | Abraham (97%)
MY PREFERRED LINEUP
I certainly shared the community’s troubles in deciding whom to pick for our midfield, but came to the same conclusion that all three of Kanté, Jorginho, and Kovačić need to start. Also, seeing that Pulisic can play, I went with him instead of Willian.
Arrizabalaga | Emerson, Tomori, Zouma, James | Kovačić, Jorginho, Kanté | Mount, Abraham, Pulisic
COME ON, YOU BLUES!!!