Chelsea may still be firmly in the driver’s seat for both the top-four and the knockout stages of the Champions League, but a win is definitely needed against a West Ham side just barely above the relegation zone. Underestimating the Hammers would be a mistake.
THE PEOPLE’S CHOICE
The WAGNH community continues to love their 4-2-3-1! The 4-3-3 (36%) formation remains firmly second choice, though in reality, it’s often a mix of both anyway.
Reece James has been in good form recently and is deservedly picked, along with César Azpilicueta, ahead of Marcos Alonso (8%) and Emerson (37%). Andreas Christensen (29%) didn’t necessarily have a bad game against Valencia, but it wasn’t enough to sway the voters to swap him in for one of Kurt Zouma or Fikayo Tomori.
In midfield, the usual trio continue to dominate, each getting at least 75 per cent of the vote. Billy Gilmour and Ross Barkley, both receiving fewer than ten votes, barely tip the scales.
With Tammy Abraham (8%) injured, Michy Batshuayi (49%) and Olivier Giroud (42%) split the vote at center forward, leaving three versatile attackers to fill the rest of the lineup. Pedro (10%) was a non-factor once again, but it’s unclear which one of Mason Mount, Willian, or Christian Pulisic would be best fit for center forward — though Pulisic has played there at least once before for BVB (in for an injured Aubameyang against Bayern in the Cup).
In reality, Lampard is likely to give Batshuayi the start and drop one of the midfielders. But if we’re going just by percentages, we end up with something like the following.
Arrizabalaga (94%) | Azpilicueta (72%), Tomori (88%), Zouma (83%), James (84%) | Jorginho (75%), Kanté (93%) | Mount (76%), Kovačić (77%), Willian (66%) | Pulisic (96%)
MY PREFERRED LINEUP
Like Lampard, I’d prefer to give the start to Batshuayi. Making the decision whom to drop in midfield is a tedious one, but I’m going to have to choose Kovačić. While he’s done nothing wrong to justify being omitted, for me, Chelsea need Jorginho.
Arrizabalaga | Azpilicueta, Tomori, Zouma, James | Jorginho, Kanté | Willian, Mount, Pulisic | Batshuayi
COME ON, YOU BLUES!!!