Three days after Chelsea’s worst game in several decades, the time for redemption has come as the Blues host struggling Premier League side Huddersfield Town. Calls for a change of system and personnel have become ever louder and Maurizio Sarri will be perfectly aware of them despite reiterating that he won’t make drastic changes.
Arrizabalaga could do very little to keep those four Bournemouth goals out, but a clean sheet here will be desperately needed.
Antonio Rüdiger has picked up a “little problem” with his knee, so chances are that he will not be risked and instead Andreas Christensen will get a rare Premier League start next to David Luiz. César Azpilicueta remains a certain starter, but it’s hard to tell whether Sarri will continue to try out Emerson or rotate/revert back to Marcos Alonso. My bet’s on the latter.
There’s little hope of Maurizio Sarri changing things up, so Jorginho and N’Golo Kanté will start, alongside one of Kovačić, Barkley, or Ruben Loftus-Cheek. Let’s be optimistic and say that Loftus-Cheek will get the nod ahead of Barkley, just as he did as a substitute in midweek.
While the hope of Callum Hudson-Odoi starting remains, Willian will presumably rotate in for Pedro. Despite Sarri calling him more of an “individual” than a team player, I can’t imagine Eden Hazard not being in the starting eleven. Gonzalo Higuaín’s back issues are unlikely to prevent him from starting ahead of Olivier Giroud once again.
Arrizabalaga | Alonso, David Luiz, Christensen, Azpilicueta | Loftus-Cheek, Jorginho, Kanté | Hazard, Higuaín, Willian
THE PEOPLE’S CHOICE
The WAGNH community certainly showed no mercy, dropping David Luiz (29%) — though as mentioned at the top, Rüdiger’s recent injury could mean Sarri’s hands are tied regardless — and almost Jorginho as well. None of Kovačić (42%), Alonso (37%), Barkley (20%), Willian (16%), Pedro (13%), or Giroud (13%) quite made it.
Arrizabalaga (97%) | Emerson (62%), Christensen (72%), Rüdiger (90%), Azpilicueta (87%) | Loftus-Cheek (83%), Jorginho (47%), Kanté (94%) | Hazard (87%), Higuaín (87%), Hudson-Odoi (89%)
Same as the community’s preference, with David Luiz replacing the (likely) injured Rüdiger. I firmly believe that if Hudson-Odoi and Loftus-Cheek played from the start against Bournemouth, we would have won easily. Hopefully they’ll prove me right on Saturday instead.
Arrizabalaga | Emerson, David Luiz, Christensen, Azpilicueta | Loftus-Cheek, Jorginho, Kanté | Hazard, Higuaín, Hudson-Odoi
COME ON YOU BLUES!!!