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Fans’ choice Chelsea lineup against Manchester United: Abraham, Kovačić, Zouma to start Lampard’s first game

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Manchester United vs. Chelsea, Premier League: Predicted, preferred lineups

Manchester United v Chelsea - Premier League Photo by Simon Stacpoole/Offside/Getty Images

The new is here, and Chelsea take on Premier League rivals Manchester United at Old Trafford. There have been quite a few changes in personnel over the summer and it will be important for Frank Lampard to figure out his best starting lineup as soon as possible.


THE PREDICTED LINEUP

A lot may have changed in more or less every other area on the pitch, at goalkeeper, things have not. Kepa Arrizabalaga is the definite starter and will remain so under Lampard.

With David Luiz gone and Antonio Rüdiger not being rushed back into action, Kurt Zouma and Andreas Christensen look to be Chelsea’s centre-back pairing of choice, with César Azpilicueta and Emerson starting at right and left back, respectively, just as they have in the most recent friendlies.

N’Golo Kanté may have played only 20 minutes in preseason, but if he is deemed fit enough then I can see Lampard throwing him into the mix immediately and playing beside Jorginho. If not, Mateo Kovačić will be called upon instead. While Kanté and Kovačić could be a possible pairing in the future, Jorginho seems to have the upper hand at the moment.

In attack, Tammy Abraham looks likely to retain his preseason spot at centre forward with the trio of Ross Barkley, new boy Christian Pulisic, and Pedro starting behind him. A case can be made for Mason Mount getting the nod ahead of Barkley, but that seems unlikely for now.

Overall, this is a lineup very few of us would have been expecting at the end of last season, especially up front. Let’s hope it’s as effective as it is surprising.

4-2-3-1
Arrizabalaga | Emerson, Zouma, Christensen, Azpilicueta | Jorginho, Kanté | Pulisic, Barkley, Pedro | Abraham


THE PEOPLE’S CHOICE

Over 3000 responses from the WAGNH community landed on just about the same lineup, with the exception of Kovačić favoured over Kanté (31%) due to fitness reasons. Otherwise, there was very little uncertainty. The centre forward position was the only contested area, with Olivier Giroud (33%) making a strong case. Mason Mount (32%) also received a respectable amount of votes.

4-2-3-1 (81%)
Arrizabalaga (99%) | Emerson (84%), Zouma (97%), Christensen (97%), Azpilicueta (98%) | Jorginho (86%), Kovačić (77%) | Pulisic (96%), Barkley (81%), Pedro (83%) | Abraham (58%)


MY PREFERRED LINEUP

My preferred lineup unsurprisingly aligns with the predicted and preferred lineups. The only difference is that I’m hoping for Kanté to be deemed fit enough to play as we’re simply a much better team with him in the team. The centre forward conundrum is also a bit of a headache, but Abraham narrowly gets the nod ahead of Michy Batshuayi for me.

4-2-3-1
Arrizabalaga | Emerson, Zouma, Christensen, Azpilicueta | Jorginho, Kanté | Pulisic, Barkley, Pedro | Abraham

COME ON YOU BLUES!!!