After two encouraging displays that ended in defeats, Frank Lampard and his men will be looking to secure all three points in the first home game of the season, against Leicester City. The 2015-16 champions have put together a very good squad over the past few years, and it will be interesting to see how Chelsea approach this game.
THE PREDICTED LINEUP
Kepa Arrizabalaga is one of the best performers at the moment and we will continue to count on the young goalkeeper.
Andreas Christensen, who was forced off on Wednesday with a cramp, and Antonio Rüdiger, who was only fit enough for the bench in the same game, could both miss out. If Christensen isn’t fit, I’d expect Fikayo Tomori to partner Kurt Zouma at centre back with César Azpilicueta and Emerson continuing to start at fullback.
The three-man midfield worked wonders against a very good Liverpool side on Wednesday so I wouldn’t be surprised to see us go with it once more. Whether in a two or a three, N’Golo Kanté should be starting if he’s fit; if not, it may force Lampard to resort to Jorginho and Mateo Kovačić, with perhaps Mason Mount getting a shot in a slightly deeper central midfield role.
Olivier Giroud played well in the Super Cup, but I believe we’ll see Tammy Abraham start yet again as he looks to open his senior account for Chelsea. On the wings, new boy Christian Pulisic is an absolute must while Willian could finally return to the starting eleven and provide some rotation.
Arrizabalaga | Emerson, Zouma, Tomori, Azpilicueta (c) | Kovačić, Jorginho, Kanté | Pulisic, Abraham, Willian
THE PEOPLE’S CHOICE
There were no real surprises in the WAGNH community’s choices, picking almost the same lineup as the one Frank Lampard went with on Wednesday with the exceptions of Andreas Christensen (32%), whose injury scare was enough to sway the voters, and Olivier Giroud (39%), who narrowly lost out to Abraham. Pedro continues to be clearly favoured over Willian (18%) despite the latter’s expected return from injury. Even though it was close, Mount (54%) and Barkley (35%) also remain on the bench for now.
Arrizabalaga (99%) | Emerson (74%), Zouma (86%), Tomori (54%), Azpilicueta (93%) | Kovačić (59%), Jorginho (82%), Kanté (89%) | Pulisic (95%), Abraham (49%), Pedro (61%)
MY PREFERRED LINEUP
Mateo Kovačić has undoubtedly improved compared to last season, but I really want to see Mount given minutes in a three-man midfield, and I think this game would be a perfect opportunity for that. Also, I’d like to see — and I can’t believe I’m saying this — Willian return instead of Pedro. Otherwise, I concur with the community’s choices.
Arrizabalaga | Emerson, Zouma, Tomori, Azpilicueta | Jorginho, Kanté, Mount | Pulisic, Abraham, Willian