Welcome to 2020! The Blues travel down to the South Coast to face Brighton & Hove Albion. What better way to ring in the new year than an away match, which has been Blues’ preferred method for winning fixtures as of late!
It would make a statement if Chelsea dominated the match from the start akin to the match against Tottenham. To do so, changes in personnel and tactics from last Sunday are warranted.
“Nothing changes on New Year’s Day”
Hopefully that’s not the case for Frank and the Blues, as we kick things off into a new decade. Last Sunday, was for better or worse, a bloody Sunday to remember. The community has voted, and changes are wanted.
THE PEOPLE’S CHOICE
The WAGNH community’s votes voraciously salivate for a four-man backline. Majority of voters have chosen 4-3-3 (55%) over 4-2-3-1 (35%). A very small subset would like to see a three-man backline in the form of the 3-4-3 (8%).
For goalkeeper, Kepa remains the clear favorite at 96%.
As for our backline, Antonio Rüdiger (92%) and César Azpilicueta (90%) were the leading vote-getters. The next two after them were Fikayo Tomori (55%) and Kurt Zouma (54%). With the community choosing a four-man backline, Tomori has to slide over to right back, just as he did on Sunday for a bit, before getting replaced by Tariq Lamptey (45%). Neither Marcos Alonso (11%), who’s possibly injured, nor Emerson (36%) who’s definitely in disastrous form, managed to tip the scales enough to earn a starting spot.
The trio of Jorginho (90%), Mateo Kovačić (82%), and N’Golo Kanté (77%) have been selected to comprise our three-man midfield. We have seen these three together to mixed performances ... but that was 2019. It’s 2020! Forget Bono’s lyrics.
Our attacking trio will be led by Tammy Abraham (94%), who will look to continue his return to goal-scoring form. Willian (76%) and Mason Mount (68%) have been selected to complement Abraham, ahead of Callum Hudson-Odoi (39%) and Christian Pulisic (51%) who has proclaimed himself fit on Twitter, but not enough to sway the voting public.
Arrizabalaga (96%) | Azpilicueta (90%), Zouma (53%), Rüdiger (92%), Tomori (55%) | Kovačić (82%), Jorginho (90%), Kanté (77%) | Willian (76%), Abraham (94%), Mount (68%)
MY PREFERRED LINEUP
Being the away team, one could argue conservative approach is needed, to help reinforce our performance in the defensive phases.
However, Graham Potter has been relatively flexible with his team’s tactical set up as of late, showing various defensive and offensive setups. It would best to go with what’s worked best for us in the past: 4-2-3-1.
We have a fullback/wingback mini-crisis, with injuries to James and Alonso. Lamptey showed enough promise in his debut performance to warrant a deeper look.
Call me crazy, but I am advocating to bench Kanté. Kanté is easily our best player. But to me, as of late, he hasn’t been back to his best from his injury layoff just yet. There are plenty of games left in the season, and rotation/rest will be needed to keep our beautiful Kanté healthy.
Arrizabalaga | Azpilicueta, Rüdiger, Tomori, Lamptey | Kovačić, Jorginho | Pulisic, Mount, Willian | Abraham