Chelsea’s next game sees the team travel up north to Newcastle, where the Blues have had a few difficulties over the past few years. With rivals for a spot in the top 4 potentially dropping points in some big games this weekend, it’s imperative that Chelsea secure all three points. Nothing else than a full strength line up is needed.
THE PEOPLE’S CHOICE
In contrast to Chelsea’s last game, the WAGNH community voted in favor of the 4-3-3 over the 4-2-3-1 (42%) this time around — not that the difference is too big in the actual way we play.
The back four is the same as Lampard selected against Burnley with Cesar Azpilicueta, Andreas Christensen, Antonio Rüdiger, and the magnificent Reece James all starting. Surprisingly, both Kurt Zouma (25%) and Fikayo Tomori (38%) were quite clearly less favoured, while Emerson’s (13%) and Marcos Alonso’s (2%) omissions came as less of a surprise.
A trio of Jorginho, Mateo Kovačić, and Mason Mount were chosen in the middle of the park as the recent good performance by Ross Barkley (36%) wasn’t enough to sway the community. Due to Frank Lampard not having given an update on N’golo Kanté’s injury (16%), the amount of votes for him were understandably low.
With Christian Pulisic out until the start of February and Pedro (5%) stuck at the bottom of the pile, Willian and a somewhat rejuvenated Callum Hudson-Odoi should be starting the next few games. As always, Tammy Abraham joins them in spearheading the attack, ahead of back-up striker Michy Batshuayi (1%).
Of all the lineup votes over the past few weeks and months, this was one of the most clear cut. Apart from Christensen, every player received at least around 80 per cent of the vote.
Arrizabalaga (99%) | Azpilicueta (87%), Rüdiger (92%), Christensen (50%), James (96%) | Mount (79%), Jorginho (94%), Kovačić (81%) | Willian (94%), Abraham (99%), Hudson-Odoi (93%)
MY PREFERRED LINEUP
I’m inclined to agree with the majority of the community, apart from choosing Antonio Rüdiger, whom I replaced with Fikayo Tomori. I see him working rather well against Newcastle’s pacey attackers and would like to see how he works together with Christensen.
Arrizabalaga | Azpilicueta, Tomori, Christensen, James | Jorginho, Kovačić, Mount | Hudson-Odoi, Abraham, Willian
COME ON, YOU BLUES!!!