Back to actual, not unnecessary football!
Chelsea host a tricky Southampton side who are managed by former RB Leipzig manager Ralph Hassenhüttl, a fellow Austrian and a very tactically astute coach. Underestimating them has cost other teams in the past, even if Saints have had a mixed start to the season. The Blues will need to bring our A-game here, and our best lineup.
THE PEOPLE’S CHOICE
The 4-2-3-1 (61%) stays the clear favourite of the WAGNH community after the international break, with the 4-3-3 (34%) also receiving a fair share of the votes.
The light-hearted inclusion of the one legged-Mendy or short-term reactivation of Petr Čech option gained a solid share (26%), but Kepa Arrizabalaga (62%) is the one ultimately given the nod, ahead of Willy Caballero (13%).
The vast majority of the votes cast were in before Lampard’s press conference on Friday, which in part explains the community taking no risks with Ben Chilwell’s (46%) potential fitness issues, as well as the start for Thiago Silva, who’s since been confirmed as out. After Zouma’s overwhelming majority, Fikayo Tomori (11%) leads the rest of the center back voting, ahead of Andreas Christensen (7%) and Antonio Rüdiger (6%).
More injury uncertainty sees N’Golo Kanté (47%) rested; Mateo Kovačić and Jorginho start in the double pivot.
The attacking band is that one we’ve all been waiting for: Christian Pulisic, Kai Havertz, Hakim Ziyech — unfortunately the latter’s been confirmed as only fit for bench duty.
Callum Hudson-Odoi (19%) Mason Mount (43%) was next in the voting, earning more votes than both Tammy Abraham (12%) and Olivier Giroud (4%), who thus easily lose out to Timo Werner.
Arrizabalaga (62%) | Azpilicueta (68%), Silva (90%), Zouma (90%), James (65%) | Kovačić (67%), Jorginho (55%) | Pulisic (91%), Havertz (96%), Ziyech (70%) | Werner (94%)
I’m happy to give Kepa another chance after he kept a clean sheet for Spain, but I’m ready to start advocating for Petr Čech to come out of retirement he has another stinker. A retired Čech can only be an improvement ... and he’s younger than Caballero!
I had the luxury of writing this up after Lampard’s press conference so I naturally went with a few changes: Chilwell at left back, Tomori at centre back, Kanté in the middle, and CHO on the wing.
Let’s do this!
Kepa | Chilwell, Tomori, Zouma, James | Kovačić, Kanté | Hudson-Odoi, Havertz, Pulisic | Werner