The Champions League is back at Stamford Bridge and Chelsea have everything to prove after yet another disappointing result at the weekend. A lengthy injury list had plagued the squad, but Frank Lampard will (probably) finally have almost everyone to his disposal against the Europa League-winners, and he’ll need them.
THE PEOPLE’S CHOICE
Frank Lampard clearly sees the 4-2-3-1 formation as the way to go forward and the WAGNH community remains in agreement, with the 4-3-3 (30%) coming up short by quite a margin.
Never has the goalkeeping position been so evenly split, as Willy Caballero (39%) just about edges out the one-legged Édouard Mendy (32%) and the two-legged Kepa Arrizabalaga (29%). It says a lot when Kepa receives fewer votes than a supposedly still injured player.
Thiago Silva returns at center back and pairs up with Kurt Zouma, who took a hit after his costly error against Southampton, but is still clearly preferred to any of the other options (Fikayo Tomori’s 23% highest of the rest). Ben Chilwell also starts after impressing recently, having made Emerson (3%) and Marco Alonso (2%) appear like a distant memory.
The midfield pairing sees Jorginho (38%) dropped for Mateo Kovačić, who joins N’Golo Kanté in the double pivot. Mason Mount (30%) is rested.
It comes as no surprise that the quartet of Christian Pulisic, Kai Havertz, Hakim Ziyech and Timo Werner is chosen once more, given how strong Sevilla is. While Lampard might end up calling on him, the community sees Callum Hudson-Odoi (21%) starting on the bench together with Tammy Abraham (10%) and Olivier Giroud (5%).
Caballero (39%) | Chilwell (93%), Silva (94%), Zouma (64%), James (59%) | Kovačić (67%), Kanté (83%) | Pulisic (91%), Havertz (90%), Ziyech (70%) | Werner (91%)
MY PREFERRED CHOICE
I don’t think I can cope with watching Kepa in goal in another game. If Mendy really is too much of a doubt (ed.note: which he may not be!), then go with Caballero. Otherwise, throw in Chelsea’s new goalkeeper without hesitation.
I would also let Hudson-Odoi start here, though I understand if Ziyech and Pulisic need the game time to get back to full speed. Otherwise, I went with the same lineup as the community.
Mendy | Chilwell, Silva, Zouma, James | Kovačić, Kanté | Hudson-Odoi, Havertz, Pulisic | Werner