After keeping a clean sheet on Tuesday against Sevilla, Chelsea will look to replicate that aspect today against Manchester United. Both teams have had rather patchy starts to the season and both will be desperate not to lose this game. Apart from a single new injury, the entire squad is available, and anything other than a full strength lineup is unacceptable.
THE PEOPLE’S CHOICE
Formation-wise, things were pretty clear-cut as the WAGNH community opted to go with the 4-2-3-1 once more, the 4-3-3 (30%) receiving merely half the support.
It didn’t take long for Petr Čech (4%) to get some well-deserved love in goal, even if that’s unrealistic. Édouard Mendy is unsurprisingly the clear winner. Kepa Arrizabalaga (2%) is out injured, not that he had a shot. (Ed.note: though he did collect more votes than Willy Caballero, who got just 3. Not percent, that’s 0%. Votes.)
The back four pretty much chose itself, with the community favouring the same combination as started on Tuesday: Ben Chilwell, Thiago Silva, Kurt Zouma and Reece James. César Azpilicueta (42%) was the only other defender to get anywhere close enough to pose a threat, with the rest all in single digits other than Fikayo Tomori’s 15%.
There was similar strong conviction in midfield, where Jorginho (27%) is replaced by Mateo Kovačić. N’Golo Kanté’s selection wasn’t up for debate.
Taking his place next to Jorginho on the bench is Mason Mount (33%). Whether or not he actually ends up starting on the bench remains to be seen (highly doubtful), but he sure could use some rest here.
Instead of Mount, the community wants to see Hakim Ziyech start, even if he might not quite feel up to that task yet. Tammy Abraham (8%), Olivier Giroud (5%), and Callum Hudson-Odoi (20%) all remain on the bench, with little doubt about Timo Werner, Christian Pulisic, and Kai Havertz starting.
Mendy (94%) | Chilwell (98%), Silva (95%), Zouma (75%), James (63%) | Kovačić (75%), Kanté (91%) | Pulisic (95%), Havertz (87%), Ziyech (58%) | Werner (95%)
MY PREFERRED CHOICE
Given that both Ziyech and Lampard emphasized in their respective press conferences that the former Ajax man still isn’t quite match fit yet, I feel like this means that CHO should start. He’s got a point to prove and I believe he’s up for the occasion. He has to be.
Otherwise, there wasn’t much to change from the community’s starting eleven as it’s arguably the strongest side we can field right now. Depending on the opposition, one could make a case for Jorginho, but definitely not against a very pacy and agile United attack. It’s simply got to be Kovačić next to Kanté.
Mendy | Chilwell, Silva, Zouma, James | Kovačić, Kanté | Hudson-Odoi, Havertz, Pulisic | Werner