After the disappointing exit from the Carabao Cup, Chelsea have something to prove in the last game ahead of a two-week international break. Quite surprisingly, Crystal Palace and Roy Hodgson have enjoyed a great start to the season, winning two of their first three games. This will be anything but easy.
THE PEOPLE’S CHOICE
About half the voters of the WAGNH community decided to go with the 4-2-3-1 formation while the 4-3-3 (41%) was also a popular choice.
In goal, there was no contest, with Édouard Mendy well and truly arrived, receiving a whopping 96% of the votes. Kepa Arrizabalaga (3%) and Willy Caballero (1%) had absolutely no chance.
Despite plenty of options to choose from, there was also little debate about who should be in the back four. Kurt Zouma and Ben Chilwell retain their spots from midweek, and are joined by the returning Thiago Silva and Reece James. Only César Azpilicueta (40%) put up somewhat of a fight, the rest didn’t get past the 23% mark.
The N’Golo Kanté and Mateo Kovačić double pivot is given another shot after being underwhelming against West Brom. Both Jorginho (14%) and Ruben Loftus-Cheek (4%) have question marks over their immediate Chelsea futures, while Ross Barkley (1%) left on loan in the meantime. Not a lot of options here.
The attacking band sees Kai Havertz lead all players in voting, closely followed by Timo Werner who moves back to the center, ahead of both Tammy Abraham (51%) and Olivier Giroud (8%). With question marks over the fitness of Hakim Ziyech (21%) and Christian Pulisic, Callum Hudson-Odoi and a tired-looking Mason Mount start on the wings yet again.
Mendy (96%) | Chilwell (95%), Silva (79%), Zouma (74%), James (68%) | Kanté (97%), Kovačić (69%) | Hudson-Odoi (68%), Havertz (97%), Mount (65%) | Werner (97%)
I went with Tomori in defense, instead of Thiago Silva, to keep the partnership with Zouma together, and thus maybe create a bit of consistency. This lineup should be more than capable to get the job done (and we certainly shouldn’t be rushing Pulisic back).
Having said that, I do hope Mount has already been able to process Wednesday to a degree as we’ll need him to be 100% focused here.
Mendy | Chilwell, Tomori, Zouma, James | Kovačić, Kanté | Hudson-Odio, Havertz, Mount | Werner