Every Champions League game represents a different challenge, even if the group stage is less difficult than the knockout games, and Chelsea will need to take this fixture seriously as well. The question is, how much will Frank Lampard rotate ... and how much does the community think he should?
THE PEOPLE’S CHOICE
There were some very close calls among the WAGNH community this time around, but the formation wasn’t one of them. The 4-3-3 (835) easily beat out 4-2-3-1 (13%) and 3-4-3 (2%) once again.
Similarly, it was pretty clear that Kepa Arrizabalaga (4%) had no chance against Édouard Mendy (95%).
Reece James (55%) came very close to retaining his place in the side, but he marginally loses out to César Azpilicueta and Ben Chilwell. The other two fullbacks, Emerson (22%) and Marcos Alonso (5%) were not close. Neither were the challengers to Thiago Silva and Kurt Zouma, with Antonio Rüdiger (26%), Fikayo Tomori (13%), and Andreas Christensen (11%) getting nowhere near them.
No changes in midfield with Mateo Kovačić, N’Golo Kanté and Mason Mount all retaining their spots, ahead of Jorginho (40%) and the returning Kai Havertz (48%) who travelled with the team, but may not be fully match fit just yet after being out for a few weeks.
Up front, Hakim Ziyech ended up receiving the most votes of any non-goalkeeper, and rightfully so. But opposite him, it’s Callum Hudson-Odoi instead of Timo Werner, with Tammy Abraham keeping his spot in attack. Neither Werner (56%) nor Olivier Giroud (34%) lagged far behind however, with many preferring a bit more rotation.
Mendy (95%) | Chilwell (62%), Silva (80%), Zouma (73%), Azpilicueta (57%) | Kovačić (72%), Kanté (73%), Mount (68%) | Hudson-Odoi (57%), Abraham (60%), Ziyech (90%)
MY PREFERRED CHOICE
I don’t want to rush Thiago Silva back into the lineup after all the playing and traveling he’s done recently. Managing his fitness properly might just prove to be the decisive factor for the serious success this season, and I’m sure Fikayo Tomori is perfectly capable of deputizing here. Starting Silva in every Premier League game is key, so I’d rest him for the weekend (Spurs!).
Otherwise, there really aren’t many different choices to make. The midfield has to stay as it is seeing how it’s building some nice momentum. Hudson-Odoi undoubtedly deserves a start (if only in the interest of Werner) and Azpilicueta would do well to get some minutes under his belt, too.
I briefly thought about bringing in Emerson for Chilly B, but the England international has simply been too good. Also, too much rotation might do more harm than good considering that a win here would most likely secure us qualification to the knockout stages.
Mendy | Chilwell, Tomori, Zouma, Azpilicueta | Kovačić, Kanté, Mount | Hudson-Odoi, Abraham, Ziyech