The unbeaten run is over and Chelsea have been brought down to earth after almost forgetting how to lose. A reaction is needed against Wolves tonight.
One of the main problems at Goodison Park was the toothless display up front. Either we cook up some fresh ideas or a semi-fit Christian Pulisic could become the solution. This game has the potential to be an intriguing encounter.
THE PEOPLE’S CHOICE
Nothing changed in the WAGNH community’s opinion of the 4-3-3 formation being widely favoured (73%) over the 4-2-3-1 (10%) and the 3-4-3 (9%), but there was an increase in votes for Kepa Arrizabalga (10%) after Édouard Mendy made his first mistake since joining the club. Though he retains his spot, it just goes to show how tough life as a goalkeeper can be.
The back four didn’t see any changes to the usual quartet of Ben Chilwell, Thiago Silva, Kurt Zouna and Reece James, though Silva did receive the fewest votes of the four after a slightly subpar performance over the weekend. Antonio Rüdiger (21%). César Azpiliuceta (20%), and Andreas Christensen (12%) were the only other defenders to receive a double-digit percentage of the vote.
Kai Havertz (47%) had a game to forget at the weekend and it comes as little surprise that he’s dropped by the community, in both midfield and attack. Mateo Kovačić gets the nod alongside the undroppable N’Golo Kanté and Mason Mount, while Jorginho (18%) and Billy Gilmour (27%) wait in the wings.
Timo Werner might be struggling to find his scoring boots at the moment, but he’s still the first name on the team sheet when it comes to attacking players. Due to a lack of options, Christian Pulisic is rushed back into the lineup, though Tino Anjorin (17%) got a decent amount of votes. Olivier Giroud (48%) narrowly edges out Tammy Abraham (45%).
Mendy (88%) | Chilwell (87%), Silva (79%), Zouma (87%), James (90%) | Kovačić (59%), Kanté (96%), Mount (86%) | Pulisic (6%), Giroud (48%), Werner (87%)
MY PREFERRED CHOICE
Kai Havertz is a top, top talent and his current rough patch doesn’t change anything about that. And considering that he recently contracted COVID, his fitness and inconsistency isn’t really a surprise. He’ll need time and patience to get back to his best. Chelsea do need to hand starts on merit so Kovačić starts ahead of Kai.
While I was careful not to rush Pulisic back last time around I’m throwing all that out of the window. The lack of an outright winger against Everton was painfully obvious and we cannot afford another performance like that. We need someone who’s able to threaten and take on his man, and Pulisic’s that guy. Just please don’t break.
I’d firmly stick with Giroud down the middle as Tammy has done little to nothing to warrant a starting spot recently. Giroud was very much starved of service on Saturday, but Pulisic’s return will hopefully solve that problem.
Mendy | Chilwell, Silva, Zouma, James | Mount, Kanté, Kovačić | Werner, Giroud, Pulisic
Lampard may be wedded to his 4-3-3, and with good reason, but if there is a game to switch to a back-three, it’s this one — well, it should’ve been the last one, but we missed that opportunity.
A back-three means we don’t need wingers, of which we have none fully fit, can deploy Werner in his most ideal position, and probably would see us match-up well against Wolves, who just might switch back to a three-back setup as well.
Mendy | Silva, Zouma, Azpilicueta | Chilwell, Kanté, Kovačić, James | Mount | Werner, Giroud