It’s been a difficult two weeks for Chelsea and things won’t be getting any easier against high-flying West Ham team. With additional news of an injury to Reece James, a win would be a most welcome sight right now. It goes without saying that a full strength lineup is therefore necessary, but who should it include after the recent disappointing displays?
THE PEOPLE’S CHOICE
While swapping personnel might be a possibility, the WAGNH community didn’t entertain the idea of a change in formation just yet as the 4-3-3 easily beats out the 4-2-3-1 (18%), the 3-4-3 (11%), and the 4-4-2 (8%).
Édouard Mendy may have been (comparatively) slightly shaky in the last two games, but he’s still undoubtedly Chelsea’s best man for the job between the sticks ahead of Kepa (7%).
César Azpilicueta (30%) is certain to make a return due to James’ injury, but the community had mostly already voted before confirmation of it, leading to the latter starting. Otherwise, the back four saw no changes. Toni Rüdiger’s 15% was the highest vote of the out-of-favour brigade.
There was similarly no real rotation in midfield. Kai Havertz (36%) dropping to the bench won’t come as a surprise to many, with Mateo Kovačić rotating in instead. Mason Mount and N’Golo Kanté remain obvious picks ahead of Jorginho (17%) and Billy Gilmour (20%), though I’d expect to see one of the two introduced at some point off the bench.
The lack of options up front has seen Chelsea’s attacking threat diminish and none of the attacking band have been able to make a palpable impact. Regardless, Olivier Giroud, Timo Werner and Christian Pulisic start once again — though Tammy Abraham (36%) doesn’t lose out by much. Callum Hudson-Odoi might actually have a chance of playing as well after his recent return to training, but he was not available for selection for this exercise.
It is worth mentioning that Tino Anjorin received a very solid 14% of the vote and he might actually be a good shout, if our attacking options remain depleted. Anything’s better than Werner or Havertz on the wing, ey?
Mendy (92%) | Chilwell (91%), Silva (89%), Zouma (88%), James (78%) | Kovačić (63%), Kanté (98%), Mount (84%) | Pulisic (92%), Giroud (49%), Werner (77%)
MY PREFERRED CHOICE
We need to find our scoring boots; it’s pretty simple. While we have been fairly shaky at times this season, we always posed a constant threat on our opponents’ net. This simply hasn’t been the case of late and our lack of actual wingers has contributed greatly to this. The answer is simple: if deemed fit, Hudson-Odoi has to start.
With West Ham probably smelling a good chance for an upset, hitting them quick and hard is the answer here, especially as their centre backs aren’t particularly blessed in the pace department. A combination of Hudson-Odoi, Pulisic and Werner down the middle would wreak havoc, so that’s what I’m going with.
Mendy | Chilwell, Silva, Zouma, Azpilicueta | Mount, Kanté, Kovačić | Hudson-Odoi, Werner, Pulisic