After a famous win against Liverpool in the FA Cup, Chelsea now take on the other side of Merseyside as Everton visit Stamford Bridge. The Toffees are never an easy opponent and now they even have former Blues coach Carlo Ancelotti to guide and inspire them.
THE PEOPLE’S CHOICE
The WAGNH community has stayed with the 3-4-3 once more as the 4-2-3-1 (21%) and 4-3-3 (29%) remain second and third choices. But other than the formation, this vote was largely one-sided, with options limited in several positions due to the team’s many injuries.
In goal, Kepa Arrizabalaga has never lost the faith of the electorate, but it remains to be seen whether Frank Lampard agrees or starts Willy Caballero (4%) instead.
With Andreas Christensen’s (18%) status uncertain before being pronounced fit and Fikayo Tomori’s (37%) recent poor performance against Bournemouth, the back three of Antonio Rüdiger, Kurt Zouma, and César Azpilicueta start, just as they did in the FA Cup albeit as part of a back-four.
Mateo Kovačić is a massive loss for Chelsea and Jorginho’s suspension doesn’t make things easier. Therefore there’s not much other choice than to go with a pivot of Ross Barkley and Billy Gilmour, with Marcos Alonso and Reece James starting at wing-back ahead of Emerson (3%). Gilmour led all players in number of votes.
Up top, Tammy Abraham will be out until the end of the month and Olivier Giroud should therefore continue to fill the void ahead of Michy Batshuayi (8%). Christian Pulisic (6%) may be close to a return and Willian (12%) possibly fit, but it wasn’t enough to sway the community with Pedro and Mason Mount winning the vote overwhelmingly.
Arrizabalaga (95%) | Rüdiger (86%), Zouma (66%), Azpilicueta (86%) | Alonso (90%), Barkley (94%), Gilmour (98%), James (89%) | Pedro (91%), Giroud (97%), Mount (97%)
MY PREFERRED LINEUP
I’ve once again gone with a back four as I don’t trust in the 3-4-3 performing consistently well for Chelsea, especially given the long injury list. Christensen comes in as he’s been deemed fit enough to partner Kurt Zouma, who deserves a shot after a great performance in the FA Cup. Due to a lack of options, I’ve also gone with Marcos Alonso on the left-wing. Take that, Everton!
Arrizabalaga | Azpilicueta, Christensen, Zouma, James | Gilmour, Barkley | Alonso, Mount, Pedro | Giroud
COME ON, YOU BLUES!!!