Football’s back and today it’s Chelsea turn to finally get the new season underway. There are a lot of new faces around the squad, though most of them are not quite ready for this match, so the choices facing Lampard are fairly familiar. Still, the manager will have to figure how to best utilize his entire squad and keep players happy and healthy, and that quest begins now.
THE PEOPLE’S CHOICE
We had more votes than ever before in the history of this exercise, with close to 5000 responders weighing in on the WAGNH community’s preferred choices for today’s visit to Brighton & Hove Albion.
Just about half of those votes fell in favor of the classic 4-3-3 formation while a surprising majority, 83%, chose Kepa Arrizabalaga over Willy Caballero (17%).
In defense, with both Ben Chilwell and Thiago Silva unavailable, it’s the familiar scene of Rüdiger and Zouma in the middle, with Azpilicueta and Reece James taking their spots on the flanks. Neither Andreas Christensen (27%) nor Fikayo Tomori (17%) came close to claiming a spot. Marcos Alonso’s 52% put him well ahead of Emerson’s 4%, but it was not quite enough to grab a starting spot.
The midfield trio is anchored by N’Golo Kanté, easily the highest vote-getter, and he’ll have his work cut out for him to hold things together behind Mason Mount and Kai Havertz. None of Jorginho (33%), Ruben Loftus-Cheek (27%), nor Ross Barkley (7%) came close to nabbing a spot ahead of those three.
In attack, we have new boy Timo Werner leading the line, with both Tammy Abraham and Olivier Giroud down in the teens. Turbo Timo gets is flanked by fellow speedsters Christian Pulisic and Callum Hudson-Odoi, who are the only out-and-out wingers in the squad at this time.
That’s certainly a lineup full of attacking intent!
Arrizabalaga (83%) | Azpilicueta (82%), Rüdiger (71%), Zouma (84%), James (66%) | Mount (85%), Kanté (99%), Havertz (89%) | Pulisic (88%), Werner (97%), Hudson-Odoi (45%)