Games are coming thick and fast for Chelsea, and next up are newly promoted West Bromwich Albion after merely two days of rest. The congested schedule will surely force Chelsea into plenty of rotation throughout the season, but that may not be the case today. Lampard made eight changes for the win midweek over Barnsley, but some of those who played well in the 6-0 win could keep their places. After a defeat in the last league game, all that matters is three points!
THE PEOPLE’S CHOICE
The majority of the WAGNH community decided to switch back to the 4-2-3-1 for this game, with the 4-3-3 (25%) a distant second best.
There’s no change at goalkeeper however, with Willy Caballero unsurprisingly keeping his spot ahead of Kepa Arrizabalaga (24%) after a confident and very solid clean sheet against Barnsley, and with this game coming too soon for Édouard Mendy (12%).
In defense, there was no doubt about Thiago Silva, Kurt Zouma, and Reece James getting starts, but the left back position saw practically a three-way tie between Ben Chilwell (37%), Marcos Alonso (34%), and César Azpilicueta (32%) — the percentages add up to greater than 100 thanks to Azpi’s versatility. Even Emerson collected a solid 11%, while outbound Rüdiger was an afterthought already at 4%. Tomori’s good showing midweek got him 31%.
(Ed.note: Christensen was left off the poll accidentally, though presumably he wouldn’t have gotten more votes than either Zouma or Silva after his massive mistake last weekend.)
The double pivot sees the dream team of N’Golo Kanté and Mateo Kovačić line up, with Jorginho (12%) and Barkley (10%) sitting this one out and Ruben Loftus-Cheek (3%) being shown very little confidence after a slow start to the season.
Tammy Abraham’s good performance during the week sees him keep his starting spot, with both Timo Werner and Kai Havertz getting 99% of the vote in support of him. The third spot in the attacking band goes to ever-present Mason Mount, who easily beats out Callum Hudson-Odoi (36%) and Olivier Giroud (5%).
Caballero (63%) | Chilwell (36%), Silva (85%), Zouma (80%), James (89%) | Kanté (97%), Kovačić (86%) | Werner (99%), Havertz (99%), Mount (79%) | Abraham (72%)
I basically went with the same lineup as the community with one exception. Despite playing well these first few games and my love for him as a person and player, I decided to rest Mount and instead give Hudson-Odoi the opportunity to work on his match fitness levels.
I’d expect us to steamroll West Brom with this lineup.
Caballero | Chilwell, Silva, Zouma, James | Kovačić, Kanté | Werner, Havertz, Hudson-Odoi | Abraham