After a few days off and some time to reflect on our recent poor record, Chelsea return to action with an FA Cup match against League Two side Morecambe. While this has been mostly touted as an “academy day”, Frank Lampard is certainly under pressure and underestimating lower league opposition isn’t a good idea in this competition.
So, how much youth is enough?
THE PEOPLE’S CHOICE
The WAGNH community were quite undecided when it came to the formation this time around, with the 4-3-3 (48%) only just beating out the 4-2-3-1 (41%). There was far less doubt about giving Kepa Arrizabalaga (69%) his first start in several months, well ahead of Édouard Mendy (11%), Willy Caballero (10%), and Petr Čech (10%).
Antonio Rüdiger, Fikayo Tomori and Emerson rotate in for Thiago Silva (8%), Kurt Zouma (13%) and Ben Chilwell (8%), while César Azpilicueta (55%) keeps his spot ahead of the two young full backs, Henry Lawrence (25%) and Tino Livramento (43%), who did receive a fair amount of votes but ultimately not enough to beat out the older players.
The midfield was mostly all over the place, but Billy Gilmour did lead all players in votes received. He starts alongside fellow youngster Lewis Bate and the not-so-young Jorginho, with Mateo Kovačić (13%) and Mason Mount (10%) getting a rest.
The attack sees Kai Havertz, Tino Anjorin and Callum Hudson-Odoi lead the vote, ahead of all the regulars, including Tammy Abraham (38%), Olivier Giroud (20%), Hakim Ziyech (24%) and Christian Pulisic (13%). It’s worth mentioning that 16-year-old Jude Soonsup-Bell received the same amount of votes as Timo Werner (27%).
Arrizabalaga (69%) | Emerson (70%), Rüdiger (87%), Tomori (90%), Azpilicueta (55%) | Gilmour (93%), Jorginho (42%), Bate (47%) | Hudson-Odoi (76%), Havertz (77%), Anjorin (72%)
MY PREFERRED CHOICE
While I pledged to never field Havertz on the wing, the limited amount of choices has left me no choice than to do so. I’d also start Giroud down the middle as an obvious choice against lower league opposition. And I’d prefer the ever trusty Caballero ahead of Kepa.
Caballero | Emerson, Rüdiger, Tomori, Azpilicueta | Gilmour, Jorginho, Bate | Anjorin, Giroud, Havertz