Chelsea sits in 9th place in the Premier League, and while the season’s only about half way through, today’s match against Fulham seems like a must win. Ruben Loftus-Cheek might be ineligible, but his current team have found some decent form of late, with Chelsea going in the opposite direction. Frank Lampard nearly has a full squad to pick from (minus a suspended N’Golo Kanté), and there are no excuses left.
THE PEOPLE’S CHOICE
The 4-2-3-1 (37%) is gradually gaining favour among the WAGNH community but the 4-3-3 (55%) remains ahead for now. Kepa Arrizabalaga (11%) didn’t do too badly in the FA Cup, but it’s unsurprisingly not enough to displace first-choice Édouard Mendy. In the future, who knows?
No real surprises at the back as the usual suspects are preferred, except at right back where there are a few concerns about Reece James’ (43%) fitness. Antonio Rüdiger (15%), Andreas Christensen (8%), and Fikayo Tomori (5%) will fight it out over the bench spots. For the latter, it may be his last game on the Chelsea roster. Sad times.
With Kanté out, the community did have the choice to make whether Mateo Kovačić, Jorginho, or Billy Gilmour would start at the base of the midfield three. Given his good performance last weekend, it’s perhaps unsurprising that Gilmour would get the nod, collecting nearly as many votes by himself (68%) as the other two combined (75%). Kai Havertz and Mason Mount complete the very young midfield trio, just as in the FA Cup.
Up front, it’s a bit of a mess. (Ed.note: Timo Werner (53%) got more votes than Olivier Giroud (32%) or Tammy Abraham (27%), but got fewer votes than any of our three wingers. None of Ziyech, Hudson-Odoi, or Pulisic are center forwards by trade, but the latter could probably do the best impression of one, just as he did in the DFB-Pokal for BVB against Bayern once, if Lampard were to go that far outside the box in his thinking.)
Mendy (88%) | Chilwell (90%), Silva (88%), Zouma (86%), Azpilicueta (56%) | Mount (74%), Gilmour (68%), Havertz (69%) | Hudson-Odoi (60%), Pulisic (63%), Ziyech (74%)
MY PREFERRED CHOICE
Havertz hasn’t been doing too badly in the last two games; Kovačić, on the other hand, performed poorly against Manchester City so it makes sense to switch the two. The opposition should suit Havertz, and we could only hope that he would once again contribute to Chelsea scoring some goals.
Hudson-Odoi has been our most potent winger over the past few games, so he has to start. I rate Pulisic highly, but he’s been solid, at best. Seeing how Ziyech and Hudson-Odoi worked well against Morecambe, they need to start together once more.
Mendy | Chilwell, Silva, Zouma, Azpilicueta | Mount, Gilmour, Havertz | Ziyech, Werner, Hudson-Odoi