Chelsea aren’t in a good spot at the moment so taking on one of the Premier League’s top teams in Manchester City won’t be easy, by any means. Despite City missing five players due to COVID, Pep Guardiola’s side are once again their dominant selves after a patchy start to the season. Frank Lampard will have his work cut out, but can count on nearly a full squad.
THE PEOPLE’S CHOICE
The 4-2-3-1 (27%) continues to represent a solid second choice for the WAGNH community, but the 4-3-3 prevailed easily once more. The 4-4-2 (8%) and 3-4-3 (6%) remain well off the pace. Similarly, Édouard Mendy’s 92% dwarfed Kepa Arrizabalaga’s 6%.
Due to the confirmed absence of Reece James, the back four choose themselves with Ben Chilwell, Thiago Silva, Kurt Zouma and César Azpilicueta. As the January transfer window looms, we can expect some of Antonio Rüdiger (10%), Andreas Christensen (6%), Emerson (6%), Fikayo Tomori (3%), or Marcos Alonso (2%) to leave very soon.
Kai Havertz (37%) doesn’t make the preferred lineup, and neither does Jorginho (12%) nor Billy Gilmour (18%). As such, the trio of Mason Mount, N’Golo Kanté and Mateo Kovačić start. I wonder who of the three would remain, if Lampard were to switch things up and go with a double pivot for this tie.
Hakim Ziyech (28%) is finally (probably) available, but the community don’t want to rush him back. So the attacking band ends up being Callum Hudson-Odoi, Christian Pulisic ... and Timo Werner! Werner is the surprise inclusion ahead of both Tammy Abraham (21%) and Olivier Giroud (38%), which gives us a brand new attacking combination that certainly offers blistering speed and plenty of skills, if not many goals (recently).
Mendy (92%) | Chilwell (93%), Silva (94%), Zouma (90%), Azpilicueta (84%) | Mount (79%), Kanté (97%), Kovačić (53%) | Pulisic (95%), Werner (56%), Hudson-Odoi (59%)
MY PREFERRED CHOICE
The goalkeeper and defense pick themselves, and the midfield probably needs to be the way it is, as I’m not sure that a low on confidence Havertz would do too well against a rampant City. Up front, you can certainly make an argument for Tammy or Giroud, but given where we currently are, maybe Chelsea need this change of pace.
So I’m not one to argue with the lineup picked by the community. I’d also like to see Lampard give that rapid, even scary, attacking three a chance from the start, though I believe Ziyech might end up being preferred to Hudson-Odoi, provided he’s fit enough.
Mendy | Chilwell, Silva, Zouma, Azpilicueta | Mount, Kanté, Kovačić | Pulisic, Werner, Hudson-Odoi