It’s been a rough few weeks for Chelsea on the injury front, yet here we are still at the top of the Premier League table. The next opponent is relegation battling Watford who have had their own problems with missing players. Chelsea might have to do without as many as six key players here so it’s time for those on the fringes to step up.
THE PEOPLE’S CHOICE
As always, the WAGNH community went with the options we’ve become accustomed to in goal and formation-wise. The 3-5-2 (16%) faced the usual hopeless fight while Kepa Arrizabalaga’s (6%) lack of opportunities might lead to a (loan) move away sooner rather than later.
Despite being in imperious form, this game gives Thiago Silva (39%) the perfect chance for a breather as Andreas Christensen returns to the starting eleven; he joins Toni Rüdiger and Trevoh Chalobah in the back three. César Azpilicueta gets a rare start and joins fellow country man Marcos Alonso at wing back; Reece James’s (16%) fitness was a concern.
It’s two starts in a row for Ruben Loftus-Cheek, who will continue trying to cement a spot in the absence of N’Golo Kanté and Mateo Kovacic. Jorginho (22%) could potentially miss the tie too so it was a toss up who’d make up the numbers. Mason Mount ended up having to move deeper while Saúl Ñíguez (34%) and Ross Barkley (17%) missed out yet again.
Romelu Lukaku finally returned to action at the weekend and he’s thrown straight into the starting eleven here as Timo Werner (2%) seems to have picked up a knock. It was still a clear decision to rotate Christian Pulisic in for Hakim Ziyech (27%), but it was a much closer call for Callum Hudson-Odoi, who just about had his nose in front of Kai Havertz (47%).
Mendy (94%) | Rüdiger (93%), Christensen (82%), Chalobah (75%) | Alonso (84%), Loftus-Cheek (92%), Mount (83%), Azpilicueta (83%) | Hudson-Odoi (49%), Lukaku (71%), Pulisic (78%)