After overcome the challenge of Atlético Madrid on Tuesday, Thomas Tuchel and his men take on another heavy-weight in Manchester United, this time at Stamford Bridge. This game will have major implications for Chelsea’s quest for Champions League football next season, so it has must-win written all over it.
THE PEOPLE’S CHOICE
You don’t want to change too many things in these kinds of games, so it wasn’t surprising to see the WAGNH community decide to go with the usual 3-4-3. The 4-3-3 and the 4-2-3-1 never stood a chance at 7% each, though they still did better than Kepa Arrizabalaga (4%) against Édouard Mendy at goalkeeper.
The usual trio of Antonio Rüdiger, Andreas Christensen and César Azpilicueta start at the back, as Kurt Zouma remains the odd one out. Ben Chilwell may not get the nod from Tuchel, but he does get the nod here ahead of Marcos Alonso (41%). On the other flank, Reece James (54%) misses out by just a few votes, with Callum Hudson-Odoi dropping to wing-back from the front three (as Giroud just edges James in total votes).
Jorginho (46%) had another good game during the week, but he’s yet to convince the voters. So, it’s N’Golo Kanté who joins Mateo Kovačić, who continues to also excel under Tuchel. Billy Gilmour (4%) remains a distant backup option.
After scoring the winning goal against Atlético Madrid, it’s no surprise that Giroud gets rewarded with a start ahead of Tammy Abraham (14%) and Kai Havertz (26%). Timo Werner and Mason Mount flank either side of Giroud, with Christian Pulisic (36%) and Hakim Ziyech (15%) having to make do with a bench spot..
Mendy (94%) | Rüdiger (87%), Christensen (84%), Azpilicueta (83%) | Chilwell (54%), Kanté (67%), Kovačić (79%), Hudson-Odoi (66%) | Werner (75%), Giroud (55%), Mount (88%)
MY PREFERRED CHOICE
I’m all about rewarding players and Giroud’s goal alone deserves a start. He also just has a knack for scoring in the all-important games (Baku says hello), and I’ve got a feeling he might very well do it once more. Also, I’d like to see Havertz come on at center forward at some point.
I’m also fully on board with the decision to push Hudson-Odoi back to wing-back. I adore James and I think he’s Chelsea’s best right back by a country mile. However, at wing-back, Hudson-Odoi just gives you that little bit of extra threat and guile. I think that will suit our approach here quite well.
The only two changes I would make are Jorginho for Kanté and Alonso for Chilwell. It’s bonkers to think that Alonso is our best option at left wing-back right now, but here we are. Chilwell deserves another shot relatively soon, but I’d rather stick to my guns in a game of this magnitude.
Mendy | Rüdiger, Christensen, Azpilicueta | Alonso, Jorginho, Kovačić, Hudson-Odoi | Werner, Giroud, Mount