It’s a London derby up next for Chelsea as we take on José Mourinho’s Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane. Thomas Tuchel saw the team play some great football against Burnley and he’ll be hoping we can repeat that performance against a recently poor Spurs side. The formation will be a curious call here.
THE PEOPLE’S CHOICE
The WAGNH community have quickly embraced “Tuchel-Ball”, with a whopping 73% preferring the 3-4-3 ahead of any formation with a back four, such as the 4-2-3-1 (15%) or the 4-3-3 (8%).
At goalkeeper, Édouard Mendy continues to dominate, with 98%.
The back three sees Tuchel’s trusted (so far) trio of Thiago Silva, César Azpilicueta and Antonio Rüdiger start ahead of Andreas Christensen (2%) and Kurt Zouma (36%), though the latter is not quite fully fit anyway as it turns out.
In the middle, Jorginho (26%) gets dropped in favor of N’Golo Kanté, back from injury, to play alongside Mateo Kovačić, while at wingback, Marcos Alonso (44%) and Reece James (42%) miss out in favor of Ben Chilwell and Callum Hudson-Odoi, the former quite narrowly, the latter less so.
Up front, it’s the trio from the second half on Sunday who get the nod, with Mason Mount supporting the speedy duo of Timo Werner and Christian Pulisic in a fluid setup. Hakim Ziyech (52%) comes close to a start; Tammy Abraham (18%), Olivier Giroud (26%), and injury-concern Kai Havertz (22%).
(Ed.note: technically, since Ziyech collected more votes than Chilwell, we could slide Pulisic in as a wing-back, which is how we finished the Wolves match, but that’s probably a bit too bold in this case...)
Mendy (98%) | Rüdiger (65%), Silva (99%), Azpilicueta (75%) | Chilwell (50%), Kovačić (63%), Kanté (82%), Hudson-Odoi (85%) | Pulisic (62%), Werner (62%), Mount (82%)
MY PREFERRED CHOICE
I’m joining the bandwagon this time, and going with a three at the back formation as well. While I’d like to see four at the back going forward, this certainly seems to be working right now, and there’ll be enough time to try out other formations.
So, Alonso over Chilwell. I would have been fine with Alonso leaving in January, but that was under the assumption that we wouldn’t be reverting back to a 3-4-3 anytime soon. However, things have changed. And say what you want, as a wing-back and in a system that allows him to constantly bomb forward, Alonso is effective.
I agree with the community that Kanté needs to start, especially in this system, which should allow the twins to shine. And Kovačić over Jorginho simply because of his brilliant and mazy runs past opposing players, bringing the ball forward and breaking the lines when needed.
Lastly, leaving Mount out of a Chelsea lineup at the moment is just not doable and would only weaken the starting eleven.
Mendy | Rüdiger, Silva, Azpilicueta | Alonso, Kovačić, Kanté, Hudson-Odoi | Pulisic, Werner, Mount