As the international break comes to an end, it’s finally back to business for Chelsea as the Blues look to continue the unbeaten run. West Brom has been struggling in the relegation zone for more or less the entire season, but a 3-3 draw back in September shows that they shouldn’t be underestimated.
There were several injury concerns prior to Thomas Tuchel’s press conference — thanks, international break! — but thankfully it looks like everyone is fit and available for selection except N’Golo Kanté.
THE PEOPLE’S CHOICE
The WAGNH community picked up where we left off two weeks ago, going with the 3-4-3 formation as has become customary under Thomas Tuchel. The 4-2-3-1 (11%) was the closest alternative, though still closer than Kepa Arrizabalaga (6%) got to Édouard Mendy in goal.
Thiago Silva (35%) is finally available for selection again, but the good run of Antonio Rüdiger, Andreas Christensen and César Azpilicueta means that there’s no need to rush him back. Kurt Zouma (37%) had played well recently as well, but was unable to unseat the standard three. A fresh and ready Marcos Alonso (54%) pips Ben Chilwell (42%) to the left wing-back spot while Reece James retains his on the right.
The double pivot picked itself due to N’Golo Kanté’s injury, though Billy Gilmour (42%) actually came very close to beating out Jorginho (43%), losing out by barely a per cent.
Mason Mount (36%) and Callum Hudson-Odoi (16%) are fit and ready to start, but the aforementioned question marks about their fitness saw them lose out to Kai Havertz, Christian Pulisic and Hakim Ziyech, with Timo Werner (62%) trailing just behind that trio.
Mendy (93%) | Rüdiger (68%), Christensen (68%), Azpilicueta (80%) | Alonso (54%), Kovačić (94%), Jorginho (43%), James (82%) | Pulisic (67%), Havertz (70%), Ziyech (65%)
MY PREFERRED CHOICE
Gareth Southgate didn’t do us any favours by persisting with Mount despite his knock, and despite Tuchel confirming him fit, I think he certainly needs a breather. If necessary, bring him on from the bench; but given the quality we have, we should be able to beat West Brom without him.
Otherwise I don’t have anything to add, as I agree that the community’s picks are the best choices we can make for this game.
Mendy | Rüdiger, Christensen, Azpilicueta | Alonso, Jorginho, Kovačić, James | Pulisic, Havertz, Ziyech