While Chelsea’s next fixture seems easy on paper the stakes couldn’t be higher. Our remaining schedule is packed with big names and a win here against Fulham would go a long way towards securing Champions League football for next year. Finding the right amount of rotation will be key.
THE PEOPLE’S CHOICE
As usual, the choice of formation couldn’t have been more clear cut from the WAGNH community with the 3-4-3 easily disposing of the 4-2-3-1 (7%) and 4-3-3 (6%). An argument could be made for Kepa Arrizabalaga (26%) over Édouard Mendy, but the majority picked the safer route by going with the latter.
Having learned of the doubtful status for Antonio Rüdiger (42%) halfway through the voting, César Azpilicueta only narrowly edges him out to get the nod alongside more clear-cut choices Andreas Christensen and Kurt Zouma. Thiago Silva (25%) gets a well-deserved rest.
N’Golo Kanté (45%) also gets a rest, but there is no such luxury for Jorginho. He partners young Billy Gilmour trying to stake a claim in the team for the future, as Mateo Kovačić remains out. On the wings, Marcos Alonso gets the nod ahead of Ben Chilwell (22%) but Reece James keeps his spot.
Plenty of rotation up front as well, with Callum Hudson-Odoi leading all forwards in voting, and getting the nod alongside Kai Havertz and Hakim Ziyech, with Tammy Abraham (55%) just missing out. Mason Mount (36%), Christian Pulisic (19%), and Timo Werner (16%) get a rest while Olivier Giroud (17%) remains an afterthought.
Mendy (73%) | Zouma (85%), Christensen (86%), Azpilicueta (45%) | Alonso (70%), Jorginho (60%), Gilmour (72%), James (70%) | Hudson-Odoi (73%), Havertz (73%), Ziyech (70%)
MY PREFERRED CHOICE
It goes without saying that Chelsea must under no circumstances take this game lightly and too much rotation might do more harm than good. Finding the right balance won’t be easy. The good news is that we have incredible squad depth and things should hopefully work out — one way or another.
The one change I did make from the community’s choice was Abraham instead of Havertz. We’ve tried several things up top and they’ve only partially come off; during this crucial time of the season, w needs a centre forward to step up and this game might very well represent the perfect platform for the over-looked striker. Given Werner’s recent troubles, what do we have to lose?
Mendy | Zouma, Christensen, Azpilicueta | Alonso, Gilmour, Jorginho, James | Ziyech, Abraham, Hudson-Odoi