The international break is over and it’s finally back to business for Chelsea. First up are a Jack Grealish-less Aston Villa, who are still likely to cause a big challenge.
THE PEOPLE’S CHOICE
Édouard Mendy starts in goal ahead of Kepa Arrizabalaga (5%) as always, and the WAGNH community also continues to see no reason to change the formation, with the 3-4-3 dominating the vote ahead of the 3-5-2 (17%) and the rest.
With Reece James suspended, César Azpilicueta is the logical choice at right wing-back, with Ben Chilwell at slotting in ahead of Marcos Alonso (43%) on the left. Similarly, with the status of Thiago Silva (5%) unknown, the back three of Andreas Christensen, Trevoh Chalobah and Toni Rüdiger picked itself.
New addition Saúl Ñíguez (41%) doesn’t immediately make it into the starting eleven despite N’Golo Kanté’s (7%) absence, which means that “Jovačić” start again just as against Arsenal. Ruben Loftus-Cheek (4%) and Ross Barkley (1%) fight it out for a spot on the bench.
Romelu Lukaku (48%) misses out due to the uncertainty surrounding his thigh scan — though he should be okay — so as a result, the trio of Mason Mount, Kai Havertz and Timo Werner get the vote, with Hakim Ziyech (45%) and Callum Hudson-Odoi (34%) as back-ups. Christian Pulisic is out with injury.
Mendy (95%) | Rüdiger (96%), Christensen (93%), Chalobah (70%) | Chilwell (58%), Jorginho (85%), Kovačić (70%), Azpilicueta (86%) | Mount (74%), Werner (63%), Havertz (71%)
MY PREFERRED CHOICE
I have hope that Thiago Silva will be able to play, and can deputize for Christensen who had featured in all three international games and could use a brief rest.
I’m sure Lukaku would’ve won the vote if we had the confirmation from Tuchel regarding his status earlier, so I’m just going to go ahead and say that he definitely needs to be in the lineup.
It’s also time for Hakim Ziyech. After staying at Cobham during the international break, he’s fresh and needs to start get back to the brilliance he showed in the Super Cup before getting injured. He should do well in unlocking Villa’s tight defense, and serve some juicy balls on a platter for Lukaku and Werner.
COME ON, YOU BLUES!!!
Mendy | Rüdiger, Silva, Chalobah | Chilwell, Kovačić, Jorginho, Azpilicueta | Havertz, Lukaku, Ziyech