Chelsea travel to North London to seal the deal against Tottenham Hotspur in the second leg of the Carabao Cup semi-final. More returning players and some much need rest for a few first team players mean that the Blues should have a relatively and reasonably fresh side to pick from, for a change.
THE PEOPLE’S CHOICE
While the back-four remains a newly viable alternative, more than half the WAGNH Community continue to prefer the nowadays traditional 3-4-3 over the 3-5-2 (14%) and 4-2-3-1 (14%). Meanwhile in goal, the vote reverts to Kepa Arrizabalaga in Édouard Mendy’s absence, after Marcus Bettinelli’s (3%) debut over the weekend.
Given the lack of options, the back three pretty much picked itself in Antonio Rüdiger, Andreas Christensen and Malang Sarr. Thiago Silva has returned to training and might be available for selection, but nothing’s certain yet and the news broke late. Marcos Alonso and César Azpilicueta play wing-backs as rising star Lewis Hall (23%) and Xavier Simons (4%) provide cover from the world’s best academy.
It’s the same situation with N’Golo Kanté as with Silva, which means a start for the dynamic duo of Jorginho and Mateo Kovačić. Saúl Ñíguez (47%) surprised in a positive way in the first leg, though he nevertheless rotates out to join Ruben Loftus-Cheek (5%) on the bench.
It was a close call, but Timo Werner manages to edge out Hakim Ziyech (50%) by a handful of votes, and Christian Pulisic (49%) and Kai Havertz (40%) by a few more, to the third spot in the attacking band next to more clear starters Romelu Lukaku and Mason Mount. Callum Hudson-Odoi (11%), who had an slight injury concern over the weekend, and Ross Barkley (7%) who had a major form concern, play backups at best.
Arrizabalaga (97%) | Rüdiger (89%), Sarr (64%), Christensen (88%) | Alonso (74%), Jorginho (74%), Kovačić (80%), Azpilicueta (89%) | Werner (51%), Lukaku (80%), Mount (67%)