While all the talk has revolved around a certain striker over the past few days, there is actually a game to play today as Chelsea take on Liverpool at Stamford Bridge. More returning players should help pick a somewhat competitive starting eleven, but nevertheless, some big question marks remain in several positions.
THE PEOPLE’S CHOICE
It’s been a while since the 3-4-3 formation dropped below 70%, but the WAGNH community sticks to it by a wide margin still ahead of the 3-5-2 (18%) and the 4-3-3 (10%). On the other hand, there’s no question at goalkeeper, with Édouard Mendy getting the nod one last time before leaving for the Africa Cup of Nations; Kepa Arrizabalaga (5%) can start warming up.
Antonio Rüdiger is the first name on the team sheet with a most impressive 99.9% of the vote — 738 of the 739 ballots cast. He’s joined by Trevoh Chalobah and César Azpilicueta in the back three. Andreas Christensen (15%) and Malang Sarr (17%) collect the remaining the votes with the news about Thiago Silva’s return to the training coming after the majority of the votes were cast (he got about 3% on write-ins).
The continuing lack of alternatives at wing-back sees Marcos Alonso and an out-of-position Christian Pulisic start.
N’Golo Kanté and Jorginho make up the usual dynamic duo in midfield as Mateo Kovačić (63%) is the one who misses out. The likes of Saúl Niguez (2%) and Harvey Vale (3%) receive minimal attention while Ruben Loftus-Cheek (1%) remains out with injury.
Surprisingly (or not), Romelu Lukaku retains his spot up front despite the controversy. The lineup is completed by Mason Mount and Kai Havertz after Callum Hudson-Odoi (46%) drops to the bench. Hakim Ziyech (26%) at least makes the squad; Ross Barkley (1%) didn’t get much love, as always.
It should be noted that Kovačić did receive more votes than Havertz, but the there is no room for three midfielders in the 3-4-3 formation.
Mendy (95%) | Rüdiger (100%), Chalobah (97%), Azpilicueta (94%) | Alonso (78%), Jorginho (71%), Kanté (90%), Pulisic (56%) | Havertz (50%), Lukaku (86%), Mount (90%)