After a lengthy break of mourning and international football, Chelsea are finally back and ready to really get the Graham Potter era going at Stamford Bridge. There are some notable absentees, but the team is largely fit and should be more than capable enough to take on a tricky, yet inconsistent Crystal Palace.
THE PEOPLE’S CHOICE
The WAGNH community are fairly split on the choice of formation, though the 3-4-3 does still prevail with a solid advantage ahead of the 3-5-2 (22%), 4-3-3 (18%) and 4-2-3-1 (15%). With Édouard Mendy (43%) ruled out anyway, Kepa Arrizabalaga remains between the sticks for the third game in a row.
The choice of defenders ends up the most clear cut of all areas, with Kalidou Koulibaly, Thiago Silva and Wesley Fofana leaving no doubts in the center and Reece James and Ben Chilwell doing the same on the wings. Marc Cucurella (42%) comes close but has been dealing with a bit of illness. Trevoh Chalobah (17%) and César Azpilicueta (5%) are not ill, but do not come close either.
Mateo Kovačić is an easy choice in midfield, getting the nod ahead of Ruben Loftus-Cheek (14%), Denis Zakaria (22%) and Conor Gallagher (20%). Jorginho just barely collects enough votes to get in. N’Golo Kanté (18%) and Carney Chukwuemeka (7%) will miss the game due to fitness and illness, respectively.
Up front, Kai Havertz stays in the starting lineup after a successful international break, as does Mason Mount, who also found his goalscoring boots for his national team. Raheem Sterling did not score, but collects the second most votes of any players (after Reece James). Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (49%) and Armando Broja (40%) just miss out. Christian Pulisic (17%) and a lackluster Hakim Ziyech (9%) remain well down the pecking order.
Arrizabalaga (57%) | Koulibaly (73%), Silva (80%), Fofana (80%) | Chilwell (62%), Jorginho (49%), Kovačić (82%), James (98%) | Sterling (91%), Havertz (55%), Mount (70%)