The dream of retaining our Champions League title may have ended, but there’s still much to play for. While not as glamorous, the FA Cup is our last hope for more silverware this season and beating London rivals Crystal Palace would make the trip to the final all the sweeter.
THE PEOPLE’S CHOICE
The WAGNH community were fairly evenly split on whether to give Kepa Arrizabalaga (44%) this cup game but Édouard Mendy prevails in the end. There was far less doubt about the formation, with the 3-4-3 leaving little room for the others — the 3-5-2 (10%) coming in second.
Given the magnitude of the game, there’s not much rotation elsewhere either. Trevoh Chalobah just narrowly edges out Andreas Christensen (35%) for the third spot next to Thiago Silva and Antonio Rüdiger. Malang Sarr (9%) joins César Azpilicueta (26%) and Kenedy (3%) on the bench with Reece James and Marcos Alonso leaving no doubt that they are the current firm favourites at wing-back.
Another close race in midfield sees N’Golo Kanté (60%) make way for Jorginho, with Mateo Kovačić one of the first names on the team sheet nowadays. Ruben Loftus-Cheek (24%), Saúl Ñíguez (10%), and Ross Barkley (4%) don’t factor in greatly.
Surprisingly, it’s Christian Pulisic who narrowly edges out Timo Werner (49%) for the third spot in attack, with Kai Havertz leading the line once more and Mason Mount of course getting the nod as well. Romelu Lukaku (14%) has returned to training but not to the voter’s ballots and joins Hakim Ziyech (24%) on the bench.
(Ed.note: Chalobah received fewer votes than either Kanté or Werner, and while there’s no way to fit three midfielders in, we could in theory move Pulisic to right wing-back, James to right-center back, and give Werner the start up front.)
Mendy (56%) | Rüdiger (94%), Silva (75%), Chalobah (36%) | Alonso (78%), Kovačić (85%), Jorginho (69%), James (87%) | Pulisic (53%), Havertz (83%), Mount (82%)