Chelsea’s next game comes in the FA Cup and this hopefully means some minutes for the Academy players. We may be playing against Manchester City (again), but there were some positives to take from our last defeat and they were almost all about the youngsters. It certainly can’t get any worse, so let’s do this.
THE PEOPLE’S CHOICE
The WAGNH community decide to stick with the 4-2-3-1 ahead of the 4-3-3 (29%) and 3-4-3 (17%) as has been the trend lately. Édouard Mendy remains out, now with a broken finger in addition to a shoulder problem — unfortunately for third-choice Marcus Bettinelli (13%), Kepa remains the overwhelmingly preferred choice.
There is some rotation elsewhere, with Thiago Silva (52%) getting some much needed rest. Trevoh Chalobah comes in for him and partners with Kalidou Koulibaly at the back. Lewis Hall and César Azpilicueta are your fullbacks with Marc Cucurella (33%) rotating out and the likes of Bashir Humphreys (18%), Alfie Gilchrist (4%), Josh Brooking (4%), and Derrick Abu (5%) providing cover.
The brightest spot was definitely Denis Zakaria on Thursday so it only makes sense that he retains his place, this time pairing up with Conor Gallagher. Both Jorginho (34%) and Mateo Kovačić (52%) drop to the bench alongside youngsters Charlie Webster (6%), Ben Elliott (3%), and Dion Rankine (7%).
Carney Chukwuemeka was another one to impress last time against City and he gets the nod alongside another young star in Omari Hutchinson in attack. Hakim Ziyech completes the supporting trio while Kai Havertz continues to lead the line ahead of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (37%). Mason Mount (11%) is ruled out; Mason Burstow (7%) and Malik Mothersille (5%) fill the ranks.
Arrizabalaga (84%) | Hall (75%), Koulibaly (76%), Chalobah (82%), Azpilicueta (60%) | Gallagher (67%), Zakaria (81%) | Chukwuemeka (84%), Hutchinson (51%), Ziyech (69%) | Havertz (70%)