Chelsea’s season may have had several ups and downs, but we still find ourselves at a touching distance from our third final in the Champions League. The rematch against Real Madrid takes place at Stamford Bridge and although the rule for away goals benefits us, a mistake can undo a lot of hard work. Concentration will be key.
To tackle the task ahead, the WAGNH community had a very clear idea, and that included just one change in the team that began last Tuesday. Not surprisingly, this is neither the formation nor the goalkeeper, as 3-4-3 and Édouard Mendy are undisputed neither by 4-2-3-1
The only surprise (though not the only change) was the inclusion of Cesar Aspilicueta in the defender, ahead of Reese James (55%). The trio of Antonio Rüdiger, Thiago Silva and Andreas Christensen started in the center, with Kurt Zuma (9%) acting as a reserve. Ben Chillwell retains his place easily ahead of Marcos Alonso (5%).
As Mateo Kovacic unfortunately also missed the rematch against his former club, the pivot of Giorgino and the leader of the vote N’Golo Cante is the only realistic choice. Billy Gilmore (2%) returns to the bench after a rare start against Fulham.
The top three see a change (though not a surprise) as Kai Haverz leads the line ahead of Timo Werner (51%), Olivier Giroud (8%) and Tammy Abraham (3%). Mason Mount and Christian Pulisic were two of Chelsea’s best players in the first game, so it only makes sense for them to start here. This means that Hakim Ziyech (11%) and Callum Hudson-Odoi (5%) miss.
Mandy (96%) Rüdiger (91%), Silva (95%), Christensen (66%) Chilwell (92%), Kanté (98%), Jorginho (91%), Azpilicueta (70%) | Pulisic (89%), Havertz (60%), Mount (96%)
MY FAVORITE CHOICE
Both James and Christensen performed extremely well after taking over Tuhel, and excluding any of them seems unfair. Still, making difficult choices is part of the case, and I agree with the community that Christensen is the most important tool right now.
This composition is definitely the most difficult to choose for a very long time. The stakes are so high and every mistake can (and will) cost us dearly. So sticking to your weapons seems to be the most reliable option here, and although I deal with Azpilicueta’s game as a winger, he managed to work in the first game. We can only hope to do it again.
Having said that, I am quite happy that I only had to make this choice hypothetically. Although team depth is always a good thing, I honestly don’t envy Tuhel here.
Mehndi Rüdiger, Silva, Azpilicueta | Chilwell, Kanté, Jorginho, James | Pulisic, Haverz, the mountain