Chelsea was been yanked back down to earth by Carlo Ancelotti’s Everton. The Blues had gone 17 games without losing, picking up some very comfortable wins in that period.
The Blues seemed a tad lazy and they seemed to expect to win because they were in good form. Frank Lampard missing some key figures in the squad including Christian Pulisic and Hakim Ziyech. The loss to Everton is almost not as important as the reaction to it. The world would be looking to see how Chelsea reacts to a lackluster performance and another game two days later would be a perfect opportunity. Here’s who we think get into this eleven after a disappointing loss at Merseyside:
Edouard Mendy, Goalkeeper (No. 16), Senegal
Mendy showed in the Everton game that he is human after all. He made a bad decision and was very much responsible for that penalty. Yes, you can admit he was at fault for something, it doesn’t change the fact that he has kept nine clean sheets in 12 games. He went on to make 3 saves in that game, on par with his opposite number Jordan Pickford. Mendy did not let his mistake dictate the rest of his game, and that is the kind of mentality that Lampard wants to see in his players.
Reece James, Right back (No. 24), England
James was one of the best players on the pitch against Everton. He put his stamp on the game, with the number of tackles he made. He tried a lot of things offensively, though none of his seven crosses were successful. The Everton game was as much a physical game as it was a tactical one, and James did himself justice on both fronts.
Kurt Zouma, Centerback (No. 15), France
Zouma was Chelsea’s best performer against Everton. He won seven out of 10 aerial duels. He also made the most passes, two more than Silva. He made two key passes, 4 clearances and blocked one shot. Many don’t value his aerial dominance, but the goal conceded was as a result of a lost aerial duel. Zouma has been in top form this season and he is key to whatever Chelsea may be trying to achieve. He remains Chelsea’s best centerback.
Thiago Silva, Centerback (No. 6), Brazil
Silva was a bit shaky against Everton. He was tested against Everton and he came out second best often. He had good and not so good moments in the game. He made 6 clearances and one interception. He had an impressive 94 percent passing accuracy, completing an impressive eight out of 11 long balls against the Toffees. On the other hand he was dribbled past, won none of his ground duels, and won none of his aerial duels, and for a centerback that isn’t good enough. A key moment in that game was Pickford’s long ball to Dominic Calvert-Lewin that the Englishman won easily, causing chaos at the back and ending up with Mendy making a bad decision.
Ben Chilwell, Left back (No. 21), England
Chilwell did not have a bad game. Chelsea did need some creativity and he didn’t contribute to that. He made no key passes and completed just one out of five crosses. He’s still Chelsea’s best left back and he’d continue to start, except he drops more underwhelming performances like this. For what the blues need against Wolves though, Chilwell would be essential.
N’Golo Kante, Defensive midfielder (No. 7), France
Kante didn’t shine against Everton, then again no one did. Perhaps something that epitomizes Chelsea and Kante in that game was the fact that he was dribbled past three times. This doesn’t happen often, and that was just representative of Chelsea because they did not expect what they got at Goodison Park. Wolves would be every bit as industrious as Everton, if not better. Chelsea’s midfield still needs Kante in it so he starts again.
Billy Gilmour, Central midfielder (No. 23)
Gilmour came on for Mateo Kovacic in the 82nd minute against Everton and looked fairly comfortable. There’d always be concerns about his size, but he seems to know how to navigate the game without needing to get into many physical battles. It would then be interesting to know that Gilmour won all three of his ground duels and one aerial duel. Yes, Gilmour won an aerial duel, which is impressive for someone the size of a football. On a more serious note, Gilmour has done himself justice every time he has played and he deserves to start now. This is without even mentioning his impressive performance against Krasnodar midweek.
Mateo Kovacic, Central midfielder (No. 17), Croatia
Kovacic would be needed against Wolves. He is part of Chelsea’s best midfield. His performance against Everton didn’t really say much. Everton outplayed Chelsea in midfield. Kovacic, Gilmour and Kante would need to take note of this and make sure that they don’t get dominated at Wolves.
Timo Werner, Right winger (No. 11), Germany
Werner has been facing some heat for his missed chances and that is fair because it cannot be ignored. It is commendable that Werner gets himself into so many goal scoring positions and that is more important than being clinical. The Leeds United game was a good representation of what Werner brings to Chelsea. He missed two big chances and was still relentless enough to create another for Christian Pulisic. Werner is a difficult player for opposition defenses to deal with and that definitely has its own advantages.
Mason Mount, Left winger (No. 19), England
Chelsea is without three of their wingers and Lampard has been thrown into an awkward situation indeed. Many fans complain about seeing non-wingers playing wide for Chelsea this season, but Lampard hasn’t played non-wingers in wide areas when his wingers have been fit. Mount would help Chelsea with ball retention at the wings. Mount is one of Chelsea’s best attackers this season, his work rate would also be crucial, because Wolves can also be expected to come out looking for a win. Chelsea needs to match the intensity of Wolves in every way. Mount had three interceptions against Everton and that intelligence would be valuable against very smart opposition like Wolves.
Tammy Abraham, Striker (No. 9), England
Giroud did not work out against Everton. A very surprising statistic that jumps out from that game is that Giroud won three out of nine aerial duels, and for someone that is not only 6-foot-4 (193cm), but is also known to be aerially dominant, that isn’t good enough. Abraham scored a hattrick against Wolves last season so this may be the perfect opportunity for him to make himself a fixture in the lineup. Abraham’s movement was difficult for Nuno Espirito Santo’s men last season, Chelsea can expect more of the same. Abraham’s off-the-ball movement has improved greatly this season, he does need more playing time to perfect the art though.