Opinion: Chelsea’s strongest 11 features Kovacic and a more balanced setup

Chelsea's best starting Xi
Chelsea’s best starting Xi

Chelsea began their Premier League campaign last night by beating Brighton 3-1 in their own backyard.

Whilst the scoreline flattered Frank Lampard’s side, it was refreshing and positive to start the season with a win.

Lampard had two of his new signings Timo Werner and Kai Havertz starting the match, but there was a real sense of imbalance and an uncomfortable look to some of the positioning that players were asked to play.

Of course, it was rather makeshift due to injuries and a suspension, but Ruben Loftus-Cheek most notably looked very uncomfortable playing as a number ten.

The midfielder spent the majority of the game playing very close to Werner almost as a second striker, and he had one of his worst games in a Chelsea shirt.

Kai Havertz has only just arrived at the club so of course he is far from settled, but I would prefer him to be playing more centrally, instead of being wasted out wide.

When everyone is fit, this is what I believe to be Chelsea’s best starting eleven (I’m cheating and adding Mendy despite him being confirmed yet).

In a 4-3-3 –

Edouard Mendy, Reece James, Kurt Zouma, Thiago Silva, Ben Chilwell. N’Golo Kante, Mateo Kovacic, Kai Havertz. Hakim Ziyech, Christian Pulisic, Timo Werner.

I believe this line up gives us the best balance.

Kante will need to play the most disciplined role as a holding midfielder, with Kovacic playing close to him, and Havertz in the most advanced number 8 position.

Ideally Chelsea still need to sign a more combative and natural defensive midfielder if they are to truly make it work this season, but with the players available this is a great starting line up more than good enough to be successful.


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