Dugout Discussion

Rudiger, Mount and Chilwell benched, as Alonso returns to Chelsea’s starting line-up

The continued rotation of Chelsea’s big squad sees Antonio Rudiger (£4.7m), Mason Mount (£7.1m) and Kai Havertz (£8.2m) amongst the substitutes for their hosting of West Bromwich Albion.

For those managers desperate to invest in the league’s strongest defence, the return of Thiago Silva (£5.6m) only worsens the headache. He and Kurt Zouma (£5.3m) step in for Rudiger and Andreas Christensen (£4.7m), with Marcos Alonso (£5.7m) starting ahead of Ben Chilwell (£5.8m) at left wing-back.

Alonso has been a popular transfer this week amongst the online Fantasy Premier League community, with many seeing the incredibly attacking defender as the ideal one-week punt ahead of a Gameweek 31 Wildcard. He wasn’t on international duty, so owners will be hoping for a repeat of his 14-point haul from beating Burnley 2-0 in Gameweek 21.

Former defender Thomas Tuchel’s arrived as head coach in January and quickly made Chelsea’s back line impenetrable, conceding only twice in 14 matches (all competitions) as they seek their eighth consecutive clean sheet.

However, these successful shut-outs are achieved with rotating personnel, with only Cesar Azpilicueta (£5.9m) seemingly assured of a starting spot. Rudiger, Zouma, Christensen and Thiago Silva share the remaining two spots, as Edouard Mendy (£5.2m) starts again in goal.

As detailed in Thursday’s feature, Mount (225), Havertz (212) and Chilwell (180) played in the majority of their country’s 270 minutes during the international break. Therefore, Tuchel has given them a breather, showcasing their squad depth by bringing in Christian Pulisic (£8.2m) and Mateo Kovacic (£5.3m).

Timo Werner (£9.2m) starts up front, his barren streak worsened by a terrible miss for Germany against North Macedonia. With one league goal from 1,350 minutes – the equivalent of 15 matches – his confidence seems shattered but the expected goals (xG) number of 6.34 in that spell suggests that he’s still getting in the right positions.

Reece James (£5.0m) starts at right wing-back, with Hakim Ziyech (£7.9m) keeping his starting spot.

As for West Brom, they were unchanged for four consecutive matches but Sam Allardyce has been forced into one change as loanee Conor Gallagher (£5.5m) cannot play against his parent club. He has been replaced by Semi Ajayi (£4.8m), suggesting a switch from 4-1-4-1 to a 5-4-1 formation.

Stuck in the relegation zone, the Baggies haven’t scored in their last three matches but have kept three clean sheets in the last five matches, ideal for Sam Johnstone (£4.5m) owners. They picked up 1-1 draws at Liverpool and Man City, so will feel a Stamford Bridge result is achievable.

Branislav Ivanovic (£4.4m) is on the bench against the club he made 377 appearances for.

GAMEWEEK 30 LINE-UPS

Chelsea XI (3-4-3): Mendy; Azpilicueta, Thiago Silva, Zouma; James, Jorginho, Kovacic, Alonso; Ziyech, Pulisic, Werner

West Bromwich Albion XI (5-4-1): Johnstone; Furlong, Ajayi, O’Shea, Bartley, Townsend; Phillips, Yokuslu, Maitland-Niles, Pereira; Diagne

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1,090 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Daniel Jebbison
    • 12 Years
    3 months, 24 days ago

    Zouma has been all over the place today

    1. Karan14
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      3 months, 24 days ago

      Hopefully Rudiger will be nailed from next week!

  2. hueycho
    • 2 Years
    3 months, 24 days ago

    Ouch for those chelsea doubles ups hah!

  3. ZeBestee
    • 6 Years
    3 months, 24 days ago

    Ref's performance has been horrible.

    1. TheBiffas
        3 months, 24 days ago

        Has it?

        1. ZeBestee
          • 6 Years
          3 months, 24 days ago

          Absolutely horrendous.

      • Rainer
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 4 Years
        3 months, 24 days ago

        At least they’ve been consistent throughout the season.

    2. Rainer
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      3 months, 24 days ago

      0-1 win at Anfield. 1-1 at the Etihad. 1-0 loss at OT after a missed pen was retaken. This today.

      Big Sam still has it!

      1. Homer21
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 4 Years
        3 months, 24 days ago

        Red card kinda helped a bit 😉

      2. RAFA THE GAFFA
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 5 Years
        3 months, 24 days ago

        Has what?

        1. Eh, just one more thing ...
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 9 Years
          3 months, 24 days ago

          That sinking feeling ...

      3. Top Dog
        • 11 Years
        3 months, 24 days ago

        1 all at Ethiad was Slaven’s last game

      4. ballsy_b
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        3 months, 24 days ago

        1-1 at Anfield!

      5. Top Dog
        • 11 Years
        3 months, 24 days ago

        & Utd game under Slaven.

        So in response to the statement, no he doesnt’t ‘still have it’

    3. lordkippe
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      3 months, 24 days ago

      Alonso and Mendy. Guess my gw is ruined. Just Want to get close to avg. Damage limitation from here on

      1. Homer21
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 4 Years
        3 months, 24 days ago

        Out of your hands

    4. Homer21
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      3 months, 24 days ago

      Mendy needs another save to get me a point!

    5. JONALDINHO
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      3 months, 24 days ago

      West Brom have scored 24 goals this season. 7 of those were against one side - Chelsea who have the second best defence in the league

      1. Werner Brothers
        • 6 Years
        3 months, 24 days ago

        WBA still our bogey team. Was thinking TT could change that, well maybe but not with this reserve team

    6. BenDavies
      • 8 Years
      3 months, 24 days ago

      Spurs go 4th if they beat Newcastle. West Ham same but more difficult fixture against Wolves. If Chelsea choke top 4 I cannot see Tuchel staying

      1. Daniel Jebbison
        • 12 Years
        3 months, 24 days ago

        We'll play CL final

      2. Kane and Ablett
          3 months, 24 days ago

          Leicester will do their usual so two of Liv, Chelsea and Spurs will make CL

        • pingissimus
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 2 Years
          3 months, 24 days ago

          Choke top 4?

          It's not as if they had it sewn up and they were a way off it when he came.

      3. g40steve
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 3 Years
        3 months, 24 days ago

        Mendy they said, let in four & only two saves all game, mmmm!

        1. IN SANE IN DE BRUYNE
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 4 Years
          3 months, 24 days ago

          They said? You listened

        2. Warblers Fear Satan
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 5 Years
          3 months, 24 days ago

          Make up your own mind how about?

      4. Daniel Jebbison
        • 12 Years
        3 months, 24 days ago

        Tiago on -4 and Alonso on 3 pts. What a difference an attacking full back means

        1. Homer21
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 4 Years
          3 months, 24 days ago

          Eh.... red card?

        2. IN SANE IN DE BRUYNE
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 4 Years
          3 months, 24 days ago

          Might have something to do with the red card

      5. JBG
        • 3 Years
        3 months, 24 days ago

        Azpi goal would be just beautiful, imo.

      6. TheDragon
        • 3 Years
        3 months, 24 days ago

        How have the Rudiger owners got coming off the bench then?

        1. Kane and Ablett
            3 months, 24 days ago

            Who? Lacazette for me

          • Gizzachance
            • 6 Years
            3 months, 24 days ago

            Cancelo, if he starts!

          • dansmusen
            • 3 Years
            3 months, 24 days ago

            Soucek so not that bad

          • Old Bull
            • 8 Years
            3 months, 24 days ago

            Almost had him on a BB. Bullet dodged

          • The Mandalorian
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 8 Years
            3 months, 24 days ago

            Messi

          • S.Kuqi
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 8 Years
            3 months, 24 days ago

            Targett

          • Yome
            • 9 Years
            3 months, 24 days ago

            Gundo

          • Sun Jihai
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 9 Years
            3 months, 24 days ago

            Dias for #OR1 - decent

          • tomasjj
            • 6 Years
            3 months, 24 days ago

            Strujik, but no, Dunk it is.

          • Abraham & Cheese
            • 2 Years
            3 months, 24 days ago

            Wan Bisaka

        2. Kane and Ablett
            3 months, 24 days ago

            Loving the meltdowns on here of people who think real football should be like a computer simulation.... if you can enjoy this games, stick to championship manager, I’ve got Rudig and Mendy and am loving this

            1. IN SANE IN DE BRUYNE
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 4 Years
              3 months, 24 days ago

              Have an upvote!

            2. ZeBestee
              • 6 Years
              3 months, 24 days ago

              Lol, loving the negative points i see

              1. Homer21
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 4 Years
                3 months, 24 days ago

                So many

            3. pingissimus
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 2 Years
              3 months, 24 days ago

              They might be missing all those thrilling games we had in the run up to IB of course 🙂

            4. Lindelol
              • 3 Years
              3 months, 24 days ago

              Casual

          • sunzip14
            • 4 Years
            3 months, 24 days ago

            BB with Struijk was probably not the best thing to do! Now watch McCarthy start ahead of Forster to rub salt on my wounds.

          • tbos83
              3 months, 24 days ago

              I honestly can't believe he keeps Giroud on the bench

            • StayoutheSpiceZone
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 4 Years
              3 months, 24 days ago

              Probably not the game for it, but anyone else think that Kovacic is quite underrated?

              1. ZeBestee
                • 6 Years
                3 months, 24 days ago

                He is a top baller. Dont understand why he doesnt get games consistently. Will do absolutely amazing in a Guadiolas team

              2. seanie3
                • 10 Years
                3 months, 24 days ago

                He is an average player, doesn’t set the world alight but if he added goals to his game then a different story

              3. Werner Brothers
                • 6 Years
                3 months, 24 days ago

                He's quite good tbh, just can't shoot

              4. mynameisq
                • 7 Years
                3 months, 24 days ago

                His problem is he's good at a lot of things, really good at some things, but elite level at nothing

            • DA Minnion (In Bielsa we tr…
              • 9 Years
              3 months, 24 days ago

              How unfortunate to get in a Chelsea defender in for a bench boost and he actually gets you no points. Ridiculous.

              1. Mr. O'Connell
                • 9 Years
                3 months, 24 days ago

                Pretty obvious West Brom were gonna score 4 today tbf. Only yourself to blame.

                1. DA Minnion (In Bielsa we tr…
                  • 9 Years
                  3 months, 24 days ago

                  Yeah poor management by me.

                2. JONALDINHO
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 3 Years
                  3 months, 24 days ago

                  This. Don’t understand why he didn’t double up on WBA attack instead

                  1. Mr. O'Connell
                    • 9 Years
                    3 months, 24 days ago

                    Pereira was the clear captain choice this week

              2. pingissimus
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 2 Years
                3 months, 24 days ago

                Amazingly tough luck that

                This all makes me feel nostalgic for my GW3 WC - slightly subverted by Robbo and TAA -1s in week 4

            • ZeBestee
              • 6 Years
              3 months, 24 days ago

              What has Havertz done since he joined Chelsea? Or is he still young and will develop?

              1. Abraham & Cheese
                • 2 Years
                3 months, 24 days ago

                32 appearanes, 5 goals, 7 assists in all comps. He's young, great pedigree and results from the Bundesliga and he just moved to the premier league. If you look at players from other leagues to the EPL, it usually takes at least 1 season for them to settle in.

                Some examples of players who struggled moving to the EPL:
                Thierry Henry, Robert Pires, Roberto Firmino, David De Gea, Nemanja Vidic, Patrice Evra, Angel Di Maria, Erik Lamela, Robinho, Jerome Boateng, Cancelo, Drogba, Tevez...

            • RAFA THE GAFFA
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 5 Years
              3 months, 24 days ago

              McCarthy >> Mendy (-4) for at least a net 2 would have been fun 🙂

            • Pukki Blinders
              • 1 Year
              3 months, 24 days ago

              I no longer want to WC next week. Chelsea turned me right off

              1. sunzip14
                • 4 Years
                3 months, 24 days ago

                Totally forgot about that. I would normally be excited to hit the WC button pretty fast. I think I am doing it anyway.

            • Lindelol
              • 3 Years
              3 months, 24 days ago

              Did stones to Rüdiger
              Feeling lucky he didn’t start 😀

            • Deulofail
              • 5 Years
              3 months, 24 days ago

              Should be a yellow for Marcos!

            • g40steve
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 3 Years
              3 months, 24 days ago

              Any chance a Mendy makes a third save?

            • F_Ivanovic
              • 5 Years
              3 months, 24 days ago

              https://www.fantasyfootballscout.co.uk/2021/03/21/son-and-grealish-absent-as-bale-is-benched-for-final-blank-gameweek-29-match/?hc_page=15&hc_sort_by=comment_date#hc_comment_23623861

              I have had Rudiger for a while and thought he was a great option at his price but Chelsea were out performing CS wise. Obviously this is a freak result today and bringing in a Chelsea defender was a good decision beforehand but it's a lesson learnt for those WC now in 31 against bringing in multiple Chelsea defensive assets.

            • tomasjj
              • 6 Years
              3 months, 24 days ago

              Horrible diving by chelsea players around the box now.
              Rolling about, then all fit as a fiddle when they win the ball back.

            • ⭐ Bemba_Da ⭐
              • 11 Years
              3 months, 24 days ago

              OMG robinson.

            • Hazz
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 4 Years
              3 months, 24 days ago

              Five?!

            • Scholes Out Forever
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 7 Years
              3 months, 24 days ago

              No Rudiger but Mount cameo and Johnstone assist on BB has been unexpected but appreciated 😀

            • Eh, just one more thing ...
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 9 Years
              3 months, 24 days ago

              5-2

            • Jebiga
              • 9 Years
              3 months, 24 days ago

              yeah !