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 He has been replaced by Semi Ajayi (£4.8m), suggesting a switch from 4-1-4-1 to a 5-4-1 formation.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. zon
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 6 Years
    5 months, 16 days ago

    To everyone being "smart" in hindsight: Please stop, you're looking silly. This is an anomaly. No one can predict when it happens. Loading up on Chelsea defence was and is justified.

    1. zon
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      5 months, 16 days ago

      Like it was meant to be top of the page

    2. ZeBestee
      • 7 Years
      5 months, 16 days ago

      I dont think Chelsea are City, so loading up on more than 1 defender is just a huge No for me.

      1. S.Kuqi
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 8 Years
        5 months, 16 days ago

        This doesn't change anything for me. Will surely double up them next gw.

        1. ZeBestee
          • 7 Years
          5 months, 16 days ago

          Chelsea will take more than same bunch of players to keep more cleansheets.

      2. BDA Shadow
        • 7 Years
        5 months, 16 days ago

        What? They've been top of the defensive stats for 15+ games. Regardless, surely the second best defence in the league (if that's what you consider them) is worth a double up with a run of great fixtures.

    3. Dont_Win_Friends_With_Salah…
      • 3 Years
      5 months, 16 days ago

      You're right, but I am glad I switched off for a couple of weeks and didn't get any Chelsea players. They're still good options for the rest of the season though, good luck

    4. Zen Arcade
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      5 months, 16 days ago

      What do you expect from these boards other than smug “I told you so “ v bitter “woe is me” shite?

      If it’s no A or B or RMT its crowing or groaning.

    5. Nomar
      • 11 Years
      5 months, 16 days ago

      No, they are all geniuses who are telling us how clever they are because they know in advance what is going to happen so they don't make the mistakes that idiots like the rest of us do.

    6. Ginkapo FPL
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 10 Years
      5 months, 16 days ago

      And West Brom have been nicking goals for a while

  2. BenDavies
    • 8 Years
    5 months, 16 days ago

    I'm on the verge of tears at this Alonso disasterclass

    1. Salah’s Sonnet
      • 10 Years
      5 months, 16 days ago

      Tears of joy here hehe

    2. mynameisq
      • 8 Years
      5 months, 16 days ago

      Wait for the yellow and not making 60 before the tears start otherwise youll run dry

    3. zon
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      5 months, 16 days ago

      Yeah, great positions up front, slow and useless in defending

    4. ZeBestee
      • 7 Years
      5 months, 16 days ago

      At least he already has an assist to his name.

  3. Jordan.
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 11 Years
    5 months, 16 days ago

    rudiger cost 4.5 gw 24 ,27 points since ,going nowhere FPL gold

    1. Brimble82
      • 2 Years
      5 months, 16 days ago

      And saved us from this collapse!
      Thanks Antonio. Stay where you are for now.
      See you next week

  4. Rainer
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 5 Years
    5 months, 16 days ago

    Sam Johnstone has more open play goal contributions vs the Big 6 in the Prem than Bruno 😮

    1. Pat Bonner
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 10 Years
      5 months, 16 days ago

      Love this!

    2. Eh, just one more thing ...
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 9 Years
      5 months, 16 days ago

      Brilliant LOL

  5. Fudgy
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 1 Year
    5 months, 16 days ago

    Wow dodged a bullet not going Alonso, just wow

    1. diesel001
      • 4 Years
      5 months, 16 days ago

      Don't own Alonso, but the bullet is not dodged yet. He is the type of player who can get a goal even if Chelsea concede another two.

      1. Fudgy
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 1 Year
        5 months, 16 days ago

        He might never play again tho, he's been a complete disgrace

    2. ajk1211
      • 5 Years
      5 months, 16 days ago

      Hasn’t he got an assist and just hit the post again?

  6. tbos83
    5 months, 16 days ago

    Mount coming on. C'mon!

  7. Patio Kev
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 7 Years
    5 months, 16 days ago

    Swings and Roundabouts.

    Bad news: Was influenced by price rises last night and went Azpi over Alonso as wanted Azpi in on GW31 WC anyway and money was tight.

    Good news: if I had got Alonso in I would have captained him so bullet probably dodged there.

  8. BDA Shadow
    • 7 Years
    5 months, 16 days ago

    Serious question: Was Zouma always this bad? He looked very promising before his injury years ago, came back pretty poor, found apparent form at Everton, was questionable again returning to Chelsea, found apparent form again, but then has been hit or miss for the past two seasons. Does it come down to inconsistency or is he just seriously flawed and sometimes it's hidden.

    1. BenDavies
      • 8 Years
      5 months, 16 days ago

      He's not Chelsea level. He's not consistent enough as you say to be a world class CB.

    2. diesel001
      • 4 Years
      5 months, 16 days ago

      He has an error in him. Never looks confident / composed enough. Would be ideal for a long ball team IMO where he has to spend less time thinking and can just boot it up to clear the ball.

      1. BDA Shadow
        • 7 Years
        5 months, 16 days ago

        Ironically, all he had to do for that last goal conceded was touch it anywhere. It just feels like he's mindless sometimes.

    3. Rupert The Horse
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 8 Years
      5 months, 16 days ago

      Not watching the game but he’s a genuine liability. Not premier league equality.

  9. Shaw must go on
    • 8 Years
    5 months, 16 days ago

    Didn't read a single comment during the week stating that Chelsea defense wasn't a good option this week and for the future... Plenty of geniuses round here now...

    1. ZeBestee
      • 7 Years
      5 months, 16 days ago

      The problem with this place is someone starts having a certain opinion, all of a sudden the opinion becomes famous, everyone starts to think the same and the message is spread hence collective decision

      1. Zen Arcade
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 3 Years
        5 months, 16 days ago

        Correct.

    2. pingissimus
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 2 Years
      5 months, 16 days ago

      There were a few actually - mostly wondering whether they were due a reversion.

      My take was a bit different. Was happily avoiding simply because they were only ho-hum value with nothing but cs. Also noted that beyond 32 their fixtures are rather mixed.

      Still a perfectly good call of course. Just one match after all.

    3. Collie01
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      5 months, 16 days ago

      Chelsea by almost every metric had the best chance of any team of CS this week. Stats, form, fixture, at home, eye test. No such thing as a guaranteed CS but if people stood to win a million pounds by predicting 1 CS this week, I bet the majority would have picked Chelsea.

    4. Sun Jihai
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 9 Years
      5 months, 16 days ago

      Just classic FPL
      Chelsea conceded just a single big chance in their last 6 matches
      Red card just bad luck

  10. BigBillyBass
    • 3 Years
    5 months, 16 days ago

    On WC:

    a) Azpi
    b) Nathan Ake

    1. mynameisq
      • 8 Years
      5 months, 16 days ago

      Ake, guy is an ever present

    2. zon
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      5 months, 16 days ago

      That's not even a decision. Don't let this game fool you

  11. pingissimus
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 2 Years
    5 months, 16 days ago

    Race for top 4 looks even more intriguing now if other matches run true to form this week. Everton not exactly out of it.

    1. Qaiss
      • 5 Years
      5 months, 16 days ago

      Mourinho will sneak in there I think.

      1. pingissimus
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 2 Years
        5 months, 16 days ago

        Yep- rather suspect he might

        Curiously just on points Spurs are the form team in that zone. The NLD and EL was just one foul week for week.

  12. Warblers Fear Satan
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 5 Years
    5 months, 16 days ago

    Pereira essential....

  13. S.Kuqi
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 8 Years
    5 months, 16 days ago

    Is lolling for certain player still banned here?

    1. S.Kuqi
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 8 Years
      5 months, 16 days ago

      Tbh I would have got Alonso aswell if I had funds

  14. BenDavies
    • 8 Years
    5 months, 16 days ago

    Alonso owners: Are you content with the points so far?

    1. Fudgy
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      5 months, 16 days ago

      He's hauling

    2. Pukki Blinders
      • 2 Years
      5 months, 16 days ago

      He’s due a goal at least

  15. tiger
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 9 Years
    5 months, 16 days ago

    Mounton

    1. Deulofail
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      5 months, 16 days ago

      Is that french for mountain?

  16. Rainer
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 5 Years
    5 months, 16 days ago

    Pulisic Mounted.

  17. Eh, just one more thing ...
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 9 Years
    5 months, 16 days ago

    Mount on at half time .... I suppose I should look at that as a positive, as it’s better than him coming on for 15 mins at the end ... him not featuring at all was never going to happen.

    1. Daniel Jebbison
      • 12 Years
      5 months, 16 days ago

      Yeah I am happy. I suspected he would be benched, maybe we shouldn't start him too

  18. Daniel Jebbison
    • 12 Years
    5 months, 16 days ago

    Come ooooon Mount

  19. Rupert The Horse
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 8 Years
    5 months, 16 days ago

    Werner has finished his poo.

    1. Deulofail
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      5 months, 16 days ago

      Just in timo

    2. ⱼₐᵣᵥᵢₛₕ
      • 6 Years
      5 months, 16 days ago

      The only thing he has produced since Christmas

      1. Deulofail
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 5 Years
        5 months, 16 days ago

        He's been due to be fair if he's waited that long

    3. BDA Shadow
      • 7 Years
      5 months, 16 days ago

      Still looks pretty sh*t to me 😉

  20. 4Rsenal_1886
    • 5 Years
    5 months, 16 days ago

    Can’t have Spurs make Top 4 ...

  21. JOELIO8701
    • 6 Years
    5 months, 16 days ago

    I've been saying all week Chelsea are a HUGE trap. All the casuals picking Chelsea defenders. If you look at the data West Brom are motivated to survive relegation whereas Chelsea players don't have the same fight. Big Sam is seasoned in relegation battles. Thiago Silva's disciplinary record is another reason to stay clear o Chelsea defenders. I've been saying it but do people listen?

    1. JBG
      • 3 Years
      5 months, 16 days ago

      Pretty sure having Silva and Alonso in defence hurt them more than it helped them. Chelsea defence will look better with Rudiger/Christensen and Chilwell in place of the 2.

    2. BDA Shadow
      • 7 Years
      5 months, 16 days ago

      Stop drinking that Koolaid mate.

    3. Fitzy.
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 9 Years
      5 months, 16 days ago

      You've made no comments in more than 2 weeks champ.

    4. Rasping Drive
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 12 Years
      5 months, 16 days ago

      You haven’t made a comment here in 17 days, Captain Hindsight, so zip it.

    5. Pukki Blinders
      • 2 Years
      5 months, 16 days ago

      You sound like a clown mate, stop talking absolute nonsense

    6. Fitzy.
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 9 Years
      5 months, 16 days ago

      Why'd you transfer a Chelsea defender in this GW then? 😆

    7. michael_mac11
      5 months, 16 days ago

      Hahahaha you absolute melter wayyyy

    8. Saint Tim
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 10 Years
      5 months, 16 days ago

      Why do you even waste time to post something that you obviously don’t believe given you transferred Azpi into your team this week? People like you should be banned

    9. JOELIO8701
      • 6 Years
      5 months, 16 days ago

      I was being ironic. despite the result today Chelsea defenders was the right decision. These results can happen

  22. Daniel Jebbison
    • 12 Years
    5 months, 16 days ago

    What to do with Rudiger now? Looks like he lost his first 11 status

    Strangley enough he only delivered for my bench 🙁

    1. S.Kuqi
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 8 Years
      5 months, 16 days ago

      Will be straight back in next gw.

      1. Pukki Blinders
        • 2 Years
        5 months, 16 days ago

        Lol what makes you say that

    2. diesel001
      • 4 Years
      5 months, 16 days ago

      I'd say he is first choice on this showing. Played 270 minutes for Germany (i.e. all three games) and needed for the CL game.

      Tuchel gave him a rest and Chelsea have found it difficult. I'd reckon Chelsea's best defence is now Mendy (GK), Azpi, Silva, Rudiger, Chilwell, James.

    3. artvandelay316
      5 months, 16 days ago

      Discussion all week has been on him playing a lot of international minutes and therefore could have been rested just for today. No reason to do anything with him.

      1. Daniel Jebbison
        • 12 Years
        5 months, 16 days ago

        Ok, sounds optimistic, I am starting him next week

  23. La Roja
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 9 Years
    5 months, 16 days ago

    Werner doing a puncheon

    1. Deulofail
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      5 months, 16 days ago

      had a big luncheon

      1. La Roja
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 9 Years
        5 months, 16 days ago

        nailed it

    2. Rainer
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      5 months, 16 days ago

      On & off the pitch.

      1. La Roja
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 9 Years
        5 months, 16 days ago

        :mrgreen:

  24. Dušan Citizen
    • 7 Years
    5 months, 16 days ago

    When Eliteserien starts and is there fantasy again?

  25. Pukki Blinders
    • 2 Years
    5 months, 16 days ago

    The hindsight comments on here are absolutely comical and ridiculous.

    These people making these comments were the same ones in tears about 30 mins ago when Alonso got his assist and Silva was still on the pitch...

  26. Releasebreaks
    • 3 Years
    5 months, 16 days ago

    Any chance of Bale and Gundo no show?
    I would get Pereira points from bench

    1. Deulofail
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      5 months, 16 days ago

      Yes

    2. Rainer
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      5 months, 16 days ago

      Yeah, maybe.

      Decent chance you’ll see them points.

    3. La Roja
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 9 Years
      5 months, 16 days ago

      I expect both on bench but Fos know whether they’ll pop in for pointer

    4. BDA Shadow
      • 7 Years
      5 months, 16 days ago

      Fairly likely both get benched.

    5. Konstaapeli
      • 5 Years
      5 months, 16 days ago

      Every chance

    6. Salah’s Sonnet
      • 10 Years
      5 months, 16 days ago

      I don’t think so

    7. Daniel Jebbison
      • 12 Years
      5 months, 16 days ago

      I think Bale will start and Gundo will get a cameo

  27. beetlejuice
    • 4 Years
    5 months, 16 days ago

    Sold Pereira this week, need Raphinha hattrick to compensate

    1. Zen Arcade
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      5 months, 16 days ago

      Unlucky. Right decision I feel based on fixtures. Sometimes the unpredictability of football bites you in the arse.

    2. Deulofail
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      5 months, 16 days ago

      Expecting a couple more from Pereira this match then?

      1. beetlejuice
        • 4 Years
        5 months, 16 days ago

        I was

  28. Daniel Jebbison
    • 12 Years
    5 months, 16 days ago

    Mount penalty touch and cross for Alonso. Missed him

    1. Daniel Jebbison
      • 12 Years
      5 months, 16 days ago

      *penalty box touch

  29. artvandelay316
    5 months, 16 days ago

    Hope they don't bring on Rudiger now. Need Cresswell off the bench to replace him.

  30. KAPTAIN KANE
    • 4 Years
    5 months, 16 days ago

    Soucek and Pereira the biggest trolls this season