Manchester City vs Chelsea
Monday, 03 February 2014
The Etihad Stadium
Chelsea Starting XI
Big Game. Away at City. City are scoring for fun. At home they haven’t lost in a long while. Daunting task for Chelsea.
Eto’o will start as Torres is still out injured.
The three behind Eto’o should be Hazard – Oscar – Willian.
Although, Ramires could start on the right wing, which could mean Willian will be on the subs bench.
Double pivot choice could be interesting. A lot of combinations can be tried. Mikel and Matic could be seen as a defensive set-up. It is an away game. An away game at City. So Chelsea might need to go in with a defensive set-up. Stop them from scoring and then hit them on the counter.
Ramires is suited for a counter-attack. This means, Ramires could start in the double pivot and one of either Matic or Mikel starts on the bench and Willian on the right wing.
Left-back is another area where a few different options are available for Chelsea. Cole could be favored for his pace.
If so, Azpilicueta should start as the right back. And Ivanovic will miss out on the starting eleven.
Or, Azpilicueta could start as the left back and Ivanovic as the right back.
As far as the center-back pairing is concerned it will be Terry and Cahill, if they both are fit.
And Cech to guard Chelsea’s post.
Chelsea vs West Ham
Wednesday, 29 January 2014
Chelsea Starting XI
In the last match against Stoke, FA Cup, Mourinho used the 4-3-3 system towards the latter stages of the match. He could experiment with it today, if he plans on using that formation against City.
Eto’o has played two games in a row. Torres is still out injured. Ba came on as a sub in the last match towards the end. Unless, Ba is about to be sold, we can expect Ba to start against his old club.
The big game against Manchester City is coming up next week. Hazard could be given a rest and start from the bench. Although, it is highly unlikely that Schurrle will get two starts in a row.
Willian didn’t start in the FA cup match against Stoke. He could come back into the starting eleven.
Lampard has a knack of scoring against his old club. And if Chelsea do start with the 4-3-3 formation, then the two box-to-box midfielders will be Lampard and Ramires. They both are naturally suited for that role.
Azpilicueta got a rest in the last match. He could be rotated with Ivanovic for the right-back position.
Cole had a good game, probably his best of the season so far. So he could get another start tonight.
Terry also didn’t feature in the last match, so expecting him to pair with Cahill.
Cech should return to the goal-keeping duties.
Chelsea vs Stoke City
26 January 2014, 15:30 GMT [Time Converter]
Chelsea Starting XI
Fernando Torres is out injured. He suffered a ligament damage in the win over Manchester United. As we all fondly remember, Eto’o scored a hat-trick that day. If Mourinho decides to rotate his strikers, we can expect Ba to start today, who does seem to have a knack of scoring against the Potters.
No more brain scratching needed to figure out if Mata will start or not.
Schurrle scored a couple against Stoke in the Premier League away game, which Chelsea lost 3-2. He could start on the left hand side and Hazard could slot into the #10 role.
Matic debuted as a substitute against Manchester United in his second coming for Chelsea. Stoke being a physical side with a lot of height advantage, one can expect the 6′ 4″ Serbian to play in the double pivot.
That would mean Ramires could be asked to play on the right wing, which he did a lot in the last couple of seasons.
Lampard, our leading scorer in the FA Cup, was fit last weekend. He very well could start today.
As for the back four, Cole might just start in the left back position, leaving Azpilicueta on the bench. Ivanovic is sure to start for his aerial strength. It will be a toss between Cole and Azpilicueta for for the left back role.
If Mourinho wants to overload his squad with tall players then David Luiz could start in place of Lampard. However, Lampard will provide different skills to those that of Luiz in the midfield.
Terry and Cahill are very likely to be our center back pairing.
Schwarzer didn’t do too badly in the last FA Cup match against Derby County. He kept a clean sheet that day. Cech could be given a rest.
Chelsea vs Manchester United
Sunday, 19 January 2014
Chelsea Starting XI vs Man Utd
Torres did score in the last couple of away games. However, Eto’o's hold up skills may get him the nod over Torres. Since it’s a home game and Chelsea intend to attack, Torres could still start ahead of Eto’o.
Attacking Midfielders on form are Hazard, Oscar and Willian. Mata is likely to start on the bench. He could come on if a change in tactics is required.
Mourinho has said that Lampard is back training and he could be available for today’s game. Lampard could start if he is fully fit. If not then Mikel should start. David Luiz could be the third choice in that slot. Ramires will start as the other player in the pivot.
Ivanovic is still unavailable due to injury. So that means Cole starts as the left back and Azpilicueta as the right back.
Center back pairing will be Terry and Cahill.
Goalkeeper will be the guy with 209 clean sheets, Petr Cech.
Matic will not start, as confirmed by Jose, but should be on the bench. Essien, Mikel, Ake, Matic and Mata could all be part of the matchday squad.
Source: Chelsea vs Manchester United, Pre-Match Briefing Part One, Part Two.
“You don’t want to slack, you don’t want to sit down and think: ‘You’re the best, I don’t want to defend or I don’t want to run. If you don’t do those things, you don’t play.”
Mikel on Mourinho’s Philosophy
Hull City vs Chelsea
Saturday, 11 January 2014
Chelsea Starting XI
Torres could start this game as Eto’o started the last one and Demba Ba seems to be on his way out of Chelsea.
If Chelsea need pace then Hazard and Willian will start on the flanks.
It would be very interesting to see if Mata starts today. It is very unlikely since Chelsea have had a poor away record this season. Also, Huddlestone seems to be shining in his midfield role at Hull under Steve Bruce. Oscar could be used in the #10 role to stifle him.
If an impetus is needed from the midfield then Luiz could start instead of Mikel in the pivot. Ramires is sure to start. He will always start barring injuries or suspensions.
Terry should be back after the rest (was on the bench against Derby in the FA Cup). Naturally Cahill is the other centre back.
Cole to play in his regular left back position and Azpilicueta to play in his natural right back position.
Lampard, Ivanovic and Ginkel are unavailable due to injuries.
“He (Hazard) was known before as one of the worst trainers and he has become, if not one of the best, a good professional.”
Mourinho will not sell Hazard at any cost.
PSG ready to buy Hazard
PSG seem to think €60 Million would be enough to get Chelsea to sell Hazard.
PSG are in the process of building their own version of Galacticos and Hazard seems to be the next target. The way Hazard has been playing this season, it is no surprise other teams want him. Although, Chelsea would be in no mood to even negotiate. The Blues didn’t buy Hazard to sell him.
But will Hazard be tempted to go to PSG? What if Real Madrid come calling?
Derby County vs Chelsea
Sunday, 5 January 2014
Chelsea Starting XI
Mourinho values FA Cup very highly. So he will be fielding a strong team.
Demba Ba is said to be in line for a start in the FA Cup.
Willian and Oscar both were very effective in the last game Chelsea played. The deadlock against Southampton was broken after their double substitutions.
With Lampard out injured and Luiz returning from suspension, there is a possibility Luiz could partner Ramires in the double pivot. Luiz didn’t too badly in that role against Liverpool.
Ivanovic is also out injured. That would mean Cole will have to start in the left back position and Azpilicueta to play as a right back.
Terry and Cahill are the best center back pairing for Chelsea, at the moment.
Cech could be given a breather and Schwarzer will have to guard the goal.
Mata, Schurrle and Kalas could be on the bench. Depending on the match situation, if Chelsea are winning comfortably ( not going to be easy at all) then Mata, Schurrle and Kalas could get some game time.
Source: Pre-Match Briefing: Derby County vs Chelsea
Southampton vs Chelsea
Wednesday, 1 January 2014
St. Mary’s Stadium
Chelsea Starting XI vs Southampton
Torres could come in for Eto’o. That could give Eto’o some rest and Torres some game time. A rotation policy.
Hazard has to start every game, even if that would mean he is going to play 3 games within a week.
Mata could play in place of Willain.
Oscar will start as Lamps, who has played in that position this season, is out with a thigh injury sustained against Liverpool.
Ramires returns from suspension. However, his Brazilian counterpart David Luiz is out with a suspension.
So Mikel and Rambo play in the double pivot.
Ivanovic has a knee injury. So it will have to be Cole and Azpilicueta as wing-backs.
Cahill and Terry as Center Backs.
And Cech to guard our posts as usual.
What do ya think?
Could Schurrle start, to give Hazard a rest? Or any other changes you would make?