With the news surfacing that the FA have inconsistently managed to charge and ban Diego Costa within three days of the alleged violent conduct, Mourinho now faces three games without his top scorer. To add to the misery, he’ll also be lacking his injured main goal maker Cesc Fabregas, who’ll be out for the Manchester City game tomorrow.
Contrary to popular opinion, I’ve compiled the eleven that I’d like to see start against City, I realise though that Mourinho will play it much safer and likely to start John Obi Mikel alongside Nemanja Matic.
Ivanovic Zouma Terry Azpilicueta
Hazard Willian Remy
I’ve said for the last year that Oscar is not a number ten and would be more suited to playing in the midfield pivot. At the time, many Chelsea supporters agreed with this but feared that he wasn’t strong enough to be in there. But a year on, physically he has developed and is ready.
With Fabregas missing, this is the area where many of our goals have come from whether it be a long defence splitting pass or creating a counter attack, this is what we were missing last season in that area. Oscar can do that role, he’s no Fabregas but he can certainly create and play make from a deeper role and find more time and space to think about the pass.
When he plays in the number ten position, he lacks imagination and that initial acceleration to go past a defender. His play in that position is predictable and he looses the ball far too often. He looks out of place alongside the pace of Hazard and Willian who like to move the ball fast, but when it comes to Oscar he’ll often slow it down and the counter will break down.
Put him in the deeper role and he’ll be able to play that more casual style, having more time on the ball and using his vision to hit those long passes that we know he is capable of. He’ll also be a threat arriving late in the box as we also know how good a finisher he can be from distance. He’s technically gifted but prefers at a less slower pace.
Moving on, I’m certainly not one of the Gary Cahill haters but I feel that after Kurt Zouma’s performance in the week, he simply has to start and cannot be ignored. Chelsea’s centre halves lacked pace and his speed was really the difference against Liverpool. I believe Filipe Luis will still be injured so it’ll need to be Branislav Ivanovic and Cesar Azpilicueta as full backs.
Then I’d go with the attacking three of Hazard, Remy and Willian switching positions across the middle. Willian to start off central as I feel he’s always offered a lot more in the middle and seems happier and more confident there. I’d put Remy in there for his pace in counter attacks, because City will be coming at us. Remy has a lot to prove and I think he could step up during this big game.
Then with Costa out, I’d want Drogba in there as well. He is a big game player and another leader on the pitch torally the troops, defend pressure in the last minute if we’re protecting a win, a threat in the air and mainly for his pure strength to get at the likes of Vincent Kompany. He’ll also drift wide as he does, allowing Remy to break through the centre in what could be a good combination.
But I’m not Jose Mourinho, this will NOT be the line up!
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