Following Chelsea’s midweek European disappointment, come Saturday evening Jose Mourinho and his men will be ready to take on local rivals Fulham at Stamford Bridge.
Jose Mourinho refused to scorn his young side despite relinquishing a first half lead against Basel on Tuesday night. Van Ginkel and Willian made their first Chelsea starts, as Samuel Eto’o lead the line with Fernando Torres nowhere to be seen. Juan Mata remained on the bench. After Oscar put the Blues’ ahead on half time, Chelsea allowed Basel to win the game in the last twenty minutes.
Chelsea haven’t won since the second game of the season against Aston Villa, despite a lengthy international break and European commitments. Whilst the team hasn’t been leaking goals at an alarming rate, a problem remains that despite the array of creative, attacking midfielders at the club, the curse of the Chelsea number 9 seems no further from exorcism. Making Romelu Lukaku’s deadline day loan move to West Brom all the more peculiar.
One would certainly expect Torres to start this weekend after missing out on the matchday squad midweek. It will also be interesting to see which attacking trio Jose plumps for with Willian now fit and ready, and the fans voicing their opinions over the exclusions of Juan Mata.
A real problem for Mourinho at the moment has been who to play in defensive midfield. The pivot role rarely works playing two attacking minded players such as Lampard and Ramires. Despite Mourinho trying a number of combinations, other then Mikel (who has only started 3 games this season) Chelsea appear to lack a real anchor man. Many fans are starting to berate the overall balance of the squad that Mourinho has inherited.
Chelsea haven’t lost to their neighbours in the league in almost a decade. Fulham themselves have only won once since the start of the season, and languish in 14th place in the premature Premier League table. There were even boo’s and jibes toward Martin Jol following last weekend’s 1-1 draw with West Brom. At least they are getting rid of that ridiculous MJ statue.
Saturday’s match at Stamford Bridge kicks off at 5:30pm.