Cole Out, Bertrand Out; Who should play left-back for Chelsea in Europa League?

Ryan Bertrand

We bring you five options for the left-back berth against Rubin Kazan on Thursday. Who should start in Moscow?

Chelsea face a left-back crisis ahead of the Europa League second-leg tie with Rubin Kazan this week. With Ashley Cole still nursing an injury picked up in the FA Cup win against Manchester United the news that natural replacement Ryan Bertrand had picked up an illness and would miss the trip to Moscow was not welcomed by Rafa Benitez.

While it is now widely believed he has two main options to consider you could go as far to say that he has five minimum; five that we have highlighted below to play at left-back against Rubin Kazan on Thursday.

Nathan Ake

It is widely believed that the teenage Dutchman will fill in at left-back for the game despite it not being his natural position or side.

Ake is more of a central player so it would be a gamble to start him off in a big tie like this but Chelsea have plenty of faith in the youngster and could give him the chance to jump in the deep end.

Cesar Azpilicueta

They could switch the Spanish full-back from one-side to another.

Branislav Ivanovic could play the right back role as he does so well with David Luiz and John Terry filling in at centre back.

Personally this seems their best option regardless of what the papers believe of a start for Ake.

Paulo Ferreira

There is also the possibility of playing the forgotten Portuguese full-back.

Ferreira has played at left-back when needed to in the past and would certainly relish an opportunity for first team football. But throwing him from the start after only playing 90 minutes once in the past year may not be the most fruitful of decisions.

David Luiz

We know the Brazilian would love a chance to get attacking down the flanks and he may just have the technical dexterity to pull it off. With JT, Ivanovic and Azpilicueta covering the back-line it is certainly a possibility; if not an unlikely one.

Aziz Deen-Conteh

The 20-year-old is an England youth international left-back and at aged 20 needs to either make the grade of be moved on this summer.

He is in their Europa League squad and this could be his sink or swim moment.

Who would you play at left-back in Moscow?

image: © Ben Sutherland

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