Here is a possible eleven Chelsea could go with for the Super Cup match against Bayern Munich this Friday.
Chelsea have enjoyed a solid start to the season under Jose Mourinho with efficient performances and the boss staying true to his word in terms of using younger players.
He’ll have a chance to reignite his rivalry with former Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola on Friday and don’t be at all surprised to see a few changes from the team he used in the Premier League clash against Manchester United.
Here is the team he could go with.
GK – Petr Cech
It’s unlikely, given the magnitude of the match, that Mourinho will look to give Mark Schwarzer a game ahead of Cech who hasn’t really done anything wrong so far this season. Cech has been commanding, efficient and productive and he gives Chelsea a spine going forward from the very back of the team.
RB – Cesar Azpilicueta
Azpilicueta is likely to get a game if Mourinho switches Branislav Ivanovic to a central defensive position. The Spaniard will be fresh and eager to impress, plus his pace will be key when trying to contain Bayern Munich’s flamboyant and effective wide men.
CB – Branislav Ivanovic
Ivanovic could be moved into the middle to give John Terry a rest. He’s played centrally plenty of times in the past and the differences between playing at right back and centre back won’t be new to him. He also allows Chelsea to retain that strength aerially through the centre of their back four.
CB – Gary Cahill
Cahill has looked very solid at centre back so far this season and he’s important because he’s quicker, or as quick, as any central defensive option Chelsea can draw on for this match. He’s proved that he’s not a player who will be daunted by the scale of big matches.
LB – Ashley Cole
As much as Mourinho may want to give Cole a rest and use Ryan Bertrand at left back, unless Chelsea want to get destroyed by Arjen Robben then Cole has to play. He has the pace and the defensive experience to know hoe to contain Robben which will help Chelsea win the game.
RM – Kevin de Bruyne
De Bruyne has been one of Chelsea’s best players so far this season and he could thrive in this sort of one-off match situation. He offers support when Chelsea play narrower and he can play down the right when the side needs extra width. He can also spot a pass in behind the back four.
CM – Frank Lampard
Mourinho is not a naïve boss and while he may want to rest Terry at the back, he will want to keep that bit of experience in the side which is something Lampard can enhance. Lampard is no stranger to this sort of match against a big European opponent and we all know how dangerous he is making late attacking runs.
CM – Ramires
Ramires has to play because of the defensive role he plays in front of the back four. Considering the quality Bayern Munich have all over their team, it’s important the side has a player who can pick off runs, be aggressive and break up the attacking play over the course of the match.
CM – Juan Mata
Mata could play because he’s fresh and he’s been knocking on the door of the Chelsea starting eleven all season. It’s also a very good way for Mourinho to show the sides reportedly interested in Mata that he’s very much part of Chelsea’s plans, suggesting it would be pointless to go after him.
LM – Eden Hazard
Hazard frequently plays on the left side of Chelsea’s midfield and while he’s not an out and out winger, he links up well with Cole who will be getting forward to supply the width. Hazard is as good as anyone else on the ball in Chelsea colours and he’ll be a threat moving into a central position.
ST – Romelu Lukaku
Don’t be surprised if Lukaku gets the nod to start this match in attack. The 0-0 draw at United showed how important it is for Chelsea to use a front man and Lukaku is a good option because of his physical presence. There are going to be times when Chelsea have to hit the ball long, expecting Lukaku to hold the ball up as the pressure eases.
What do you think? Who will be in the starting eleven?
image: © Ben Sutherland