How does Jose Mourinho replace Eden Hazard and Oscar?

The international break has not been kind to Chelsea with key midfielders Eden Hazard and Oscar suffering injury setbacks.

It’s definitely a cause for concern for Jose Mourinho because the talented pair are two of his best midfielders and it will have knock on effects across the Chelsea midfield in the immediate future.

The Blues have five matches in the space of two weeks when the international break finishes which means Mourinho will already be working through various combinations of midfielders he can use in the back of his mind.

Those fixtures include difficult Premier League games against Everton and Tottenham Hotspur as well as the club’s opening Champions League match of the season against FC Basel.

Fortunately both Hazard and Oscar have replacements in the first team squad as well as enough depth for Mourinho not to have to play Frank Lampard in every single game, increasing the chances of fatigue setting in for of his older and more important players.

Lampard has so far been crucial in Chelsea’s season, controlling the pace of the play through the middle of the team.

John Obi Mikel and Michael Essien could both slot into a defensive midfield position with Ramires moving forward to replace Lampard when the veteran Chelsea man does need a rest.

The summer signing of Willian is crucial because he provides Mourinho with a good attacking option on the left which will allow the club to rest Hazard and further treat his Achilles problem.

It transpired during the international break that Hazard has been receiving injections for the problem which have allowed him to play on but his recent setback in training with Belgium is a sign that it may be time to get the knock seen to.

As far as Oscar is concerned, it’s difficult for the club to predict how he will react following an ankle injury.

There are options in central midfield with Kevin De Bruyne having enjoyed a superb start to the season and Juan Mata also waiting for a chance to come back into the Chelsea midfield.

The fact there is so much cover and plenty of options for Mourinho to consider is proof that the recent decisions of the club to invest in younger players was not a poor idea.

However it will be a blow for the club if the pair of them are kept out of action for any length of time because they have been integral to Chelsea’s very decent start to the season.

There’s no point in Mourinho taking a risk on either front while he has cover, risks which could make the pair’s current knocks substantially worse.

Who do you think will be in Chelsea’s midfield after the international break?

image: © Ben Sutherland

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