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Predicted Chelsea XI to play Basel

Chelsea will be looking to bounce back from defeat against Everton, opening their Champions League campaign against FC Basel.

Jose Mourinho said his team didn’t deserve to win against Everton and the boss will definitely be looking for a reaction from several players as Chelsea look to secure a third European trophy in as many seasons.

Here is the side Mourinho could choose to start his Champions League quest with.

GK – Petr Cech

Mourinho knows exactly what he’s going to get from Cech so he’ll start in goal. The Czech has plenty of experience in this competition, he organises the defence well and his decision making under pressure remains very good.

RB – Branislav Ivanovic

Ivanovic offers strength at right back and while he doesn’t offer a massive threat going forward, he does the basics in his defensive role very well. He will be vital if Basel look to counter attack Chelsea in wide areas.

CB – Gary Cahill

It’s a bit of a mystery as to why Cahill didn’t start against Everton but expect to see him back in the back four for this game. He’s been one of Chelsea’s best defenders this season, mature on the ball, showing great timing and generally proving a real pain to get the better of.

CB – John Terry

Mourinho has shown a lot of faith to Terry so far this season and he’ll likely keep his place again. David Luiz is the only other option but considering how rash and risky he looked against Everton, Mourinho is likely to go with an experienced player, he knows he can trust.

LB – Ashley Cole

There’s no reason to drop Cole who remains effective at both ends of the pitch. His pace and skill going forward is complimented by a solid defensive game whether he’s containing a winger or tucked in close to Terry as Chelsea play a bit narrower defensively.

RM – Kevin De Bruyne

It’s harsh on Andre Schurrle who has been asked to play down both flanks this season but De Bruyne surely has to come back into the side. The Belgian has looked very effective in all positions across Chelsea’s midfield this season.

CM – Juan Mata

With Ramires suspended, it means another potential chance for Juan Mata to show why he should be in the side on a regular basis. He won't play the holding midfield role but can get on the ball in the final third and be effective.

CM – Oscar

Oscar came off the bench for Juan Mata against Everton and should start this game, slightly fresher. The Brazilian offers plenty of creativity all over the opponent’s final third and he rarely gives the ball away.

CM – Frank Lampard

Just like Oscar, Lampard came off the bench against Everton so he should feel slightly fresher than if he’d started the game. He offers experience in and amongst some high quality younger players, which is important because Mourinho will want some leadership in the middle of the side.

LM – Eden Hazard

Hazard is the number one man on the left side of Chelsea’s midfield. He was nowhere near his best against Everton but he remains a threat in any Champions League match. He can play wide and feed the attack or drift inside to rain shots on goal or look to feed the main striker.

ST – Samuel Eto’o

That main striker is likely to be Samuel Eto’o who started against Everton before being subbed off for Fernando Torres. This is a competition that Eto’o knows very well and he’ll want to grab his first goal for the club, proving he’s the number one striker at Stamford Bridge.

What do you think? Should Mata keep his place in the midfield? Should David Luiz start in defence?

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image: © Ben Sutherland

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