Predicted Chelsea XI to play Norwich City - Eto'o to start as the only change


Chelsea will be looking to close the gap on Arsenal with three points away at Norwich City.

The Blues will be full of confidence following a solid 4-0 win against Steaua Bucharest in the Champions League and Jose Mourinho now has to decide which 11 players he’ll select this weekend.

Fernando Torres will not play as he picked up a knee injury in the game on Tuesday, which resulted in him having to leave the pitch after just 11 minutes of play. That could be the only change.

Here is the side Chelsea’s boss could go with.

GK – Petr Cech

Cech should continue in goal as Mourinho knows exactly what he’s going to get from him. He can save shots from different positions, he works with the back four well and distributes the ball well whether that’s a short pass into the defence or a longer pass to setup a counter attack.

RB – Branislav Ivanovic

Ivanovic looks like Mourinho’s primary right-back and he’ll continue in that position. He offers width and good support to the midfield going forward and he positions himself well when he’s on the back foot having to defend.

CB – John Terry

Mourinho knows exactly what he’s going to get from Terry in terms of leadership and performance. He’s good on the ground, good in the air and compensates well for his lack of pace with his positioning as he stays close to other defensive players who can give him some cover.

CB – David Luiz

David Luiz is likely to continue in the heart of the defence with Mourinho showing more of a willingness to use him in recent games. He links up with the midfield well and has the pace to compensate for Terry if Norwich look to thread the ball in behind.

LB – Ashley Cole

There’s no reason for the boss to drop Ashley Cole who should continue at left-back. Cole attacks well, he defends well and he can tuck inside on the occasions that David Luiz does find himself going for a wander in Chelsea’s midfield.

RM – Juan Mata

Mata played well against Steaua Bucharest to go with his positive performance against Tottenham last weekend. He can drift inside and get involved centrally and he’s also a threat coming in on his left foot. Don’t be surprised to see him switch flanks with Andre Schurrle at some point.

The one stat which proves Juan Mata is essential to Chelsea

DM – Ramires

The Brazilian is likely to continue in his holding role in front of the Chelsea back four. He’s great at picking up possession and moving the ball forward quickly, not afraid to try and get into advanced positions. His brace in mid-week will give him plenty of confidence.

CM – Frank Lampard

Lampard provides that experience and leadership in the middle of the team and he makes great runs forward. He gets forward from deep areas, which makes him extremely difficult for the opposition back four to pick up and keep tabs on.

AM – Oscar

Mourinho has made it clear that Oscar is his number ten at the moment and that’s where he’s likely to play, just in behind a main striker. He’s as good as anyone else in the Premier League when it comes to feeding the striker with deft little touches in and around the penalty area.

LM – Andre Schurrle

Schurrle is one of the best wide men that Chelsea have and he’s very important for providing width in an otherwise very narrow team. He will probably switch flanks at some point during the game to allow Mata to move onto his natural left side.

ST – Samuel Eto’o

Torres’ injury means Eto’o will have another chance to lead the Chelsea attack. He has a point to prove because his Premier League performances so far this season have been disappointing.

What do you think? Should Mikel come back into the team? Will Cahill start in the back four?

image: © Ben Sutherland

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