Predicted Chelsea XI to play Manchester City - Cole to return if fit

Chelsea Pride Of London

Match to be played on Sunday 27th October 2013 at 16:00. Venue: Stamford Bridge, London.

Chelsea moved to the top of their Champions League group with a plus five goal difference thanks to their 3-0 hammering of FC Schalke in Germany.

Attention now switches back to the Premier League and a very difficult home match against Manchester City, as the Blues look to try and keep up with Arsenal at the top of the Premier League.

Ashley Cole could feature after a spell out with a rib problem, which has seen Mourinho use Ryan Bertrand and Branislav Ivanovic in his left-back slot.

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Here is the side Mourinho may go with for the game.

GK – Petr Cech

Cech has to play because he gives the back four confidence. They know they have a very active and experienced goalkeeper behind them who will help structure the defence and has a great ability to see danger before it’s developed into a real threat.

RB – Branislav Ivanovic

Ivanovic should revert to his more familiar right-back role. He’s been the best player in that position at the club so far this season. He offers a good outlet option to the midfield when he goes forward and also provides strength in defence whether he’s exposed on the wing or close to the centre back.

CB – Gary Cahill

Cahill returned to the starting line-up for the win against Schalke and he didn’t do anything to deserve to be dropped. He’ll be a vital asset against the slippery and quick pace of someone like Sergio Aguero and he also offers strength aerially.

CB – John Terry

Terry has played in dozens of these types of matches throughout his career and he’s likely to feature again. He doesn’t have the pace to cope with the slick movement of the City attack but he gets himself into good positions around the pitch to be able to cope against those tactics.

See also: Chelsea and Manchester United could rekindle interest in Ajax attacker

LB – Ashley Cole

If Cole is fit then he plays. He’ll be valuable in terms of getting forward and creating width on the left-hand side which allows Eden Hazard to tuck in and play more centrally. Cole’s pace also makes him a vital defender and decreases the chance that Chelsea will be attacked down his side of the pitch.

RM – Andre Schurrle

Schurrle didn’t have his best game against Schalke but he’s a more reliable option than Willian. Schurrle offers protection to Ivanovic which will be important against a player like David Silva or Samir Nasri and his confidence will still be high following his hat-trick for Germany.

DM – Ramires

Ramires will play a holding role in midfield, getting forward when he has the chance and space to do so. He’s great at getting tackles in and reading the play and he’s a decent option to have in the way of someone like Yaya Toure.

CM – Frank Lampard

Lampard has to play because his experience is very important in matches of this magnitude. Lampard will be vital in keeping the midfield structured and organised and he’ll be important in urging a response from the team should they go behind early.

See also: Is Fernando Torres finally getting back to his best at Chelsea?

AM – Oscar

Oscar has a decent game against Schalke and will likely start in behind the main striker. He’ll be crucial in terms of setting up attacks whether that’s on the counter in his own half of the field or whether he’s involved as Chelsea build heavy pressure over City.

LM – Eden Hazard

Hazard bagged a goal against Schalke and deserves to start over on the left. He can link up well with the left-back and he’s good enough to come inside and offer support to the other midfielders in the team. He can also make runs beyond the striker which is important.

ST – Fernando Torres

Torres’ brace against Schalke means he has t start this game. The Spaniard has looked like the Torres of old at times this season and he’s arguably the best option Mourinho has to lead his attack. It would be very surprising if Mourinho decides to go with Samuel Eto’o or Demba Ba instead.

What do you think? Should Cole come straight back in? Should Willian play down the right?

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