It was a great weekend for Chelsea as they dug out a great win at home against Manchester City to keep the pressure up on the Gunners at the top of the league.
Jose Mourinho has some big decisions to make ahead of the League Cup tie against Arsenal, as he’s likely to want to rest several of his regular first team players ahead of important up and coming Premier League and Champions League games.
Here is the side he may go with tomorrow night.
GK – Mark Schwarzer
The Australian is perfectly suited to come straight into the team. He is a very experienced player so Chelsea will retain that strength in goal, which helps to keep the defence confident and well organised.
RB – Cesar Azpilicueta
The Spaniard has been unfortunate this season that Branislav Ivanovic has played so well in this position. It’s a chance for him to come in and show Mourinho that he’s a better long term option at right-back. He’s solid defensively and useful in the opponent’s final third.
CB – Gary Cahill
Cahill recently lost his place in the Chelsea line-up but he’s come back strongly, looking to determined to show Mourinho it was a poor idea to leave him out in the first place. Cahill offers strength and good aerial dominance.
CB – David Luiz
David Luiz didn’t feature against Manchester City so he’ll be fresh and he should be ready to start. The Brazilian has the ability to break forward and support the midfield but that’s a risk considering how good Arsenal are in possession. He also offers a threat from set pieces.
LB – Ryan Bertrand
Ashley Cole is unlikely to play two games in quick succession as he’s only just come back from a rib injury. Bertrand is a reliable option to have on the left side of defence and just as useful as Cole when it comes to getting forward and supporting the midfield and attack.
RM – Kevin De Bruyne
De Bruyne started the season in the Chelsea side but has since fallen out of favour at Stamford Bridge. He should get the nod to start this game on the right hand side of midfield. He can be useful from wide areas but he can also tuck inside to create space for the full back.
DM – Michael Essien
Essien has been used sparingly so far this season in Chelsea colours. He should come into the side to protect the defence in this game, getting forward to offer support to the midfield when he has the time and space to do so.
CM – John Obi Mikel
Mikel can sit in the middle of the team and pull the strings, playing simple passes to the more creative players. He’s naturally a defensively minded player so he could well rotate with Essien, with one of them filling in defensively when the other is caught up the field after an attack.
AM – Juan Mata
Mata was an unused sub against Manchester City yesterday and Mourinho probably had this game in mind. Mata can slot in behind the main striker and will be the main creative force in the midfield. Chelsea need him to make good forward runs as well as finding those killer passes in behind.
LM – Willian
Willian will provide the width on the left hand side with Eden Hazard getting a rest. Willian can be effective in several different ways in attack, which makes him difficult for Arsenal to predict and subsequently mark.
ST – Demba Ba
Ba should get a rare chance to start in attack against the team he could easily have joined over the summer. He provides a good threat with his movement and his pace and he’s also quite a tall striker, which means he’s a threat aerially if the Blues want to utilise him in that way.
What do you think? Who should be starting?
image: © Erik Daniel Drost