Game to be played at Stamford Bridge, Wednesday 11th December 2013, kick off 19:45
Jose Mourinho has said he will rest three players tomorrow night for the game against Steaua Bucharest. With his side already qualified for the knockout stages of the Champions League, a win at Stamford Bridge tomorrow night will ensure his side qualify as group winners.
With all that in mind, here is the side he may send out to do the job for the Blues tomorrow night.
GK - Petr Cech
He will want to put the performance against Stoke City behind him when there was a degree of responsibility for the Potters’ equaliser, but despite his form not being the best it would be a bit of a surprise if he didn’t start.
LB - Ashley Cole
Mourinho will give Ashley Cole the start he has been promised for a number of weeks barring something happening between now and the game. Though he has been praised for his professionalism by the manager, he will want to prove a point to his boss and nail down his place in the side for the foreseeable future.
CD - John Terry
If David Luiz were fit then Terry may be getting a rest in this game, however Luis isn’t fit so Terry may have to play another 90 minutes this week before getting a rest.
CD - Gary Cahill
Like with Terry, his chances of getting a rest are reduced with the David Luiz not yet fit enough to return to first team action. Though the side has leaked a few goals, he seems to have developed a decent understanding with his centre back partner.
RB - Branislav Ivanovic
He seems to have this right-back position relatively nailed down. Only possibility of him getting a rest would be if Azpilicueta were to move across from the left. However, Ivanovic is used to the demands of playing for a club that competes on all fronts.
CM - Frank Lampard
He came on for John Obi Mikel in the weekend’s loss to Stoke so Lampard may be relatively fresh for this. What may be a little unclear is which role he will take up in the Chelsea side in this clash, whether he will be the man to sit deep or not.
CM - Ramires
He may drift out in to the right channel on occasions but expect his work to be predominantly in the middle and given that he has got a pretty good engine, playing in this game shouldn’t be a problem for him.
CM - Kevin De Bruyne
An unused substitute at the weekend so it would seem logical for Mourinho to give him a game against Steaua Bucharest, where he will be keen to impress.
CAM/RW - Juan Mata
Though normally a number ten, it wouldn’t be surprising for him to reprise the role in which Oscar and/or Hazard usually adopt in a wider position. The chances are with Hazard in pretty good form, Mourinho may not want to play him from the start in a game when they’ve already qualified.
LW - Samuel Eto’o
He came on as a substitute at the weekend and it isn’t unfamiliar for him to start in a wider position so he may be making runs and picking up the ball from wider areas of the pitch whilst being the main support to the main striker.
ST - Demba Ba
Expect Ba to get his chance as the main striker in the side having looked pretty decent in recent displays, and he did come on for Torres at the hour mark at the weekend. It could be role reversal to keep the strikers fresh.
image: © Crystian Cruz