Club football is back following what proved to be a tedious international break and Jose Mourinho has confirmed that his players have returned from their respective duties in good health and that everyone is available for selection.
Mourinho also said that Samuel Eto’o will likely make his debut for the Blues but did not say whether it would be from the start or not. Either way I’m sure that I am not the only one that is looking forward to seeing the Cameroonian in action. Brazilian winger Willian may also be in line for his first appearance in a blue shirt. That’s about it as far as Chelsea’s team news goes as we have a full compliment to choose from.
As for Everton, they recently sold Marouane Fellaini to Manchester United but Roberto Martinez may call upon the likes of Gareth Barry and James McCarthy who recently joined the ranks, but Romelu Lukaku is ineligible as he cannot play against his parent club. This match has probably come too soon for Antolin Alcaraz and Darron Gibson who remain sidelined with injuries.
The XI I’d pick:
B. Ivanovic – G. Cahill – J. Terry (c) – A. Cole
Ramires – F. Lampard
Oscar – J. Mata – E. Hazard
Chelsea’s defence has been fairly settled and I don’t see why Gary Cahill wouldn’t keep his place after impressive form for club and country so far alongside a well rested John Terry. I prefer Cesar Azpilicueta to Branislav Ivanovic at right-back myself but Mourinho made it fairly clear who’d be first choice and I would expect to see the Spaniard play in the Champions League game against FC Basel.
I’d like to see changes as far as the central midfield goes but can’t see Mourinho doing it tomorrow. Ramires and Lampard seem to be his favourite pairing in the meantime and the fringe lads will have to impress when given the opportunity to change that.
Oscar, Juan Mata and Eden Hazard are probably the best attacking midfield trio we have but I’m a little concerned about the knocks picked up by Oscar and Hazard on international duty so perhaps Andre Schurrle or Willian could feature at some point in the match off the bench.
I wouldn’t mind if Fernando Torres started this game but I’m just keen to see Eto’o in action…just as long as it isn’t Demba Ba.