It feels as though it has been a long time since I have written a match preview and I have missed watching club football over the summer, as I am sure you all have too, and I’m equally certain that you cannot wait to see Chelsea in action against Manchester City in the Community Shield on Sunday.
It’s not really a game that matters in the wide scheme of things and as long as we’re raring to go when it matter against Wigan for our first game of the Premier League season I’ll be happy, but it’s a piece of silverware nonetheless and after a poor pre-season, it will be great to greet this curtain raiser for the season with a win.
One of our newest recruits, Marko Marin, won’t be taking part due to a hamstring injury that he has been struggling with for around a week, which is unfortunate as he showed a few bright moments during the tour and could potentially make an impact with his pace from the bench.
On a brighter note, we have been given a clean bill of health elsewhere and it will be interesting to see how we line-up for this one. I think we’ll go:
B. Ivanovic – G. Cahill – J. Terry (c) – A. Cole
J. Mikel – F. Lampard
Ramires – E. Hazard – F. Malouda
The defence picks itself as we only have one right-back and David Luiz is too often the sort of player that you watch through your fingers, so Gary Cahill gets the nod from me.
In midfield, I would stick with the double pivot that we ended with last season with John Obi Mikel and Frank Lampard supplying the more creative players. Eden Hazard has to play in his favourite position and deserves to after being one of the bright sparks during a poor pre-season campaign, whilst Ramires plays on the right as he did last season and Florent Malouda on the left…because there’s no one else and I don’t imagine Juan Mata will start the game after being on international duty twice in the summer at the Euros and Olympics.
Up front is Fernando Torres, a default choice, who only has Daniel Sturridge challenging him for a place after Romelu Lukaku was allowed to go out on loan to West Brom, although I imagine we will eventually sign a new striker before the close of the transfer window.
Who’d be in your XI from the following players?
Chelsea (from): Cech, Ferreira, Ivanovic, Terry, Cahill, Luiz, Cole, Bertrand, Mikel, Meireles, Romeu, Essien, Lampard, Ramires, Mata, Hazard, Benayoun, Malouda, Torres, Sturridge, Turnbull.