Daily Mail’s Martin Samuel described as the worst ever performance by a Premier League referee, and I’m not going to disagree with that.
However, it’s another game and another battle that both sides will be keen to win even if it doesn’t carry the same amount of importance or weight of expectation as the previous encounter.
Branislav Ivanovic and Fernando Torres won’t play any part as they were sent off during Sunday’s game whilst John Terry will sit the third game of his four-match domestic ban. So it’ll provide the perfect opportunity to give the likes of Daniel Sturridge, Marko Marin, Victor Moses and Cesar Azpilicueta a start.
The team I’d pick for Wednesday night’s match:
P. Cech (c)
C. Azpilicueta – G. Cahill – D. Luiz – R. Bertrand
O. Romeu – Ramires
V. Moses – L. Piazon – M. Marin
There’s not much of an opportunity to switch things around as far as our centre-backs are concerned with Ivanovic and Terry being suspended, but we can give Ashley Cole a rest as he’s not been at the races in the past few games and Bertrand is a more than capable replacement, whilst it would also be good to see more of Azpilicueta.
In midfield, I’ve got Ramires to start and perhaps both he and Mikel will play a half each as ideally you’d like to rest both but realistically we can’t considering Frank Lampard’s injury. No need to play Juan Mata, Eden Hazard and Oscar in this one though, let the fresh legs of Moses, Piazon and Marin have the opportunity to shine.
I’m pretty sure Sturridge would have started this game whether Torres was available or not and I hope he takes the opportunity as trying to play through a season with the one forward isn’t realistic, especially when he’s not performing at the level you would expect. Chelsea can of course strengthen the position in January if they wish.