Tomorrow’s game against Shakhtar Donetsk has to be considered a must win for Chelsea if we’re to qualify for the knockout stages of the Champions League as anything less than three points will make life difficult, especially as Juventus are expected to pick up maximum points against FC Nordsjaelland in Turin.
Ashley Cole will miss the game with a hamstring injury and Frank Lampard is still out injured, whilst there’s question marks over both David Luiz and Juan Mata but hopefully they’ll be fit to take part.
The team I’d choose:
B. Ivanovic – G. Cahill – J. Terry (c) – R. Bertrand
Ramires – J. Mikel
Oscar – J. Mata – E. Hazard
I’m confident that Ryan Bertrand can step into Cole’s shoes at left-back, especially as Cole hasn’t looked himself in recent matches anyway and could probably do with a rest. It’ll be good to see John Terry back in the starting lineup as this is a night when you’ll need your leaders and we’ve shipped 10 goals without him, so I’d put him straight back into the team.
Midfield picks itself if Mata is fit. If not, I’d put Victor Moses in there and move Eden Hazard central.
If only we had a better option than Fernando Torres. We don’t, unfortunately, and although I wouldn’t mind experimenting with Hazard up top in what is described as a ‘false 9’ role, I don’t think Roberto Di Matteo will go for it. Daniel Sturridge is another option if Torres does his usual disappearing act.