Chelsea will have their work cut out if their to overturn their 2-0 deficit against Swansea when the sides meet tomorrow night to play the second leg of their Capital One Cup semi-final at the Liberty Stadium.
Rafael Benitez has no fresh injury concerns but David Luiz, who missed out at the weekend against Arsenal having picked up an ankle knock, is unlikely to play whilst Nigerian duo John Obi Mikel and Victor Moses are away at the 2013 African Cup of Nations in South Africa.
Swansea have concerns of their own as Chico, Remy Agustien and Neil Taylor have all been suffering injuries.
The XI I’d play:
C. Azpilicueta – B. Ivanovic – J. Terry (c) – R. Bertrand
Ramires – F. Lampard
Marin – J. Mata – E. Hazard
Considering we’re 2-0 down going into tomorrow night’s game it’ll be a match in which we need big characters and I’d bring John Terry back into action for this one and pair him with Branislav Ivanovic, who was excellent alongside Gary Cahill against Arsenal and I’d give him the chance to atone for his errors in the first leg.
We don’t have the luxury to rotate the midfield and attack in the same way we can in defence, so the rest of the team pretty much picks itself unless Rafael Benitez decides that he wants to give Marko Marin another chance in the hope that we can utilise his pace, especially on the counter attack, although I expect he will play Oscar in that role who did ok at the weekend.
Our lack of depth in the squad compared to our rivals is worrying and we’ve even less options now that Lucas Piazon has been loaned out and Marin could yet go too, so I’d like to think we’d recruit at least one more player this window, but that’s a debate for another day.
One area in which we do have choice is upfront and although Fernando Torres put a shift in against Arsenal at the weekend, it’s ultimately your goal-scoring abilities that matter in that position and we need to score at least two to keep us in the tie and the minimum of three to win it so Demba Ba must start as he’s the man in form.