Date: 24th August 2013 at 7:06pm
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Lukaku-Mourinho

David Luiz is a doubt for Chelsea ahead of the trip to Old Trafford to play Manchester United on Monday as he’s still working his way back from injury and is lacking match fitness, but Jose Mourinho remains hopeful that the defender will be available for the Bayern Munich game if he misses this one.

Tomas Kalas is the only player in the squad with a serious injury (fractured leg) but it’s a clean bill of health for the Blues otherwise as they look to strike an early blow in the Premier League title race by putting some distance between themselves and David Moyes’ side.

Chelsea target Wayne Rooney has a ‘good chance of starting’ against us on Monday night according to Moyes and it will be interesting to see what sort of reception he’ll get from both sets of fans as well as analysing his performance. Javier Hernandez (hamstring) Rafael (hamstring), Nani (groin), Ashley Young (ankle) are not expected to feature.

It’s a big match for Mourinho’s side and represents an early test for both managers in their new posts, so our approach and selection has to be spot on and the XI that I would like to see feature are:

P. Cech

B. Ivanovic – G. Cahill – J. Terry (c) – A. Cole

Ramires – M. van Ginkel

Oscar – J. Mata – E. Hazard

R. Lukaku

I’d argue that for this game it’s probably best to go with defensive continuity and play the aforementioned back four for now, at least until David Luiz and Cesar Azpilicueta are ready enough to challenge for their places again.

Ramires has been excellent in the first two games alongside Frank Lampard, but the latter struggled against Aston Villa when they pressed and Fabian Delph played him out of the match. Three games in eight days might be a bit much for him so I’d like to see van Ginkel given a shot as I’m expecting United to press and go for the jugular early on.

Juan Mata wasn’t great against Aston Villa but it was his first game back and him alongside Oscar and Eden Hazard represent our best attacking trio. There’s always Kevin De Bruyne to call upon and he was particularly impressive whilst Andre Schurrle is available and although we’ve not seen much of him, he can be a threat with his long range shooting.

I was very surprised to see Demba Ba in the XI against Aston Villa he doesn’t strike me as a man that has a future at Stamford Bridge and I thought Mourinho may want to give Romelu Lukaku a run out to see where he’s at ahead of Monday’s game in order to decide between him and Fernando Torres. For the type of game we may be forced to play I’d choose Lukaku.