Chelsea take on Bayern Munich in the UEFA Super Cup in Prague tomorrow and despite all the talk about Pep Guardiola’s rivalry with Jose Mourinho and their players seeking revenge for the 2012 Champions League final, it’s really just a good opportunity for the Blues to test themselves against a top side and attempt at some early silverware.
The Europa League winners took part in the competition last season as European champions but were embarrassed by Radamel Falcao and company as Atletico Madrid ran out 4-1 winners.
Juan Mata was an unused substitute at Old Trafford against Manchester United but Mourinho says that the Spaniard is fit to play against Bayern Munich. The Portuguese manager added that David Luiz is also fit but may not be ready to play.
The XI I’d pick to play Bayern Munich:
B. Ivanovic – G. Cahill – J. Terry (c) – A. Cole
J. Mikel – Ramires
Oscar – J. Mata – E. Hazard
The aforementioned back four may not be the best we have but have played in all of our games so far and for defensive continuity it’s best to stick with them for now. They did very well at Old Trafford and will have to put in a similar performance here.
Frank Lampard has looked a little out of sorts in our midfield in the last two games and when teams press against us his forward runs aren’t effective because we just can’t get the ball forward quick enough or build from deep as it leaves Ramires in the centre alone. I’d start John Obi Mikel and have him sit in the midfield in order to let Ramires use his pace on the break.
Having Mikel around will also help Mata as the Spain international probably isn’t going to track back as much as Oscar does when he occupies that central role as it isn’t really his game, but there isn’t a better playmaker in the team and as long as Mikel and Ramires provide a solid base we can see the best of Mata in this one. Eden Hazard will need to shape up as he’s been off the boil but this is the stage to do it on and Oscar just needs to keep his work-rate up as the performances are there.
Fernando Torres is the most experienced forward in the side and will probably start this one. I would like to see Romelu Lukaku feature at some point and think the Belgian is perhaps more suited to having an impact from the bench if need be than Torres would have if it was the other way around, but we’ll see.
Who would be in your Chelsea XI to play Bayern Munich in the UEFA Super Cup?