PREVIEW: Fulham v Chelsea - Jose to ring the changes?
The more I think about it, the more I personally believe that tomorrow at Craven Cottage, it'...
The more I think about it, the more I personally believe that tomorrow at Craven Cottage, it's the ideal time to rotate the Chelsea team and give players who have not really had a look in, a game.
That's no disrespect to Fulham at all in any way as Chelsea would still have a strong starting eleven but it's the perfect opportunity for other players to show the manager that they still have something to offer in the title race.
If you missed my blog post yesterday, I stated that I felt someone like Eden Hazard looks tired and with that, there is a danger that some of our players could face a burn out before the season finishes.
I will admit to being surprised at the length of time Ashley Cole has remained on the sidelines. I know Cesar Azpilicueta has played consistently well, but there has been opportunities for the manager to give Branislav Ivanovic a rest and move Azpilicueta over to his natural position on the right hand side to bring Cole back in. However, for one reason or another, it just hasn't happened.
You do have to question if there is something more with his situation though as it's unusual for a player to have been left out of the side for so long despite receiving backing from his manager. Just the other day Mourinho stated that he believed that Cole, with Frank Lampard and John Terry, would receive a new contract at the club?
I still think Ashley Cole could come in and do a good job tomorrow and if anything make a point to the manager to state that he still wants to play a massive part in our season.
As for Demba Ba? Why not give him a start? He has come up with a couple of important goals for us when called upon and against Fulham who are fighting for Premier League survival, it's an opportunity to give him another chance to show us what he could offer.
Ba offers Chelsea a very different approach up top. Someone who can hold the ball up, bring others into play and despite not being the quickest, he knows when to make that all important run to get on the end of things.
Make no mistake, the game is just as big and important as any other and it's imperative that Chelsea pick up three points. Anything other than three points is a disaster in my book.
Fulham under Magath will be looking to impress and anyone who had watched their recent performances would know that Chelsea will not have things their own way at the Cottage. A great result at Old Trafford was followed up by disappointment at the death in their last home game against Liverpool. In their last game our West London neighbours took a good point from the Hawthorns.
Fulham will be set up to be solid and compact to make life difficult for Chelsea to break down. In Darren Bent up top, they will always remain a threat. Steve Sidwell has come into his own of late with some important goals and Chelsea will need to keep him quiet.
If anything of late, Chelsea's Achilles heel has been being able to get the job done against the so-called lesser sides in the Premier League with points dropped in recent weeks against West Ham and West Brom. Every single game is as important as the other and Mourinho is well aware of that.
After just watching the Mourinho press conference a moment ago it's clear he isn't happy. Just 72 hours after Istanbul, Chelsea take the pitch once again and he has stated that he doesn't have any team news because the players have not trained!
Everything ahead of the game has been about Jose's comments about the strikers, his falling out with the press and of fatigue. Now more than ever, Chelsea need to lift themselves and deliver a performance and the right result. In saying that, I would bite your hand off for any form of victory now!
Will there be changes tomorrow and could we see the likes of Ashley Cole and Demba Ba being called upon? Only Jose Mourinho knows but at the end of the day, we wouldn't have anyone else making that decision now would we!
Come on Chelsea, time to grind out another victory and keep the pressure on our rivals.
Anything better than that will be a bonus and that's for sure!
Carefree & KTBFFH