MATIC: Arguably our best player so far - How will Chelsea cope without him?
Tomorrow lunchtime, Chelsea face their second trip up north in a week to face Newcastle but are without Nemanja Matic who is suspended. A...
Tomorrow lunchtime, Chelsea face their second trip up north in a week to face Newcastle but are without Nemanja Matic who is suspended. Arguably Chelsea's best player, it will be interesting to see just how Jose Mourinho's men cope with his absence.
An ever present in Mourinho's side, Matic has been a revelation since he made a return to Stamford Bridge. People raved about Claude Makelele in the position he made his own, rightly so, ten years ago. If anything, Matic has proven to be just as vital to Mourinho as the man who had the position named after him.
Forget the likes of Diego Costa, Eden Hazard, Cesc Fabregas and Oscar although playing a huge part in our season so far, for me all day long Nemanja Matic has been the our best player and his absence will be HUGE against Newcastle.
As we know and have seen, Matic is everywhere in our midfield. Just look at how many times he closes people down, wins possession of the ball and plays it forward when he has it at his feet. Cesc Fabregas if anything, as a licence to do his defensive work but knowing that Matic is there for the most part to act as cover. Make no mistake, we could see a different approach at St James Park.
So who will come in? The obvious choice is Mikel because of his defensive instincts especially as we are playing away from home. You have to expect that the home side will have plenty of the ball and will look to force Chelsea backwards so you have to cover for that. I also expect Cesc Fabregas to play deeper than he has been.
Don't get me wrong here, Chelsea still pose such an attacking threat, Newcastle would be foolish to not organise themselves without the ball. If Jose chooses to throw Mikel into replace Matic, then expect Cesc to play in the pocket in midfield and look to pick his passes from deep much more often than he has at any stage of our season.
I really cannot emphasise enough just how vital Matic has been for Chelsea this season and I hope we can cope without him.
What do you people think?