CHELSEA FANS - NAME YOUR STARTING ELEVEN TO FACE MANCHESTER UNITED.
As we move closer to the weekend and to Manchester United at Stamford Bridge this Saturday, I am ...
As we move closer to the weekend and to Manchester United at Stamford Bridge this Saturday, I am interested to hear as many opinions as possible on who YOU believe should be starting for Chelsea.
As always, there will be a difference of opinion amongst the fans but it's important that Jose Mourinho makes the right decision on the night as a win would take us one step closer to the Premier League title.
Regular readers of my website would have seen that I asked the question of Kurt Zouma and whether or not you believe that he should be handed a start with his role to eliminate the threat of Marouane Fellaini?
It's not just in the midfield that questions need to be asked. I personally believe that Branislav Ivanovic has been well below the standards he has set himself of late so we should consider whether or not we move Cesar Azpilicueta back over to the right hand side, to bring Filipe Luis into the side down the left?
I cannot help but think that the mobility of Ashley Young in addition to the aerial threat of Fellaini is a real concern. Do we think that Ivanovic would get sucked into leaving his position to attack headers against the big Belgian midfielder? If he did, that would cause us a real problem as Ashley Young could potentially be left unmarked!
Does the option of Azpilicueta and Luis give us enough cover? Would we be happy with those two playing either side of Cahill and John Terry against United?
As we have seen of late, Oscar has been linked with a potential move away from Stamford Bridge this summer with a whole host of big names being reported to be interested.
As one of the most substituted players in the Premier League and having not started against QPR but having a major influence on the game when he came on; Does Oscar start in this one?
Think about the way United would line up. Michael Carrick who should be fit to start plays as their holding midfielder now Daley Blind has moved to left back and we need to ensure he isn't given time and space to pick his passes. If anything, we need to ensure Carrick is kept busy enough without the ball, keeping him occupied and Oscar could do exactly that.
However, will it be Oscar as the one to miss out again if Jose decides to start Kurt Zouma?
I have an argument for Ramires to be selected to start in this game BUT in a switch to our current formation back to 4-3-3. Nemanja Matic would play as the holding midfielder with Cesc Fabregas and Ramires to play either side of him.
In games such as these, you need people that can make a difference and especially those who have a fantastic engine on them. Ramires' work rate and willingness to work hard without the ball could force the managers hand to start.
In addition, I would not be surprised if the manager decided to stick with him down our right hand side, as he did against QPR, to deal with Daley Blind and Ashley Young, to assist our right back.
I worry that Willian could miss out on this one. Although he has the same qualities as Ramires, it's his ability with the ball that makes him a much better option. The boss could decide to play Zouma next to Matic, push Fabregas further forward and keep Ramires out on the right.
I personally hope that Willian starts if the boss decides to stick with our 4-2-3-1 formation.
We wait to hear news on Loic Remy ahead of the game tomorrow but a very real possibility is that Didier Drogba will start again on Saturday. Although he doesn't have the same burst of pace he had before, up against the likes of Chris Smalling and Marcos Rojo, Drogba could give them a hard time like we all know he could.
One thing is certain. He needs to do much better than he did against QPR and for me, needs to be more lively and on his toes. We could find ourselves up against it for certain period of the game and we need him as an out-ball.
My selection for Saturday:
I personally DO NOT believe that we should change our approach to compensate for Fellaini. We should force Van Gaal and his players to worry about the threat that WE pose them instead, for them to change their approach.
For me Oscar has done enough to start next to Hazard and Willian, Matic and Fabregas to continue in the heart of our midfield with Remy starting and Luis in at left back with Azpilicueta at right back!
My team is:
Courtois, Azpilicueta, Cahill, Terry(c), Luis, Matic, Fabregas, Hazard, Oscar, Willian, Remy
What do you think?