On Monday February 3rd, Chelsea travel to the Etihad Stadium to face Manchester City in one of the most anticipated games of the season. Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho will put out his strongest squad to take on the current point leaders.
It will be no surprise to see Chelsea play in the 4-2-3-1 formation.
Goalkeeper: Petr Čech
The veteran Chelsea keeper will surely start. Unless injured or resting, he will always be the first choice.
Right Back: Branislav Ivanovic
The Serbian will be defending the right wing Monday night. Despite having lost some of his pace and attack on the wing over the last few years, he provides consistency and is a possible aerial threat on corners.
Center backs: John Terry and Gary Cahill
For a game as big as this, Terry and Cahill must be deployed. The duo has become a barrier in front of goal. The two defenders have proven that they are the best choice for the position. David Luiz will start on the bench this game. Mourinho still has not found the consistency he desires in Luiz, and in such a big game, he cannot be willing to take a gamble.
Left Back: César Azpilicueta
The natural right back has proven himself and is slowly taking over Ashley Cole’s signature place. One of Chelsea’s most underrated signings, he has a perfect mix of strength and pace.
Holding Midfielders: Frank Lampard and Ramires
Lampard is certainly in his last year(s) at Chelsea, but is still one of the greatest midfielders in the world. At age 35, he can still play world-class long balls and is a free-kick maestro. With only five goals this season, he will be looking to add to his tally. Ramires will join Lampard in the midfield. The Brazilian’s speed and ability to sprint up the pitch at the most opportune times has led to many counterattacks and goals. New signing Nemanja Matic and John Obi Mikel will sit this one on the bench. Matic needs more time to integrate into the squad and the defensive-minded Mikel may be substituted on if the Blues take a lead.
Left Wing: Eden Hazard
Without a doubt, the Belgian youngster will start. One cannot imagine a full Chelsea squad without his name in the lineup. His quick feet and eye for goal will keep City’s Pablo Zabaleta a very busy man.
Center Attacking Midfield: Oscar
Oscar was good enough to forge the sale of Juan Mata. With that said, it is no question that he will be starting. He is continuing to improve his skills every week and has developed into a world-class player.
Right Wing: Willian
Andre Schürrle clearly favors playing on the left, so Willian will get the start on the right. Willian has great ball control and plays the wing very well. This is a huge game, and Mourinho has to go with consistency. Schürrle has yet to make his way into the squad as a consistent starter.
Striker: Samuel Eto’o
Having played in excellent form, he is the clear choice. Fernando Torres is still out with a knee injury and Demba Ba has shown little promise ad will have to sit on the bench for yet another game.