Jose Mourinho once again proved that he is arguably the best manager when it comes to getting results in the big games, after his tactical masterclass against Liverpool handed the Blues a huge victory in the Premier League title race.
Now, the Portuguese manager will have to be at his best once again as his Chelsea side welcome Atletico Madrid to Stamford Bridge in the Champions League semi final second leg clash on Wednesday night, and the match is undoubtedly the biggest game of the season for the Blues.
While the first leg was a snooze fest – mainly due to the way Mourinho set up his side, Chelsea will surely have to be more adventurous in front of the home fans on Wednesday. By the same token though, the Blues will have to remain responsible at the back as well, as even a single away goal for the visitors could spell the end of Chelsea’s Champions League dreams.
With Petr Cech set to be missing for the rest of the campaign, veteran Mark Schwarzer will be keeping goal for the Blues. The 41-year old is an experienced campaigner who has seen and done it all before, so the Chelsea fans should not be too worried about the absence of Cech.
Schwarzer was brilliant in victory over Liverpool last week and the Australian star will surely be looking to continue his good run of form against Atletico Madrid on Wednesday.
Chelsea have been handed a huge boost with the news that inspirational captain John Terry will probably make a miraculous return to the lineup for the clash.
However, the defender’s return has not be confirmed as of yet and if he fails to recover in time for the clash, Gary Cahill looks set to be partnered by Branislav Ivanovic at the heart of the defence.
Tomas Kalas was handed bit of a baptism of fire after he made his Premier League debut against Liverpool on Sunday but the young man acquitted himself very well and he will also be an option for Mourinho in central defence.
Cesar Azpilicueta will shift into his natural right back position to fill in for Ivanovic while Ashley Cole looks set to continue at left-back.
Mourinho will be without four key midfielders as Nemanja Matic and Mohamed Salah are ineligible while Frank Lampard and John Obi Mikel will be forced to sit out due to suspension.
In the absence of Lampard and Mikel, Ramires and David Luiz look the most likely central midfield pairing while Oscar will be deployed as the creative force.
Willian looks a certain starter on the wings but the biggest concern for Chelsea will be the fitness of Eden Hazard.
The PFA Young player of the year has been missing for couple of weeks now and is still a doubt for the clash. If the young man misses out once again, Andre Schürrle looks to most likely candidate to start.
Fernando Torres was elected to start in the first leg at the Vicente Calderon and was rested in the clash against Liverpool by Mourinho, perhaps to keep the Spaniard fresh for the return leg.
However, considering Demba Ba’s fine form of late, the Senegalese international also has a good chance of leading the line. Samuel Eto’o is still struggling with a knee injury and could miss out this time as well.
Schwarzer; Cole, Cahill, Ivanovic, Azpilicueta; Willian, Ramires, Luiz, Oscar, Schürrle; Torres