Jose Mourinho’s first season in his second coming to Chelsea has had a lot of positives, but looks likely to end without any silverware, which is unusual for both Mourinho, as well as the Blues.
Following a disappointing loss at the hands of Atletico Madrid in the Champions League, Chelsea look set to complete the campaign empty handed.
While mathematically, the Blues still have a chance of triumphing in the Premier League; it would take a major collapse from both Liverpool and Manchester City in the remaining two games for Mourinho’s men to lift the title and it looks unlikely at the moment.
However, that being said, one can be sure that Mourinho will push his side to end the season in a professional manner, starting off with the visit of Norwich City on Sunday.
Probable Chelsea lineup on Sunday –
Although Petr Cech has returned to training recently, it seems likely that veteran stopper Mark Schwarzer will continue in goal for the Blues. Schwarzer has filled in for Cech admirably and the 41-year old should continue his good form against a Norwich side who have the worst attacking record in the division.
Jose Mourinho sensationally fielded six defenders in the defeat at the hands of Atletico Madrid, but it was mainly due to unavailability of five of his midfielders.
John Terry miraculously recovered from injury to play the full 90 minutes against Atletico and the Blues’ skipper will start in the heart of the defence on Sunday as well, where he will be partnered by Gary Cahill. The impressive Tomáš Kalas will also be in contention though, following his fine performance against Liverpool.
The full back positions will be occupied by Cesar Azpilicueta and Branislav Ivanovic, which means that the in-form Ashley Cole will most probably have to drop out.
Mourinho will be without energetic midfielder Ramires for the rest of the campaign, after he was slapped with a four match ban for violent conduct for his elbow on Sebastian Larsson against Sunderland a few weeks back, while Oscar remains a doubt through injury.
Other than the absence of the two Brazilians, the Chelsea boss will have his full quota of midfielders to choose from after having to do without the services of Mohamed Salah, Nemanja Matic, Frank Lampard and John Obi Mikel in midweek.
In the absence of Ramires, Frank Lampard should return to the lineup where he will most probably be partnered by Matic. David Luiz and Mikel will also be alternatives for Mourinho to choose from.
Eden Hazard should start on the wings while Salah will deployed on the opposite flank, while either one of Willian or Andre Schürrle will be playing in the hole behind the striker.
With all of his strikers fit, it is anyone’s guess whom Mourinho will elect to start to lead the Chelsea attack with on Sunday.
While Fernando Torres scored in midweek, his overall display was disappointing and as a result, Demba Ba could get the nod to start. Samuel Eto’o is also in contention but the veteran striker has just returned from injury and will probably not be risked from the start.
Schwarzer; Azpilicueta, Cahill, Terry, Ivanovic; Hazard, Lampard, Willian, Matic, Salah; Ba