Chelsea head into this weekend’s match against Hull City seeking to consolidate their position at the top of the premier league table. Although they failed to extend their lead to eight points after being held to a draw by Southampton, they are still on course to stroll to their first league title in five years.
I mentioned on this piece that Chelsea needed a good winning performance against Southampton to banish the ghosts of their Champions League quarter-final exit to PSG. They didn’t win but definitely put in a good performance against a solid opponent.
With Manchester City’s indifferent form this season and with no further champions league committments, it will take a major catastrophe for the Blues not to be crowned champions come May. And in Hull City, they have an opponent which can be easily beaten if they were to put in a performance anywhere close to the one they displayed against Southampton.
Below is the possible starting eleven that Jose Mourinho will field against Hull:
Thibaut Courtois was again great in their last game, pulling off good saves on the number of occasions he was called upon. With only the league to be concerned about, Mourinho will have no need to rotate.
And as he has shown already this season, the Portugese chooses his best players for games when he can regardless of the opposition. As such, expect the Belgian international to be given a nod to start in goal.
The only change I see Mourinho making in defence is Zouma in for Gary Cahill. Hull City is not as formidable an opponent as Southampton (as the league table points out), and represents a perfect opportunity for the coach to give the French youngster more minutes on the pitch to aid his impressive development. Azpilicueta should join Ivanovic and Terry to complete the back four.
It is no secret that Fabregas’ influence has waned in recent months which, in part, explains the lack of entertainment in Chelsea’s performances.
However, the Spanish international is just too good to be dropped and can prove crucial if the Blues are ever to regain their scintillating form of the early months of the campaign. Expect him to start in the holding midfield position along with Nemanja Matic, but with more license to roam forward.
Further forward, Willian and Hazard should retain their places in the starting eleven. However, Juan Cuadrado should start in place of Oscar given the Brazilian’s tendency to be invisible in games and the less daunting nature of the opposition.
There’s no real competition in the center forward role for Diego Costa. He broke his goal drought by scoring the opening goal against The Saints last weekend. He should be given the go-ahead again this weekend, to start as the sole striker against Hull City.
Via – Lineup Builder