Chelsea Season 2014/15 Expectations: The Defence

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A preview of the new 2014/15 season – a look at the Chelsea defence with focus on who are likely to nail down strating positions in Jose Mourinho’s back four.

As Fantasy Premier League tips and advice go, recommending the use of Chelsea players is hardly rocket science or an insight in to some kind of secret winning formula. However, although everybody knows they represent the most consistent clean sheet option, their abundance of top quality defenders can make it a real headache in terms of rotation – or does it?

Speaking to the official Chelsea website recently, manager Jose Mourinho may have solved the riddle for fantasy managers, stating:

“We needed a pure left-back…I can now play Azpi right-back and Ivanovic centre back because of Felipe”.

The statement does seem to imply that new signing Felipe Luis will be a regular starter on the left, suddenly making him a fantastic option and a cheaper route into the regular Chelsea clean sheet points, being valued at £6.0m (and owned by just 11.3%).

Of course, it wouldn’t be the first time that Mourinho has played games with everyone and at Chelsea there is never a 100% guaranteed starter when you consider the amount of games they will play over the season. While Luis is the only senior outright left-back in the first team and therefore less likely to be rotated, the mention of Branislav Ivanovic being deployed as a centre-back is an interesting one. Not because he can’t play there, in fact it’s his natural position, but more because 3 players into 2 positions doesn’t fit.

Discounting the young Kurt Zouma who is only likely to feature in domestic cup competitions, Chelsea have John Terry and Gary Cahill in the centre-back position fighting for a place. Despite the long lasting relationship between Terry and Mourinho, it could well be the veteran that makes way in the Premier League games, potentially saved for the European games where the tempo may be slower and teams less likely to expose him in the early stages.

Although none of this is guaranteed and Terry could easily defy his critics and doubters again this season, it is perhaps a big gamble to take for such a premium priced defender. On the face of things, Gary Cahill, who aged 28 is now in his prime, does appear the more likely to be trusted with being the ever-present in the centre – a fact backed up by his 17.2% current ownership.

So, has Mourinho taken away your selection headache, or have his comments simply caused you more unwanted dilemmas?

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