Mourinho’s Striker Problems

Chelsea face United this week at Old Trafford and with Manchester City hot on their trail, securing a win is a priority.

Having played the midweek clash against Maribor, Drogba would be considerably fatigued and having been unable to hit the ground running he would definitely not be the first choice to start on Sunday. This leaves Chelsea in a little bit of a sticky situation in the striker department with Costa and Remy both suffering from injuries.

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The false 9 is something that Chelsea have explored in the past, most notably under Di Matteo where it was not a resounding success. But the team has changed since then and with the midfield options currently available to Mourinho, he might be inclined to pick the false 9 option.

United are poised to start with Rojo and Jones as their centre backs, and while they both are individually good players their partnership is something that is yet to form and the two goals conceded at the Hawthorns bears testimony to that. Luke Shaw is also not in the best of forms, and these defensive vulnerabilities could be exploited by Chelsea to secure the win.

When we look at the False 9 system, Messi is one of the best examples that defines the system. The system basically works without an out and out striker. The lack of this striker means that either the two centre backs do not mark anyone or one of them man marks the player who is the closest thing to the striker in the team. In either of these cases, a lot of spaces open up for midfielders to penetrate deeper into the oppositions final third, and this is exactly where Chelsea can capitalize.

Hazard is developing into one of the best players in the world, and he is quite capable of shooting from long ranges. He would be the key to Chelsea’s False 9. The second part to this jigsaw would be Fabregas. He has been deployed as a False 9 for Spain on multiple occasions, and while he has not thrived in that role, he can help Hazard unlock his potential.

Fabregas possesses this rare combination of vision and skill that allows him to spot spaces from miles away. Having already stacked up 7 assists this season, he can find Chelsea players in the tightest of gaps. With Hazard and Schurrle both capable of playing as inside forwards, we could see a lot of rotation in their playing positions.

Schurrle has already shown his worth in the World Cup of 2014 while Hazard has consistently performed in the premier league. The False 9 could be Chelsea’s answer for securing the 3 points on their trip to Old Trafford. The question is, will Mourinho take the risk?

Edited By: Shashank Rai

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  • i firmly believes that Diego Costa wll be come out from the trafford tunnel… as part of master minds mind games… the indication of that belief was his last day’s particular sentence – costa have a chance. a little ..very very little”…..we can c killer instinct..

  • Costa is definitely our best option up front now. If he is fit he should definitely play. The False 9 is something that is more of a back up in case we do not have fit strikers.

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