After succumbing to an unlikely 2-1 defeat at St. James Park last weekend, Jose Mourinho’s side will look to bounce back on Wednesday in the Champions League encounter against Primeira League side Sporting Lisbon.
With 11 points in the 5 CL games so far, Chelsea has already been confirmed as Group G winners going into tomorrow’s clash against the Portuguese side.
Sporting, however, has to avoid a defeat against the Blues at Stamford Bridge tomorrow if they want to qualify for the knock-out rounds. Although, they would also progress if Schalke loses their match against Maribor tomorrow.
With just a couple of days gap between this fixture and the weekend PL trip to Hull City and also due to the fact that a win or loss doesn’t change any complexion for Chelsea tomorrow, Mourinho would most likely make a host of changes going into this fixture.
Although it would probably be impossible to pick the correct line-up given it is Jose Mourinho we are talking about; here’s how we think the manager might go into this fixture:
GK – PETR CECH
Thibaut Courtois has been in fine form, already establishing himself as the No.1 shot-stopper for this Chelsea side but, this would be a chance for Petr Cech to get a game at Stamford Bridge tomorrow.
CB – KURT ZOUMA and GARY CAHILL
This would probably be the toughest task to guess who starts alongside Kurt Zouma. Given the fact that Jose Mourinho would prefer John Terry and Ivanovic to be fit for the PL games, it would most likely be Gary Cahill who will get the nod over the other two.
LB – FILIPE LUIS
The Brazilian has been impressive whenever he has started at the LB spot. Even in the last game against Newcastle, Luis was one of the few who impressed with his performance after coming on as a substitute. He definitely starts tomorrow.
RB – CESAR AZPILICUETA
A chance for the Spaniard to start at his preferred RB spot ahead of Ivanovic tomorrow. Although, Andreas Christensen started and impressed at RB spot in the League Cup game and starting the Danish tomorrow will no doubt do him a world of good, but knowing Jose, he would go with Azpilicueta.
CM – JOHN OBI MIKEL and RAMIRES
Chelsea fans can expect a new CM partnership when we hit the ground tomorrow. Ramires has mostly been injured this season while Mikel has been demoted to a fringe player, mostly due to Matic performing in a Godly mode.
But come tomorrow, It would obviously be a very good chance for both of them to prove their worth with some impressive and commanding performance against the Primeira League side.
LW – ANDRE SCHURRLE
The LW position has been synonymous with Eden Hazard for quite a while now. But it would be Andre Schurrle who gets to start at his preferred position against Sporting Lisbon. I personally hope for the winger to shine at the Bridge tomorrow.
RW – MOHAMMED SALAH
Yes, the winger still exists! The Egyptian has struggled to even make the bench this season and if he still hopes for a future in the Blue outfit, Salah has to start performing. Quickly.
CAM – CESC FABREGAS
It’s a toss up between Willian and Fabregas as to who starts in the CAM spot but, given the fact that Spaniard is suspended against the Hull City game in the weekend and Mourinho still doesn’t trust Lewis Baker enough to start for the Blues, I would personally go with Fabregas to start at the No.10 position tomorrow.
STRIKER – DIEGO COSTA
Jose Mourinho says Diego Costa will start tomorrow’s game.
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Edited By: Ankur Bhatt