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Chelsea Set to Drop Big Names to Face Maccabi Tel-Aviv in Champions League: Possible Lineups

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MAnchester vs Chelsea

It’s that time of the year, Champions League is back. Chelsea return to the competition hoping to erase the memory of last year, when they were dumped out by PSG at Stamford Bridge. The Blues are struggling in the Premier League, currently places 17th with only 4 points from five games, Mourinho needs to get his troops in order before they embark on their Champions League journey this year. They face Maccabi Tel-Aviv, who on the other hand, are unbeaten in the Israeli Premier League, with two wins and a draw from their opening three fixtures. Chelsea and Maccabi have never faced each other.

Goalkeeper: Asmir Begovic

Thibaut Courtois
Thibaut Courtois

If there can be any positives from Courtois’ injury, it is that Begovic will get another to prove his credentials between the sticks. He has been in top form this season, probably one of the top performers in an underachieving Chelsea team. After Cech’s departure this summer many thought Begovic will not be an able deputy to Courtois but from match one of the season, Begovic has been in top form, saving Chelsea a number of times.

Defense: Azpilicueta, Terry, Cahill and Baba Rahman

The only bright spark in a weak Chelsea back line is Azpilicueta, he has been superb in situations where his teammates have struggled. The fact that it is the first game of a new season in the Champions League might prompt Mourinho to start with his most experienced centre back pairing of Terry and Cahill, both haven’t had the best start this year but still remain Chelsea’s best centre back pair. One big change that we are expecting is the omission of Ivanovic from the starting eleven after a string of horrendous performances, which means a debut might be inorder for Baba Rahman. A home game in Europe, against on paper, the weakest opposition in the group, should be a great game to introduce Baba Rahman into the squad.

Branislav Ivanovic
Branislav Ivanovic

Midfield: Matic, Fabregas, Hazard, Pedro and Kenedy

Mourinho must be scratching his head wondering what has happened to the players who carried Chelsea’s title challenge last year. Fabregas has been poor, while Hazard still has to hit the heights which made him the PFA player of the year last season. Mourinho won’t feel the need to bench them right now but if they don’t come up with the goods soon, that might be only option Mourinho might have. Matic was excellent in the defeat against Everton and should partner Fabregas as CDM pairing. New signing Pedro is likely to start on the wings, after tasting success with Barcelona in the Champions League, he would want to achieve the same results with Chelsea. Young Brazilian Kenedy might get a start ahead of Willian, he has earned rave reviews from football pundits across the globe. His is quick and direct which can trouble the opposition’s defense.

Striker: Diego Costa

Diego Costa
Diego Costa

There is no doubt that Costa is struggling badly for form right now, he needs to start scoring goals if he wants to lead Chelsea’s attack this season. Mourinho has Falcao and Remy waiting in the wings to replace the Spanish forward. Last season Costa started brilliantly but the tide has totally turned this season for him.


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