Chelsea FC: Predicting This Season's Starting XI at Stamford Bridge

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Chelsea FC: Predicting This Season's Starting XI at Stamford Bridge
Scott Heavey/Getty Images

Believe it or not, it’s now less than eight weeks before Chelsea opens up its 2012-13 English Premier League season when the Blues travel to Greater Manchester’s DW Stadium on Aug. 18 to face Wigan Athletic.

After finally winning its first UEFA Champions League title with a thrilling victory over Bayern Munich in May, Chelsea parted ways with legend Didier Drogba—who signed a two-and-a-half-year deal with Shanghai Shenhua earlier this month—as well as Salomon Kalou and José Bosingwa.
  
Drogba’s departure is a pretty tough pill to swallow for many Blues fans, but the 34-year-old Ivorian striker leaves after creating many brilliant memories, including his last shot in a Chelsea uniform against Bayern and his performance in the FA Cup versus Liverpool.

With Drogba gone, Chelsea looks to rebuild for the future and with its current roster and its pursuit of Porto superstar Hulk, it looks like it could be another very promising year in west London.

So with that in mind, here is my prediction for the Blues’ starting XI for that opener against the Latics, in a recommended 4-2-3-1 formation to accommodate the new-found wealth of riches in the midfield.

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