How Chelsea Will Line Up Against Swindon
For a side who have spent over £200 million in the last three years, the talent on offer at Stamford Bridge is simply astonishing. It's even gotten to the point where their two-time Player of the Year, Juan Mata, is currently unable to hold down a regular spot in the team.
Blues manager Jose Mourinho will be wary of complacency in his side and will be fully aware that failure to beat the League One outfit will be deemed unacceptable by both the supporters and owner Roman Abramovich.
Nevertheless, the Portuguese coach only spoke last week of his faith in his young "eggs," and it could well be that the mastermind tactician sets up a youthful side with a view to resting some senior figures.
And so, we go about looking at who might start the game as the Blues travel towards the West of England for an enticing encounter.
GK: Mark Schwarzer
He will have been disappointed to have missed out against former club Fulham on Saturday, but Mark Schwarzer will be given the chance to show Petr Cech he is not at Stamford Bridge to warm the bench against Swindon. The Australian is yet to start a competitive game for the Blues since his free transfer, although he featured frequently in pre-season and will be desperate to make an impression on Tuesday evening.
RB: Cesar Azpilicueta
Frozen-out somewhat after Mourinho's arrival, the Spanish full-back needs to take his chance and put in a good shift at right-back after losing out to Branislav Ivanovic so far this season. The 24-year-old missed most of pre-season due to his Confederations Cup duty but can offer Chelsea a useful outlet on the right-hand side. His defensive discipline needs to improve, but against lower league opposition, there's no better time for "Dave" to do just that.
CB: Gary Cahill
An improvement in Gary Cahill's game has been evident so far this season, and Mourinho's faith in the English centre-back is telling, with the 27-year-old starting the first four Premier League games in the current campaign. His work rate is phenomenal and, even despite the odd mistake, is a steady presence amongst the back four. His level of professionalism will be key to ensuring complacency does not become an issue.
CB: David Luiz
After being promised a start by Jose Mourinho for the game against Swindon, according to Jason Burt from The Telegraph, it seems there is no better time for David Luiz to prove he should be a mainstay in the Chelsea defence. He showed a lack of positional awareness against Everton and Basel, and so the Brazilian needs to step up and make an impact if he is to keep his place in the side.
LB: Ryan Bertrand
Having been very much trusted by both Roberto Di Matteo and Rafa Benitez, Bertrand has been predictably left out in the cold by Mourinho, who seems to favour Ashley Cole at left-back—who is considered as one of the "untouchables."
But now an English left-back, the 24-year-old will be keen to show what he has to offer. An abundance of pace and always giving 100 percent, Mourinho can rest assured that the former Gillingham man will run his socks off in Cole's absence.
CM: Michael Essien
Given the close relationship between Mourinho and Essien, it's somewhat strange that the Ghanaian has barely featured since he took over. What's more, the 30-year-old was left out of the 25-man Champions League squad, leaving him only available for domestic matches. Perhaps struggling for fitness, a game against lower opposition is the ideal time for Essien to prove he still has a role to play for Chelsea.
CM: Lewis Baker
It seems unlikely that Mourinho would start a player who, at 18, is still such a raw talent; but a talented boy he is indeed. Captain of the Under-19 team, Baker is highly regarded within the Chelsea setup and has been recommended to Mourinho by both assistant Steve Holland and youth coach Dermot Drummy.
A real box-to-box midfielder, Baker works tirelessly and is a true leader in the midfield. His absence from the Under-21 match against Everton was then followed by news that Baker was seen training with the first team instead today, suggesting he could be either start or play some part against Swindon.
RW: Kevin De Bruyne
The Belgian may not have gotten as many opportunities in the first team as he would have liked after impressing against Hull, but the 22-year-old has the ability to make the difference for Chelsea. In the likely absence of compatriot Eden Hazard, who is poised to be rested, De Bruyne's creative influence should be enough to cause some problems for the Swindon defence if he is picked.
CAM: Juan Mata
Like Luiz, Mourinho confirmed that Juan Mata will start against Swansea, and he fired a message of motivation towards the Spaniard. His exclusion from the squad was a timely reminder that he needs to increase his level of performance if he is to oust Oscar from the central playmaker role. There's no doubting his quality, but the 25-year-old has looked off-the-pace thus far. The game against Swindon is the perfect chance to eradicate all fears about his lack of form.
Chelsea's biggest summer signing looked bright against Basel, and now Willian will get his first taste of English football, providing he starts against Swindon. The 24-year-old, who arrived in a £30 million deal from Anzhi Makhachkala, has been eased into his new surroundings by Mourinho. But a month after his arrival, it's time for the Blues to reap the rewards from their new attacking midfielder. A pacy, creative maestro, Willian can put Swindon to the sword if he is on form on Tuesday night.
CF: Demba Ba
His deadline-day loan move to Arsenal may have fallen through, but now it's time for Demba Ba to concentrate on rebuilding his Chelsea career. The Senegalese striker has struggled to adapt to the Blues' style of play and has fallen behind Samuel Eto'o and Fernando Torres in the pecking order at Stamford Bridge, but a rare start against Swindon will be a timely boost in confidence for the 28-year-old.
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