Ferencvaros vs. Chelsea: How the Blues Will Line Up in Budapest

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Ferencvaros vs. Chelsea: How the Blues Will Line Up in Budapest
Srdjan Stevanovic/Getty Images

Now that he has a full squad to pick from, Jose Mourinho has shown he fully intends to stretch it in the remaining games of pre-season.

Travelling from their latest outing in Istanbul to Budapest on Sunday, it will be just two days since Chelsea faced Fenerbahce and Besiktas when they line up against Ferencvaros.

At this time of year, Mourinho will relish that fact, however.

Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

Playing games so close to each other—Chelsea also face Real Sociedad at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday to round off their pre-season campaign—allows him to get the likes of Andre Schurrle, Oscar, Willian and Ramires up to speed with the rest of their team-mates in terms of fitness.

The quartet were the last returning players from the World Cup, and they have plenty to do in order to be ready for the new campaign.

Indeed, by the time Chelsea walk out against Burnley on Aug. 18, it will be two weeks to the day since all four players returned to Cobham from their holidays.

Every match counts from now until then, although Mourinho will want to ease them into action, so we can expect they will all start on the bench against Ferencvaros.

Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

With so many players playing catch-up, we may well see Mourinho opt for a 4-3-3 over his favored 4-2-3-1 to start with on Sunday.

Whenever Chelsea have adopted the changed formation in pre-season, there has been a more fluid look about them.

The three-man midfield of Cesc Fabregas, Nemanja Matic and Marco van Ginkel has looked solid, with Fernando Torres, Diego Costa and Mohamed Salah all impressing at times further forward.

Now he has his preferred squad, a 4-3-3 may well start out like our diagram below—Eden Hazard playing in his preferred left position to cut in from a wider position and attack with his right foot, with Mourinho continuing his experiment of utilising Torres less centrally.

B/R (Pitch graphic EPL Index)
Chelsea's potential 4-3-3 against Ferencvaros

Should Chelsea line up this way, expect things to be adapted throughout, though, as Schurrle, Oscar, Willian and Ramires will undoubtedly be given more playing time to get their match fitness up.

Considering those fitness levels, starting a 4-2-3-1 leaves Mourinho with few options in attacking midfield if he isn't to start with any of those late-comers.

And now we're so close to the start of the campaign, he will want to continue the experiment of Matic and Fabregas playing in the pivot, so will be reluctant to push the latter forward into the front three.

Schurrle played just 33 minutes in Turkey on Friday, so of the remaining attacking midfielders, if any start against Ferencvaros, we can expect it to be the German.

With that in mind, Chelsea's 4-2-3-1 will look something like this:

B/R (Pitch graphic EPL Index)
Chelsea's potential 4-2-3-1 vs. Ferencvaros

Whatever line-up he chooses, Mourinho knows he has options now that he didn't at this stage last season. Chelsea are looking strong.

 

Garry Hayes is Bleacher Report's lead Chelsea correspondent. Follow him on Twitter @garryhayes

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