Chelsea FC: How Should Chelsea Line Up Against Genk?
After Chelsea's humiliating loss against Arsenal on Saturday, Andre Villas Boas will welcome this Champions League game at Genk. The Londoners have suffered back-to-back Premier League defeats and a good win is needed to their rebuild confidence.
However, Villas Boas will still want to rest some of his players, especially those who have played against Everton and Arsenal in the past five days.
So, how will Chelsea line up in Belgium on Tuesday?
Here are my predictions for Chelsea's starting 11 against Genk:
GK: Petr Cech
At first, I felt that it would be wise to start Ross Turnbull for this match. Petr Cech has been playing a lot of matches in recent weeks and I thought he should be given a day off at Genk.
Then, Arsenal scored five times against Cech. The Czech Republic goalkeeper can't be held accountable for the loss, but he could have done much better on several of the goals.
This game against Genk will likely help Cech regain his confidence.
RB: Jose Bosingwa
Against Queens Park Rangers, Bosingwa was given a straight red card, but was only banned for one game, which he served against Everton in the Carling Cup.
After the Arsenal defeat, many Chelsea fans will be angry that Bosingwa hadn't received a larger suspension.
The Portuguese was unbelievably bad on Saturday and many fans want Chelsea to return to Ivanovic at right back.
Still, I feel Andre Villas Boas is confident that his countryman can return to his early season form. Bosingwa is likely to start this match.
CB: David Luiz
As John Terry and Branislav Ivanovic started against Arsenal, it would be a smart decision to pick David Luiz and Alex for the center back positions against Genk.
That is the most obvious partnership, but Andre Villas Boas may opt to use Terry or Ivanovic in this game for them to regain their confidence.
At the moment, Alex looks to be last in the Chelsea defense pecking order, aside from Paulo Ferreira. The Brazilian was given the chance to prove his worth at the beginning of the season, but didn't play well enough and was subsequently dropped.
Alex needs this match to show Andre Villas-Boas that he should play more often.
LB: Ashley Cole
Ashley Cole having a bad game is rare. That's why so many fans are trying to figure out why the left back is playing so poorly this season.
Cole has just not been the same so far this campaign. He hasn't shown the attacking expertise or the defensive capabilities that we know him for.
I'm not sure what the answer is to this problem, but I feel that it would be wise to start the English defender against Genk.
CDM: Oriol Romeu
Oriol Romeu has been impressive in recent weeks, with starts against Genk at Stamford Bridge and Everton. He is already showing his potential and looks great in the holding midfield role.
Romeu has been picked for Chelsea's last two cup outings and it looks like he will be in the lineup again in Belgium.
CM: Josh McEachran
After a breakout season last year, Josh McEachran was expected to have a larger role at Chelsea this season. Things haven't gone that way under Andre Villas Boas, and McEachran has only made three total appearances so far (only 196 minutes).
McEachran is still young and it may be wise not to use him too much. However, he needs more playing time than he's getting right now and the game against Genk is the perfect chance for him to feature.
CM: Raul Meireles
Raul Meireles had a great outing against Genk at Stamford Bridge and will look to reciprocate that performance in Belgium. The Portuguese midfielder was dropped for the Arsenal game and will aim to prove that he is worthy of a starting spot.
At the moment, Andre Villas Boas seems fairly happy with a starting midfield trio of Mikel, Ramires and Lampard. Raul Meireles will want to change that and become a regular in Chelsea's lineup.
RW: Daniel Sturridge
Daniel Sturridge has been great this season but had an under-par game against Arsenal.
This campaign has begun superbly for Sturridge, who has risen over all expectations. He has already featured eight times for Chelsea this season, scoring five times.
Sturridge's game against Arsenal will be viewed as a blip by many, but I feel that a start and a good performance in Belgium will make sure that the striker continues his good form.
CF: Fernando Torres
After Fernando Torres' great outing against Genk two weeks ago, most people expected the Spaniard to have a great game against Arsenal. The pregame questions were something like, "How many times will Torres score?"
Unfortunately for Chelsea fans, Torres looked a lot like his early-2011 self against Arsenal and made almost no contributions.
It will be interesting to see Andre Villas Boas' forward line for this match. I feel that Torres would be a good pick for this game as the 27-year-old needs to get past the Arsenal game and start scoring on a regular basis.
LW: Florent Malouda
Florent Malouda has been on the fringes of the Chelsea team this season and will hope to change that with some good performances. Juan Mata has claimed the left wing position since his move to London in August, but I feel that Malouda, with hard work, can still establish himself as a starter this campaign.
Many times this season, Malouda has played in Chelsea's three-man midfield. He hasn't been great in that location and will want to have the chance to feature in his more familiar left wing spot.
Malouda started on the left wing against Genk two weeks ago and will hope to have the same opportunity in Belgium.