Andre Villas-Boas was sacked following a defeat to West Brom, Roberto Di Matteo was sacked following a defeat to West Brom… so Rafael Benitez would do well to avoid an embarrassing result at home to the Baggies this weekend.
Di Matteo based his Chelsea side around the creative trio of Oscar, Eden Hazard and Juan Mata earlier this season, but Benitez has favoured a more cautious starting XI. Ramires was used on the right of midfield against Manchester City last weekend, in order to bring balance to the side; but City actually attacked predominantly down that flank, with Ramires also failing to provide any attacking inspiration.
A home match against West Brom seems the perfect opportunity to use Oscar, Hazard and Mata together behind Demba Ba (Fernando Torres has managed just one goal in his last 15 appearances). After all, since Benitez confirmed he won’t be manager of Chelsea next season, his strategy will probably change. He appeared to be favouring initial caution before gradually becoming more attacking, but with only eleven games of his Chelsea career remaining, there’s no point building for the long term.
Chelsea need points, and with Ba yet to become prolific in a Chelsea shirt, they need goals from the attacking three behind him. Chelsea will certainly dominate possession, and fielding the talented trio of playmakers maximises the Blues’ chances of scoring.
Victor Moses will probably feature at some point, but selecting Abramovich’s three ‘marquee players’ seems natural if Benitez wants to keep his job until the end of the season… which isn’t necessarily the case.
This post courtesy of Pick Our Team is by Michael Cox. PickOurTeam is a new type of football community giving fans an opportunity to have a meaningful say on the formation and selection of their team. PickOurTeam is the voice of the fans – collecting views on who should play where and ratings on how the players, manager, and referee perform each week. Every match the findings are compiled and presented back to the fans. The article was originally posted here.