Jose Mourinho’s Selection Dilemmas Against Aston Villa

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Due to a rash of injuries and suspensions, Chelsea FC manager Jose Mourinho faces some tough selection dilemmas against Aston Villa this weekend. Striker Diego Costa still has two more matches to go on his suspension, Cesc Fabregas has a hamstring injury, Filipe Luis is still out, Willian is doubtful, and John Obi Mikel is still dealing with head injury from the Bradford City match.

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The Blues will head to Aston Villa after a much needed week’s rest from a grueling schedule in which they had to face Liverpool and City in the same week. But this tough period has resulted Chelsea’s entry into the Capital One Cup Final against Tottenham, and also with a hard earned draw against City, the Blues remain 5 points clear at the top of the table. Stats say that no other team in the history of the Premier League has had this big a margin at this stage of the season and did not win the title. Suffice to say, the League is Chelsea’s to lose.

Chelsea, although they have an impeccable home record, have only won 2 of their last 6 away matches in the league. So a trip to Aston Villa may not be as simple as it seems. Villa’s own home record suggests that although they have won only once out of 6, they have drawn 4 and lost once. So by the stats, and by recent history, it seems that it may be one of those games where Chelsea may need to grind out the result.

Jose Mourinho is without the services of Diego Costa due to suspension so he must rely on Loic Remy or Didier Drogba. Remy performed well against City by scoring a goal and was a constant nuisance to the City defense. He is a striker that relishes running in between defenders, rather than challenging him one on one through the use of brute strength. Remy lacks the strength but has that slickness to his game. However in a match where we may need to grind the result, Drogba’s brawn maybe needed more than Remy’s pace.

Another setback which we may have according to reports is that Fabregas may be out for another 2 games due to his injury. So, Mourinho may opt for Ramires alongside Matic to see if they can strike Villa on the counter.

The injury Willian suffered against City may see Juan Cuadrado make his debut on the left wing opposite Eden Hazard. If he does well on his debut, he could force Jose Mourinho to think even harder about his team selection for the tougher match against Everton in mid-week.

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Also, it seems Zouma has become a new favorite of Jose after he gave him a start in one of the most important matches of the season against City. This good fortune has descended upon the Frenchman due to the poor performances of Gary Cahill. Cahill being a solid rock in defense as he was, has been showing some signs of fatigue and vulnerability. His place in the first team has come under immense scrutiny.

Jose Mourinho is spoiled for choice at a few positions but at others he has some tough choices to make. Will he opt for an all out offensive attack against Aston Villa or will facing Everton a few days later impact his lineup? Let us know what you think Mourinho will do in the comments below!

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