After a pulsating 1-1 draw with Manchester United on Sunday, Jose Mourinho and his player will have no time to ponder on the 92nd minute capitulation that saw Robin Van Persie salvage an unmerited one point for Manchester United as the team travel to New Meadows to face league 2 side Shrewsbury Town in the fifth round of the Capital one cup tonight.
As expected, Jose Mourinho will ring some changes to the team bearing in mind the level of opponent and the fact that the club have barely had a day of rest after the Old Trafford trip.
Quite a number of the players that played at Old Trafford will need to sit out this game to allow them time to recover. With some players suspended and the fear of picking up further injuries, Mourinho will look to give some of his fringe players who have played a bit part in the campaign chance to once again prove that they can be useful to the team.
Some academy and U-21 players could also be involved in this game, so we look at the likely changes Jose Mourinho could make to the team to face Shrewsbury.
Thibaut Courtois was magnificent in goal against Manchester United on Sunday pulling off several saves but could be dropped to the bench for Petr Cech who was in goal in the fourth round against Bolton Wanderers.
This is an easy decision for Jose to make as he’s keen to give adequate game time to the two world class keepers. So, Cech returns in goal after having a clean sheet in his last outing against NK Maribor in the Champion’s League a week ago.
Branislav Ivanovic and Ceasar Azpilicueta will miss out due to suspensions leaving John Terry and Cahill as the senior regulars in defence. In the fourth round game against Bolton, Mourinho had partnered Cahill and Kurt Zouma and will look to continue with the pair in central defence. John Terry will be expected to miss this game as it will come too early for the 34-year-old after playing all 90minutes against Maribor and Manchester United within the space of five days.
Filipe Luis in the absence of Azpilicueta will get his first three consecutive starts in a Chelsea shirt at left back. Mourinho will however have a serious decision to make on who takes the right full back spot.
U-21 right back Todd Kane could get his chance at senior level tonight while centre back Andre Christensen could also play in the position.
Mourinho will look to give majority of the regulars in midfield some time off and this could mean a number of starts for new faces. John Obi Mikel will take the place of Nemanja Matic in the DM position, while Fabregas could be rested for Nathan Ake who capped his introduction in the Maribor game with a wonderful assist for Hazard’s second goal.
Willian will start this one alongside Oscar behind the striker but Eden Hazard looks the man to be rested by Jose Mourinho. This will give Mohammed Salah a chance to stake a spot on either of the attacking flanks. Ramires is not fully recovered and there won’t be need rushing him back for this game.
Chelsea is currently having an injury crisis in the attacking department. Diego Costa and Loic Remy have missed the last two games due to injuries. In their absence Didier Drogba has put up a decent performance scoring two goals in the process but there is no denying that he is no longer the deadly finisher we used to know.
Against a youthful Shrewsbury side, Drogba could be given a rest. He played all 90minute against United and by his age it is yet to be seen how good he will be able to recover to play two games under 48hours.
There was suggestion Mourinho could play Andre Schurrle as a false striker against Manchester United but that did not come to be. I think it is in this game that Mourinho will look to explore his option of having Schurrle as his striker again after he tried the German in the same position at Old Trafford last season.
So, expect Andre Schurrle to play as a striker tonight against Srhewsbury while Drogba takes a place in the bench.
Chelsea’s Probable Line-up
- Cech•Kane, Cahill, Zouma, Luis• Mikel, Ake• Salah, Oscar, Willian• Schurrle
Sub: Courtios, Terry, Christensen, Fabregas, Matic, Drogba.