This is where you get to pick Chelsea’s best starting line-up for this season. First up, I’ll reveal my selection (based on their squad at time of writing).
My default XI (in Carlo Ancelotti’s 4-4-2 diamond formation):
José Bosingwa, Ricardo Carvalho, John Terry, Ashley Cole
Michael Ballack, Florent Malouda
Nicolas Anelka, Didier Drogba
John Terry’s immense popularity means that there are plenty of people out there who would go for a Carvalho/Alex pairing. But Terry never lets Chelsea down, he leads from the front and he must start.
The diamond is yet to look polished (boom boom) but I think it suits Chelsea’s midfielders. John Mikel Obi is going to be a hell of a player, but I’d still pick Michael Essien to play at the base, with Herr Ballack and the greatly improved Malouda on the right and left points, respectively; as the season progresses, expect Yuri Zhirkov to challenge Malouda for the wide-left role. The essential Frank Lampard completes the diamond at its apex, with the revitalised Deco and Joe Cole (remember him?) also useful options for that position.
Up front, Drogba and Anelka pick themselves – contrary to popular opinion, they can play well together.
It’s a very imposing team, and with the benefit of quality cover in many positions. You have to say they’ll go very close to winning the title this season.
That’s my take. Let’s hear your XIs…
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