Our Strongest XI for Europa League Final

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With Champions League all but secured for next season after a 2-1 victory over Aston Villa, it’s time to turn our attention to the Europa League. In a season where Chelsea had the potential to win 8 competitions, the Champions League’s little brother offers Rafa the last chance to win a trophy.

Rafa cannot afford to underestimate Benfica, who are undoubtedly a quality side. And the Spanish Manager may need to employ our strongest squad if we are to lift the trophy. Here is my pick for our strongest side that I would chose for the Europa League final:

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Goal Keeper

Petr Cech was voted the fan’s man of the match for Chelsea in their 2012 UEFA Champions League final. Cech is the best man to place between the sticks as well hope to win another European Final.

Defence

Cesar ‘Dave’ Azpilicueta has proven himself in recent matches to be one of the best right backs in the premier league. The Spaniard is excellent going forwards and solid in defence too.

Reports suggest that Terry will not be available for the Europa League final after picking up an injury against Aston Villa. This is extremely disappointing for the Chelsea Captain who was not able to play in last season’s Champions League final either.

But we have two excellent defenders in Cahill and Ivanovic who can fill in. Although we will certainly lack Terry’s leadership, our defence should not be weakened by his absence.

Despite being 32 years-of-age, Ashley Cole is still one of the best left-backs, if not defenders, in the Premier League. It really is a no brainer for Rafa to pick Cole in defence.

Holding-Midfield

If Mikel is still out with an injury, I would pick Lampard to play in the holding midfield role. The Chelsea veteran’s leadership and experience would be a massive boost for the team, especially with the absence of Terry.

As co-captain, Frankie will wear the armband for his second European Final. And a victory would make a great farewell if the English midfielder is not awarded a new contract at the end of the season.

Luiz can be unpredictable and is not as solid in the holding midfield position as some fans would like. But Luiz has proven that he can win matches almost on his own. It may be a gamble, but I believe Rafa needs to play to former Benfica defender for the dangerous edge he brings to the team.

Attacking-Midfield

After Hazard received an injury against Aston Villa, the attacking midfield trio may be one amigo short. I expect Moses will start alongside Oscar and Mata. The former-Wigan star has been excellent for Chelsea since arriving in August. Moses is capable of playing in a variety of positions, but with the injury to Hazard he would be expected to start on the wing.

El Matador has been Chelsea’s best player for a second consecutive season, and if we hope to get the match off to a great start the diminutive Spaniard must start. 21 year-old Oscar has proven to be an impressive talent in his first season at Stamford Bridge. Oscar may be employed as an impact sub, but I believe he should start.

Striker

Torres is our inform striker for the Europa League. The Spaniard will have plenty of confidence if he knows that Rafa has chosen him over Moses and Ba to start as striker for the final. And his 5 goals in 8 Europa League matches will be a further boost to his confidence.

What do you think? How would you deal with the gaps created by our injured players? Do you think we should consider changing formation? Share your comments below.

24 Comments
  1. Snowhite Obi says

    John Terry is a great player,but I dont think Chelsea will miss him all that.
    Secondly,I think we need both Luiz, Lampard and Ramires,just as Rafa always make his sellection in Europa League. Mata can come in later.
    Mata is becoming very weak these Days… we really need to start the Game POWERFULLY. Well,its either Mata on the Bench and Lampard on the Pitch or Lampard on the on pitch,while Mata on bench.
    The only person we will miss is Hazard.
    Torres is Back.
    Blues for Life.

    1. Justin Cormick says

      Thats true about Terry, he hasn’t played an awful lot this season and we haven’t suffered too much without him. I think it will mainly be his leadership we will miss. And that is why Lampard should start.

      Ramires is a good player, but had an awful match against Aston Villa, so not too sure about him starting. Don’t underestimate Mata stepping up for the big match, but he could be used an impact substitute from the bench if we find ourselves down or needing a goal.

  2. Dylan Williams says

    Just like to point out that Ba is ineligible to play in the Europa league at any rate because he had previously played in the tournament for Newcastle. That is why torres has started every EL game. And thats why he must start up front. Also I do agree with the starting XI as shone above although perhaps oscar and moses will be on the opposite flanks to that shown but they will probably interchange throughout the game! Come on Chelsea!!!

    1. Justin Cormick says

      Oh yeah, I forgot about that rule. Good spotting

  3. Tom Gardner says

    Almost spot-on. It’ll be Ramirez instead of Frankie, and he’ll bring Frank on later

  4. where is ramirez?? OUR machine?? no way he should start, remember Pablo Aimar will be there n ramirez is only man to mark him remember last season 2nd leg at the Bridge Aimar was great, i just fear him

  5. onesimz says

    i would pick Ramires over moses all day long!!!

    1. Sammy chelsea mwaura says

      Ramires in for moses..
      The others its ok but if hazard is fine and mikel then lampard, iva & moses will be on the bench for ramires hazard and mikel

  6. Sammy chelsea mwaura says

    Ramires in for moses
    he can take the wing as he did against barcelona

  7. Namim says

    Ramires needs to start on the right and oscar on the left whilst moses on the bench…..the only weakness we have going to this game is our subs are below par compared to SL Benfica..!!
    But keep the faith blues cause we need to win it so we can play the UEFA Super Cup….that should be enough motivation..!!

  8. Anonymous says

    Ramires for Mosses or lampard, Lampard should come on after the work is done

  9. Esandu Edson says

    I hope Hazard will be fit to start instead of Moses

  10. Justin Cormick says

    I think Ramires is a quality player, but am unsure of him after his rash tackles earned him two yellows the other day against Aston Villa. What do you guys think about that?

  11. anon says

    I personally think Bentiez Will go 4-3-3
    Cech
    Dave–Ivanovic–Cahill–Cole
    luiz
    Ramires—-Lampard
    Mata ———— Oscar
    Torres

  12. alexcfc8 says

    I think Benitez will go 4-3-3 as the way Benfica will set up is to nulify Mata. I think the Line-up will be:

    Cech
    Azpili-Cahill-Ivanovic-Cole
    Luiz
    Ramires-Lampard
    Oscar-Mata
    Torres

    I can see this being the line up as Mata and Oscar are starting to link up magnificently again as Oscar has just gone through a dry patch but he is making up for it. Ramires will play to man mark Aimar as I think Ramires is the only person able to do it and keep up with him and the rest of the game. Lampard will be playing due to his Leadership Qualities as Terry is not going to be playing as much as we hope he will, he’s not. Hazard won’t play either and I can’t see either of them playing again for the season. Hazard was bought back to soon. On our Bench we will have: Turnbull, Ake, Bertrand, Romeu, Mikel (if fit if not Benayoun) Marin and Moses. which is a strong bench if you look at their qualities. Marin and Moses come on as impact subs then either Romeu/Mikel/Ake/Bertrand to come on and shore up the defence if we are winning.

  13. Zane says

    Cech
    Azpilicueta Ivanovic Luiz Cole
    Ramires Lampard
    Moses Mata Oscar
    Torres

  14. Sadiku jide says

    Ramires shld start if Harsad s nt playing, instead of using moses

  15. Anonymous says

    any body played anywhere is ok, we have good players in our club, but in this game i will love at the defence luiz for cahill, midfield ramirez and mikel and hazard for moses or oscar.
    that is
    Cech
    Azplicueta – Ivanovic – Luiz – Cole
    Ramirez – Mikel
    Hazard/Oscar – Mata – Hazard/Moses
    Torres

  16. sda says

    maybe we can give an opportunity to Marin. Because he still be “Benchwarmer”
    i saw he’s skills at youtube last weeks ago. he’s skills Looks likes messi :v

  17. Zacchaeus O. says

    Cezh
    Dave, Ivanovich, Luiz, A.Cole
    Lampard, Ramires
    Oscar, Mata, Hazard/Moses
    Torres

  18. Oyediran moye gold says

    Chelsea 4 live

  19. No Hazard, i really feel disgusted, the opponent’s backs may look threatening cause i don’t see Moses holding them back in their side though he can play much with others.
    At least Ramires on the wing, he is truly an athlete who can harm those backs and even their central defenders.

  20. Onyeka Emokam says

    So u left out Ramires,Mikel nd Hazard in our first eleven??? And pls Luiz is more better in defence than playing in the midfild

    1. alexcfc8 says

      Hazard injured and so is Mikel. Mikel could start but possibly not and Hazard has just pulled his hamstring so highly unlikely he is going to play

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