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There may be no Matic-mikel combo vs Newscastle

By The Rainbow
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There are two ways to play this, the safe and easy way or the interesting and more complicated way.  The former involves basically the same starting eleven that we’ve become accustomed to.  The latter involves players like Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Kenedy and Bertrand Traoré.  Given what we’ve seen from Guus Hiddink in his previous 10 matches in charge during his second stint at Chelsea , I think we can safely discard the unsafe way.

That said, I do think we’ll see a bit more adventurous midfield than the Mikel-Matic * duo we’ve come to know and love.  Or at least know.  Mikel’s obviously a Hiddink-favorite so he’ll play, but with Eden Hazard coming back into the fold nicely, we should see Oscar slide back into his more customary no.10 role (as opposed to left wing) and thus Fabregas dropping deeper.  Cesc does tend to be far more effective when he can find some space in which to operate.

* Even though (or perhaps specifically because) Matic is suspended for the PSG game.

While we have two crucial games coming up later this week, Hiddink had not really adjusted his team selections in similar situations in previous weeks.  I doubt we’ll roll with anything even remotely dissimilar to our usual first-choice lineup.  Diego Bane Costa, now with 100% more mask remains the obvious choice at striker, while following Zouma’s season-ending injury, the defense picks itself.

We do have three full days to recover before PSG away and then another three days before Manchester City at home in the FA Cup.

4-2-3-1:
Courtois | Azpilicueta, Terry, Cahill, Ivanović | Fàbregas, Mikel | Hazard, Oscar, Willian | Costa

The community at large often prefers more variation, but this time,  we’re in full agreement .  Maybe that’ll mean that Hiddink will surprise us all.

4-2-3-1:
Courtois | Azpilicueta, Terry, Cahill, Ivanović | Fàbregas, Mikel | Hazard, Oscar, Willian | Costa

SB NATION(we aint got no history)