Petr Cech is out injured, while Moses and Mikel are both at the African Cup of Nations. John Terry may be back, probably on the bench. Ramires has incredible mobility and ability to win nearly all 50/50’s and second balls in midfield. Substitutions don’t have an effect on shape or dynamics, mostly like for like.
Lampard/Ramires coming on would either be a swap for each other or Luiz going back to centre back and a centre back (usually Ivanovic) coming off. The difference is that Lampard’s runs are more well timed. He is a leader and can help his team keep the ball and see the game out. Ramires is more mobile, energetic, dynmaic and a better ball winner, but he is far less technically gifted.
Marin and Ba/Torres will be the other subs that are used. Marin is a pure winger, hugs the touchline and always looks to cross with his right foot (predicatlably coming inside all the time when on the left). Torres and Ba will come on for one another. Ba often has more of an impact on the game as the team will start playing far more long (high) vertical balls and get crosses in earlier. Be careful of him in the box because he is very good at turning defenders and is dominant in the air. Bertrand can be brought on the left wing to see games out, he and Cole will then dominate defensive transitions and space on that side of the pitch.
Turnbull – right foot – Struggles to deal with corners/crosses [doesn’t get very good punches on the ball] but is extremely positive and quick at putting pressure on the player on the ball. He can also make mistakes with the weight on his short passes to Luiz coming deep or his centre backs & also makes kicking mistakes under pressure. Often goes long with his kicking.
Azpilicueta – right foot – Starting to adapt to the premier league, nice amount of pace, gets forward with inconsistent but early crosses [1st or 2nd touch] & has ability to come inside and cross with left foot [2nd post]. He can also take long and quick throw-ins, but they don’t get players forward for long throw-ins, so probably only Ba and the second ball is the problem with these. Doesn’t recover as quickly as Cole & may dive into tackles at times.
Cahill – right foot – Technically good centre back, with pace, strength, dominant in the air and a threat in attacking corners. He can bring the ball out of defence and has the ability to hit extremely good long shots at goal when given the opportunity. Very good at getting blocks in but is often the deepest of the back line and can play players onside at times.
Ivanovic – right foot – Shorter than Cahill but has an extremely good jump and is dominant in the air. He too can bring the ball out of defence and is often the trigger for Coles overlapping runs on the outside. *Extremely strong, powerful, consistent performer, threat in attacking set plays and can also play right back. Often slow on the turn and not quick enough off mark to cover space.
Cole – left foot – Extremely consistent performer. He is a world class left back with a lot of mobility and energy. Dominates left side on his own at times and very rarely gets beat. The only way is to take advantage of him is airily, but be aware that he will always jump early against taller players than him & gets close to them to put them off. Crosses will often be pulled back to feet on the edge of box [Lampard!].
Ramires – right foot – Box to box player with incredible mobility and energy levels. Not the best technical player, but makes up for it with lung busting runs though the middle, ability to control the space around him and his ability to win nearly all 50/50 balls on the floor. His passing range and technical abilities mean that he can be pressed to make him pass sideways/backwards or a poor touch.
Lampard – right foot – With Terry out, he is the leader of the team. Extreme motivation to become Chelsea’s all time top goalscorer this season, which shows how much of a goal threat he is, with his clever movement, precise timing of runs in box [second balls!], long shots, finishing ability and being in the right place at the right time. He is also a very good passer of the ball and knows how to cover in defence. Hie can still get box to box, but his mobility can sometimes be exploited in transition.
Luiz – right foot -Technical player with physical capabilities and an immense passing range. Very aggressive in pressing and is eager to win every ball back as quickly as possible. He has ability and vision to see and exploit depth and has a very good long shot, although he has been wasteful with them of late. Can sometimes make mistakes & you can exploit the space behind him, but be aware that he will always look to loft his arm and get his body in the way to block players that are trying to pay 1/2’s around him. Can also take very good free kicks [using Drogba’s technique].
Mata – left foot – The teams key player in attacking organisation, creativity and goals. Plays in between lines and looks to overload positions of the field with the other 2 players playing off the striker. He takes nearly all set plays, with quality delivery and shots on goal. He will often come deep to help bring ball up the field and has excellent timing in his runs into the box. He has vision to see and exploit depth, often deploying precise dink balls over the top of the defenders into depth. He lacks real pace, but is quick enough and is a finisher, but often opts to go low and to the 1st post with shots. Very left footed.
Hazard – right foot – Quality attacking player. Is good with both feet, beats players easily in 1 on 1’s, has vision and ability to exploit depth and can use his pace and direct dribbling to cause problems. He knows when to play the ball simple and rarely loses the ball. He can hold the ball out wide & draw players towards him, then pick the right time to give the ball to the free player. Can come inside and hit quality shots towards corners of the goal and can interchange and rotate with the other 2 player in the 3. Doesn’t always get back defensively and can be exploited on his side. Be careful in and around box, as he is a player that can change direction very quickly, so don’t leave your foot in or he will win a free kick or penalty.
Oscar – right foot – Quality technical player with a good tactical knowledge of what he needs to do defensively. Another 10, but for more a link player rather than a direct assister or goalscorer. He works very hard for the team off the ball in his pressing, often nicking the ball from opponents and can also do a job defensively on player when he needs to [Vs Pirlo at home in the champions league]. Capable of playing with both feet, beating players, using his mobility and is ability to quickly turn on the ball from facing one way to the opposite.
Marin – right foot – Marin is more a pure wing player, with good pace and dribbling ability. Hasn’t had enough football this season due to injury, he is struggling to adapt to the premier league due to the lack of games. When he gets the ball on the left, it will nearly always result in him coming inside on his right foot, even when he goes down the line he will want to come back to his right foot. When he does get the cross in, they can be of great quality. He can also pick a pass and play 1/2’s around fullbacks to make use of his mobility. On the right he will go down the line and get the cross in.
Bertrand – Left foot – Has a very good understanding with Cole when he plays on the left [as he is a natural left back] one will cover the other if he comes on the left. Can put in quality crosses and is also a very good deputy for Cole at left back. He has a lot of mobility and knows how to defend.
Ba – right foot -Extremely motivated to do well for his new club and prove himself at the highest level, Ba is a target man with great physical attributes. His movement in the box is very good and can poach any balls that the ‘keeper doesn’t deal with properly. Massive arial threat in the box and is a defensive asset to them when defending set plays. He is quicker than he looks and can turn players and make defenders come to short for long balls to head, allowing him to turn and get to ball in depth [other centre back need to be aware to anticipate]. Quality hold up play and lay offs, but he doesn’t look to do anything fancy with the ball, instead he give and get into the box. Big goal threat.
Torres – right foot – Torres is suffering from not performing at the levels he knows that he is capable of. He often gets very frustrated and isolated upfront, so choses to come deep and contribute in build up play. He looks to come deep, turn and run at players to try and get past them, but is often inconsistent with his dribbling. He is also inconsistent with his hold up play and his lay offs, often losing control of the ball. When there is space for him to exploit in depth though, he is extremely dangerous. He will also work hard in his pressing. In the box, he will hold his run around the ‘d’ of the box until the ball is played, then he will attack the ball.
Goals [top 5]:
- Ba [for Newcastle] – 13
- Torres – 7
- = Mata – 7
- Lampard – 6
- Hazard – 4
- = Ivanovic – 4
Assists [top 5]:
- Mata – 7
- Hazard – 6
- Oscar – 4
- Azpilicueta – 2
- 7 other players – 1
Cards [top 5]:
- Luiz – 5 yellow
- =Ivanovic – 3 yellow, 1 red
- Ramires – 4 yellow
- Cole – 3 yellow
- Torres – 1 yellow, 1 red
- Oscar 2 yellow