Saturday afternoon sees Chelsea travel north to Newcastle United, a game that ended well for the hosts in November 2013, with second-half goals from Yoan Gouffran and Loic Remy giving Newcastle a deserved 2-0 victory over an in-form Chelsea at St James’ Park.
To see how Chelsea fans may be thinking about this game, we looked at the Beat Your Manager! Fantasy Football data from this fixture last season, to see what players were picked for the lineup.
Beat Your Manager! Fantasy Football is a game similar to “Football Manager”, but applied to live football, where you manage your favourite Club and pick lineups, bench, formations and substitutions, all in real-time. When fans play the game, the Beat Your Manager team can measure the popularity of different players, by looking at how frequently they are selected for the starting lineup, substitutes bench or not selected at all.
The app ran for the 2013/4 EPL season and is currently inactive while the developers are creating the revised version – we’ll keep you posted on when it’s going to re-launch.
Formation: A solid 4-4-2 the choice for Chelsea fans
31 per cent Chelsea fans opted for a solid 4-4-2 formation for this game, with the next-most popular formation a flexible double-pivot 4-2-3-1 (21 per cent), with an attacking 4-3-3 in 3rd place, selected by 16 per cent of fans.
Goalkeeper: Cech the only choice for CFC fans
Petr Cech got a perfect 100 per cent score with Blues fans for this game, making him Chelsea’s most popular player for this game. Mourinho agreed with the fans, Cech starting the game between the posts.
Defence: Mourinho and fans in perfect harmony
Chelsea fans had three clear favourites in defence for this game, with John Terry Chelsea’s most popular defender and 2nd most popular player for this game, on a 96 per cent rating from Blues fans.
Branislav Ivanović was just slightly behind Terry, on 93 per cent, with Ashley Cole next in line, on an 87 per cent rating. After Cole, Gary Cahill got the nod for fourth spot on the recommendation of 64 per cent of fans, just ahead of David Luiz, on 51 per cent.
Blues gaffer Jose Mourinho agreed with the fans on the back four, fielding Terry, Ivanović, Cole and Cahill in a rare moment of defensive harmony between fans and Manager.
Midfield: Mata makes the cut with both fans and Manager
Chelsea fans had four clear favourites in midfield for this game last season, with Oscar the most popular midfielder, his 87 per cent rating from fans making him the club’s 5th-most popular player.
Frank Lampard was rated pretty closely by fans to Oscar, on 85 per cent, with the remaining two midfielders Ramires (73 per cent) and Juan Mata (71 per cent) similarly grouped close together, but further behind the front two.
However, after these four players, approval ratings plummeted for the rest of the midfield squad, with the next most popular midfielder, Willian, getting just 13 per cent of the fans’ vote.
Again, Mourinho agreed with fans on all four midfielders, even including Mata in one of his rare first-team appearances of last season.
Forwards: Torres gets his second-highest rating for the season
Eden Hazard was Chelsea’s most popular forward for this game, his 87 per cent rating making him the club’s 4th-most popular player. This game also saw Fernando Torres get his second-highest rating from Blues fans all season, scoring an impressive 80 per cent score for the lineup.
Mourinho agreed with fans on the front two, making it a clean sweep of agreement between fans and Manager for every position on the pitch.
Fan-selected lineup, bench, not selected ratings Newcastle United v Chelsea 2013/4 EPL Season: