Football

Chelsea predicted lineup versus Real Sociedad

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Chelsea take on Real Sociedad in their final preseason game at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday evening.

The Blues are on the cusp of completing a long tour of Europe, that has seen them take in the Netherlands, Turkey and Germany among others. But, in anticipation of next weekend's Premier League kick-off, it all ends at the Bridge.

Mourinho will get one final opportunity to work his new signings into his side before the Blues face Burnley in their opening fixture. As a result, expect to see a strong side from Mourinho against the La Liga outfit.

The Chelsea boss admitted that the World Cup had harmed his side's preparations, as players returned from the tournament at different times.

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"It’s been a difficult pre-season because we started with seven players," Mourinho said.

"After that, step by step, players were arriving after the World Cup and holidays. Finally, in this last week we’ve had everybody together but obviously not everyone is prepared.

"For example, [Branislav] Ivanovic has been training for one month, [Andre] Schurrle has trained for five days, so there is a big difference between players.

"We have to play the first league match next weekend and we will be ready for that."

Spain's early elimination has at least given Mourinho plenty of time to work Cesc Fabregas and Diego Costa into his squad. The pairing look like top additions, with both in goalscoring form through preseason.

Fabregas scored a magnificent individual goal in Turkey, and should line up next to anchor man Nemanja Matic in midfield. The biggest question marks come in attacking midfield and in goal.

Who starts in midfield?

Chelsea have an embarrassment of riches in the forward positions, as Eden Hazard, Willian, Mohamed Salah, Andre Schurrle, Victor Moses, Marco Van Ginkel and Oscar all battle for places. Schurrle's late start probably means he'll be handled with care, while Oscar and Willian are both working their way back to fitness following World Cup semi-final elimination.

Having said that, all three will get some minutes on the pitch - it just depends on whether Mourinho wants to start or finish with them.

Diego Costa in the undisputed lead striker. In goal, it promises to be very instructive. Mourinho can't really get it wrong as he picks between Petr Cech and Thibaut Courtois. But does he stick or twist?

His line up against Real Sociedad should point to his thinking ahead of the Burnley clash.

Here's our prediction…

Cech, Azpilicueta, Luis, Terry, Cahill, Fabregas, Matic, Hazard, Salah, Oscar, Costa

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Topics:
Chelsea
Premier League
Football

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