FIFA 16 released their eagerly anticipated demo last night, featuring Premier League champions Chelsea.
Blues fans would have been very pleased to find that every single starter in the Chelsea XI had either received an improved rating or stayed the same from last year’s demo… Except for one, Branislav Ivanovic.
The Serbian slumped to an overall rating of 80 from 81 making him Chelsea’s worst ranked starter. But is that fair?
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After all, this is a player who was an ever-present in undoubtedly the Premier League’s best back-four last season, scoring four goals and was Chelsea’s 4th best performer in 2014/15 according to Squawka statistics.
In terms of individual attributes, Ivanovic falls behind with his agility and balance, which are both rated below 55. This seems extremely unfair considering, even at 31-years-old, we see the defender maraud through the air and attack headers as well as anyone else in the league.
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It’s undeniably been a tricky start to the season for Ivanovic, who’s arguably been at fault for a couple of Chelsea’s conceded goals this season.
However, the defending champions have generally looked very shaky at the back, including the likes of John Terry, who remains 83 rated and Gary Cahill who improved from 80 to 82. Meanwhile, Ivanovic’s full-back partner Azpilicueta rose from 79-81 after an extremely competent campaign last year.
The only other eye-brow raising discovery from the FIFA 16 demo in my opinion, is to raise Cesc Fabregas from an 86 to 87. The Spaniard has been desperately void of form since December and has started this season in the same fashion.
The ex-Arsenal midfielder’s generous rating puts him just one behind Eden Hazard on 88 and three above his central midfield partner Nemanja Matic who, unsurprisingly leaped from 81 to 84 after a sensational season.
Astonishingly, Chelsea don’t acquire any five-star skills players among their ranks, with Eden Hazard, Oscar and Willian all narrowly off the mark on four stars. However, players such as Salem Al Dossari of Al-Hilal and Fidel Martinez of Pumas Unam will enjoy the luxury. Surely Hazard should make the cut?
New acquisitions Radamel Falcao and Asmir Begovic make their FIFA debuts for Chelsea, whereas the likes of Pedro, Baba Rahman and Kenedy are yet to have been updated into the squad.
Perhaps unsurprisingly a torrid time at Manchester United means Falcao has plummeted from 88 to 84 and rather familiarly starts out on the bench in the new demo.
See Chelsea's full FIFA 15 demo > FIFA 16 demo comparison here:
Thibaut Courtois – 84 ^ 86
Branislav Ivanovic – 81 – 80
Gary Cahill - 80 ^ 82
John Terry – 83 – 83
Cesar Azpilicueta – 79 ^ 81
Nemanja Matic – 81 ^ 84
Cesc Fabregas – 86 ^ 87
Willian – 83 ^ 84
Oscar – 84 – 84
Eden Hazard – 87 ^ 88
Diego Costa – 84 ^ 85.