Chelsea's starting XI in need of change to turn their season around

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It's little secret that Chelsea are currently undergoing their worst league start in some 40 years, with major changes needed at Stamford Bridge in order to turn their fortunes around.

Players are under performing, wrong choices are being made - to summarise, it's all a bit of a shambles in west London at the moment.

It's not too late for the Blues to recapture their form of last season and muster a title challenge, though. Fine tuning is what's needed, with a few simple changes capable of steering the Premier League champions back to the top.


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1. Cesar Azpilicueta in, Branislav Ivanovic out

We're a mere eight games in and if there's one thing that can be taken from Chelsea's poor start, it's that Ivanovic simply must be dropped in place of Azpilicueta for the better of their defence.

Giving the right-footed Azpilicueta - now acclimatised to the left-back position - a chance on the right whilst utilising summer signing Baba Rahman at left-back could help ease Chelsea's defensive woes and shore up their back four.

Azpilicueta is a quick, reliable and composed defender capable of dealing with even the trickiest and quickest of wingers in the Premier League - something that Ivanovic appears unable to do nowadays.

2.   Nemanja Matic needs a new midfield partner

The defensive frailties of Chelsea could be eased by Matic having a partner alongside him in the centre of the field who would not shy away from a tackle.

Mourinho has often played playmaker Cesc Fabregas next to the Serbian, and while it proved a fruitful partnership last season, it appears that Fabregas' defensive weaknesses have finally been laid bare.

The Spaniard's tackling and interception rates are very poor and offers very little protection to his back four, whereas playing Mikel, or maybe even youngster Ruben Loftus-Cheek, with Matic whilst pushing Fabregas into the no.10 role could help the defence play with greater assurance.

3. Give Eden Hazard a free role

Hazard, last campaign's PFA Player of the Season, has endured a torrid start to the season, and while he has shown very little recently to suggest that his lull will cease anytime soon, he is still the player that keeps Chelsea ticking.

Usually played out wide, it might be worth Mourinho playing Hazard in a free role similar to that of Lionel Messi, rather than be confined to the restraints of left midfield.

In time, undoubtedly, his goalscoring touch will return, but if given even greater freedom to roam, with the likes of Fabregas, Pedro, Willian and Oscar supporting him, the best could once again be brought out of the Belgian winger.

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