Chelsea projected Champions League lineup against Basel
Chelsea host FC Basel in the opening match of their Champions League Group Stage campaign Wednesday evening at Stamford Bridge. After suffering a frustrating loss away to Everton over the weekend the Blues will be looking to bounce back as they kick off their new European Campaign after having won the Champions League title and Europa League titles in the previous two campaigns back to back.
According to Jose Mourinho in his press conference aired on Chelsea TV this week the Portuguese manager, he has a fully fit squad and is set to name four players under the age of 22 in his first team as he feels it is time to ensure they see big matches early in their careers:
"Beautiful young eggs. Eggs that need a mum, in this case a dad, to take care of them, to keep them warm during the winter, to bring the blanket and to work and improve them. One day they will arrive in the moment where the weather changes, the sun rises, you break the eggs and the eggs are ready to go to the top level.
It's important for the club, for everybody, it's important for a team of kids, not just kids but a team that for example will tomorrow start the match with four players under 22, and if you think as we think in the club, in the evolution of the players and the team, it's very important for them to play on the big stage, and the big stage is the Champions League.
There is a big difference between the Champions League and Europa League, and we don't think the Europa League is the best habitat for players who want to be big players. They have to play Champions League, so we have this group with Schalke that people don't know probably how good they are, I know, with Basel, who at a first look maybe at a first look people think not so difficult, but I remember two years ago, Man United out and Basel through, last year Tottenham out and Basel through. Last year, Chelsea through, but it's a difficult team.'
With the prospect of four of his younger players coming into the side there are several ways that the club could lineup. The first option sees Fernando Torres return to the first team. Frank Lampard and Oscar are already locks to start according to their manager.
However, Mourinho is not likely to go with a 4-1-4-1 formation as he is more partial to the 4-2-3-1, especially if he is to name so many youngsters. A second option would see the group of Oscar, Eden Hazard, Kevin De Bruyne and Andre Schurrle make up the front four while a claimed fit John Mikel Obi slots in next to Lampard.
Lastly there is also the chance that Willian will make his debut in midfield which could see him take the place of Mikel Obi next to Lampard. The only frustration is to potentially still see Juan Mata on the sidelines as he has been such a huge part of the club's success the last two seasons, but has not seen much first team action under Mourinho.
Ramires is the only player completely ruled out as he is still under suspension for the match.