It was late evening as a young David, armed with nothing but a sling, approached the armored, towering menace that was Goliath. At first glance, it looked bad for a man of David’s diminutive stature to even be looking in the general direction of a champion like Goliath. Chelsea find themselves in a very similar predicament. While the Allianz has a special place in the hearts of Chelsea fans, 8th of August 2020 may present a very different story. Being 3-0 down to arguably the best side in Europe is bad enough but when the Chelsea injury list is taken into account, things get considerably worse.
Chelsea’s injured and suspended list is pretty much their strongest XI with:
Ruben Loftus Cheek
Kante ( Doubt)
Set to miss out. Martin Tyler used the term, ”a situation as bleak as this,” just before Didier Drogba equalised in 2012. If that was supposed to be bleak, what in the world would you call this? Here’s how Chelsea could lineup:
Goalkeeper: Willy Caballero
Thankfully both Chelsea keepers are fit and in contention for the Bayern game. However, that isn’t saying much the way they have performed. Frank Lampard has a decision on his hands and is likely to pick Caballero.
Defence: Kurt Zouma, Fikayo Tomori, Andreas Christensen
Chelsea’s center backs are all fit and ready to face Bayern. Antonio Rudiger might be dropped after consistent below-par performances and a game like this may require the pace and tenacity of Tomori, to keep up with the likes of Gnabry and Davies. Zouma and Christensen start alongside him as Azpilicueta misses out due to injury.
Midfield: Reece James, Mateo Kovacic, Kante (hopefully), Ian Maatsen
One can only pray that N’golo Kante will be fit for the clash with Bayern because God knows, Chelsea could use him. If he doesn’t start, Ross Barkley seems to be the next most likely candidate. Alongside, Chelsea’s player of the season, Mateo Kovacic will start. On either side of the 2 midfielders, Reece James will start and alongside him, Ian Maatsen. Pressure sometimes creates diamonds and being a huge prospect for the future, Maatsen would seem to be a better candidate than Emerson.
Attack: Willian (hopefully), Olivier Giroud, Armando Broja
Chelsea’s attacking flair will take a huge hit as Christian Pulisic will miss the match against Bayern. However, is it too soon to call, Broja masterclass? The academy player has been fantastic with 19 goals and 5 assists in all competitions. As a Chelsea fan, I have next to no hope, but if there was ever a time and place for a young player to step up, it would be now. He will start alongside Willian and Olivier Giroud. With there being rumors of Willian leaving with a deal to sign for Arsenal close – possibility of him lining up in the tunnel are bleak, it is not too unlikely that former Bayern target, Callum Hudson-Odoi could also get the nod.
Whatever happens against Bayern, as a Chelsea fan, this season has been more than any of us could as for and something special is brewing at the Bridge, under Frank Lampard. As unlikely as a comeback seems, as a fan, we cannot do much else than hope. Stranger things have happened in football and stranger things will happen. Whether this becomes a day that goes down in the history books or we get absolutely thrashed, all the fans will be watching with a smile on their face and their hands on their badge. Come on Chelsea!