Tuesday’s draw at West Brom was a real bonus in the end and did stop the rot, but there were several flaws in that performance and lessons to be learned ahead of Saturdays’ tough trip to Stamford Bridge.
With this in mind, here’s the side we’d love to see Benitez test out against Chelsea this weekend:
(4-3-2-1) Darlow – Yedlin, Lejeune, Clark, Mbemba – Merino, Hayden, Shelvey – Ritchie, Murphy – Mitrovic.
Two changes – Mitrovic and Shelvey IN, Joselu and Perez OUT.
Why? Well Mitrovic showed more in 20 minutes against West Brom than Joselu did during his 70 minutes on the pitch, and whilst I’m not Mitro’s biggest fan, this isn’t the first time I’ve thought this – the same could be said against Watford on Saturday.
It’s time for Rafa to realise Joselu isn’t doing enough, and that Mitrovic does actually deserve his chance. Not because he’s a world beater, but because he looks like a better striker than Joselu each time he comes on.Simple. He came on and helped change the game on Tuesday.
Dropping Perez is a funny one. There’s a feeling (and some proof in fairness) that he does help us defensively, pressing from the front and taking up decent positions, however I feel that when Shelvey, Hayden and Merino are all fit, they all have to start.
I’d rather have Shelvey on the pitch, pack that midfield and play our three best midfielders than start a frustrating Perez who does not produce nearly enough in the attacking third. As he showed in his 10 minute cameo on Tuesday, Shelvey is more of an offensive threat from deep than Perez probably is playing just off the striker.
We’ll need his quality and our best players if we’re to get a result on Saturday and the addition of Shelvey and Mitrovic in place of the under performing Joselu and Perez would be a welcome change from Rafa, in my opinion.
Let us know your thoughts. Do you like the look of this, or would you be going for something entirely different on Saturday?