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Who should play on Chelsea’s left; Hazard, Willian or Schurrle?

| 19.09.2013

One of the big dilemmas still facing Jose Mourinho is to decide from his plethora of attacking options, which players fit best into his preferred 4-2-3-1 formation.

Thus far, Oscar and Eden Hazard seem Mourinho’s leading foot soldiers, with the former starring in the number-10 role and the latter starting all five games from the left-forward position.

However, there is a case to be made to start Hazard from the alternate flank to ensure that the most is being gained from other squad players.

Andre Schurrle was most effective from the left side at Bayer Leverkusen last season, where he chiefly adhered to the Cristiano Ronaldo model of driving inside before unleashing shots from distance.

He may struggle to perform to the same level from the right-side, where he started against Everton.

Meanwhile, summer signing Willian would ideally prefer to start from the left too and would arguably offer more width than the other options open to Mourinho, who largely prefer to drive in-field.

In terms of options from the right, Juan Mata could play in this position, but he doesn’t look a natural in Mourinho’s more defensive-minded tactics in comparison to previous Chelsea managers, for whom he was the most influential player.

Kevin De Bruyne can also play from the right and is Mourinho’s most defensively-disciplined option, which could see him win the nod in some of the bigger away games, like he did at Old Trafford earlier this season.

Hazard is not as tied to a particular flank as some other players and it may be for the good of Chelsea to start him from the right regularly, allowing Willian or Schurrle to be more effective from the left.

Working out his best attacking balance should become easier for Mourinho as the season progresses and this may prove good news for those who back Chelsea now to win the Premier League at 23/10.

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Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.