1. Picking Kepa Over Mendy.
While it can be argued that Kepa deserves a place in the starting lineup after his recent good performances under Potter, we also have to consider the fact that today’s opponents would be much different than what Chelsea has faced so far. AC Milan is coming off a defeat at Stamford Bridge in their last Champions League game and they would bring the heat to Chelsea at the San Siro. With Mendy, you have a goalkeeper who can deal with long shots very well and have excellent reflexes while with Kepa, it’s the complete opposite. Kepa has decent reflexes but he also has problems dealing with long shots. It will be interesting to see how Kepa performs today.
2. Dropping Ruben Loftus Cheek.
After a wonderful performance against AC Milan last week, Loftus Cheek has been dropped by Potter for tonight’s game. The Englishman was rested against Wolverhampton Wanderers in Chelsea’s last match and all expectations were that he would start today’s game but alas, he is left out. Jorginho is brought on in his place and this could be the tactical change that would ruin Chelsea today.
AC Milan is well-stocked in midfield and possesses very fast players in midfield. Meanwhile, with Jorginho, you have a player who is very good on the ball but a big liability defensively. If at some point in today’s match, Kovacic is cut off higher up the pitch, Jorginho would be the only midfield remaining to keep the spaces tight for Chelsea and AC Milan would relish that. The likes of Rafael Leao who played a little central against Chelsea last time out would be hoping to get Jorginho in a 1v1 situation to bypass him easily.
3. Starting Mount Over Gallagher.
I might be wrong here but Gallagher showed in Chelsea’s last match why he should start ahead of Mason Mount today. The former Crystal Palace loanee is a very poor high-intensity player, he hunts down opponents in midfield like wild dogs. With him in midfield today, Chelsea would’ve been sure that the intensity in midfield will be high, especially with such a slow player as Jorginho in there. Meanwhile, with Mount, we have a good high-intensity player, yes, but not on the level of Gallagher. What Mount does offer better than Gallagher does is that little bit of bite in the attacking third. But today, counter-attacking is the game plan for Chelsea (I guess) and Gallagher would be more beneficial to the system because of his ball-winning ability.
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