Jose Mourinho has dropped John Terry, Branislav Ivanovic, Nemanja Matic and Diego Costa for Chelsea’s Champions League opener at home to Maccabi Tel Aviv this evening.
The Blues enter the Group G match at Stamford Bridge on the back of their worst start to a top-flight season in 29 years, and therefore the Special One has made sweeping changes.
After being benched for the 3-1 defeat to Everton at the weekend, Gary Cahill returns in defence to captain a side which also includes debutant Baba Rahman, and Ruben Loftus-Cheek.
Oscar is welcomed back in midfield after a month on the sidelines, three years after he made himself an immediate favourite with Chelsea fans with this Champions League stunner against Juventus.
There are also starts for Willian and Loic Remy in attack, while Asmir Begovic continues to stand in for Thibaut Courtois in goal. Neither Radamel Falcao or Pedro make the squad because of niggles.
Chelsea team tonight: Begovic; Azpilicueta, Zouma, Cahill (c), Baba Rahman; Loftus-Cheek, Fabregas; Willian, Oscar, Hazard; Remy. #CFC
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) September 16, 2015
Israeli champions Maccabi are managed by Chelsea flop Slavisa Jokanovic and include former Blues defender Tal Ben Haim in their starting XI. Porto face Dynamo Kiev in tonight’s other Group G game.
Maccabi: Rajković, Shpungin, Tibi, Ben Harush, Ben Haim I, Alberman, Zahavi, Rikan, Mitrović, Igiebor, Ben Haim II. #UCL
— Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) September 16, 2015
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