Previous
Juventus
Malmo FF
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Olympiakos
Atletico Madrid
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Liverpool
Ludogorets Razgrad
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Real Madrid
FC Basel
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
AS Monaco
Bayer Leverkusen
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Benfica
Zenit St Petersburg
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Borussia Dortmund
Arsenal
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Galatasaray
Anderlecht
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Philadelphia Union
Seattle Sounders FC
11:30 PM GMT
Game Details
AFC Bournemouth
Leeds United
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Birmingham City
Sheffield Wednesday
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Blackpool
Watford
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Brentford
Norwich City
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Cardiff City
Middlesbrough
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Charlton Athletic
Wolverhampton Wanderers
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Huddersfield Town
Wigan Athletic
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Ipswich Town
Brighton & Hove Albion
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Bolton Wanderers
Rotherham United
7:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Reading
Millwall
7:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Waterhouse
DC United
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Cruz Azul
Chorrillo FC
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Portland Timbers
Olimpia
2:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Colchester United
Sheffield United
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Doncaster Rovers
Crawley Town
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Gillingham
Peterborough United
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Milton Keynes Dons
Bradford City
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Notts County
Leyton Orient
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Port Vale
Bristol City
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Preston North End
Chesterfield
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Rochdale
Walsall
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Scunthorpe United
Coventry City
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Swindon Town
Oldham Athletic
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Yeovil Town
Crewe Alexandra
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
AFC Wimbledon
Burton Albion
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Bury
Stevenage
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Cambridge United
Exeter City
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Cheltenham Town
Southend United
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Mansfield Town
Morecambe
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Northampton Town
Hartlepool United
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Oxford United
Accrington Stanley
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Plymouth Argyle
Wycombe Wanderers
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Portsmouth
Dagenham & Redbridge
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Shrewsbury Town
Carlisle United
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Tranmere Rovers
Newport County
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
York City
Luton Town
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Aldershot Town
Braintree Town
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Alfreton Town
AFC Telford United
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Bristol Rovers
Nuneaton Town
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Chester City
Southport
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Dartford
Dover
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Eastleigh
Forest Green Rovers
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Halifax
Grimsby Town
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Kidderminster Harriers
Altrincham
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Macclesfield Town
Gateshead
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Torquay United
Woking
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Welling
Lincoln City
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Barnet
Wrexham
7:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Rangers
Inverness Caledonian Thistle
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Al Hilal
Al-Ain
5:30 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Guadalajara
Tijuana
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Mérida
Atlante
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Puebla
Morelia
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Celaya
Necaxa
2:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Coras Tepic
Zacatepec
2:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Dorados de Sinaloa
Mineros de Zacatecas
2:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Monterrey
Santos
2:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Toluca
UNAM
2:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Estudiantes La Plata
Gimnasia La Plata
10:00 PM GMT
Leg 2Aggregate: 0 - 0
Game Details
Independiente del Valle
Cerro Porteño
10:00 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Deportivo Capiatá
Caracas F.C.
12:15 AM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Peñarol
Deportivo Cali
12:30 AM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
América Mineiro
Bragantino
10:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Avaí
Sampaio Correa-MA
10:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Goianiense
América RN
10:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Náutico
Joinville
10:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Paraná Clube
Ceará
10:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Portuguesa de Desportos
Boa MG
10:30 PM GMT
Game Details
ABC
AA Ponte Preta
12:50 AM GMT
Game Details
Icasa
Vila Nova-GO
12:50 AM GMT
Game Details
Luverdense
Santa Cruz FC
12:50 AM GMT
Game Details
Oeste
CR Vasco da Gama
12:50 AM GMT
Game Details
Bidvest Wits
Amazulu
Postp
Game Details
Kaizer Chiefs
Maritzburg Utd
Postp
Game Details
Next

Transfer Assessment: Chelsea

Chelsea Sep 3, 2014
Read
 Posted by Phil Lythell
Aug 27, 2014

Abundance of quality full-backs a good problem for Chelsea

Although finding the back of the net proved to be Chelsea's Achilles' heel last season, they were the best in the Premier League at keeping the ball out of it by some distance. Only 27 goals were conceded during the 38-game campaign -- 10 fewer than champion Manchester City -- and that was thanks largely to a back five that played together regularly with tinkering kept to a minimum.

With the best defence in the country already at Jose Mourinho's disposal, it would seemingly be folly to make any adjustments, though the manager made a big splash in the summer by bringing La Liga's best goalkeeper back from Spain and acquiring the services of his Atletico Madrid teammate Filipe Luis.

The debate over who should start in goal has occupied much of the close season, with Thibaut Courtois winning the first battle with Petr Cech, but there was always the expectation that Luis would slot straight into the first team. That has yet to happen, as the 16 million pound signing hasn't seen a single minute of action in the two competitive games played this season.

New signing Filipe Luis has yet to see a competitive minute for Chelsea, though he will get plenty of playing time in due course.

The selection at full-back of Branislav Ivanovic and Cesar Azpilicueta in the opener against Burnley made sense. A Monday night clash at a tight ground against an exuberant, newly promoted side had all the hallmarks of a match that might turn a freshly imported foreign player into a rabbit caught in headlights. Much better to stick to those who are keenly aware of what challenges are presented by English football.

More surprising was Luis' omission in the home match against Leicester City. Although he was successful in all his attempted tackles against Burnley, Azpilicueta didn't enjoy his outing at Turf Moor, with passes going astray and Scott Arfield giving him problems all evening. But he was retained for a match in which Chelsea expected a struggle to make the initial breakthrough.

- Worrall: Time for Fernando Torres to move on

For all Azpilicueta's virtues -- of which the dogged defender has several -- his delivery from wide positions is not one of them. Luis, on the other hand, has no reservations about speeding down the flank and is fond of whipping in devilish early crosses for the centre forward to attack. As it turned out, there was a distinct lack of quality emanating from Chelsea's flanks for the first 45 minutes prior to Ivanovic's marauding display in the second period.

Branislav Ivanovic's strong start to the season makes him an asset at centre-back or right-back.

Whether Luis would have made a difference during a teamwide malaise in the first half is unknown. What is clear is that Ivanovic has seemingly nailed down his place in the team for the time being.

The arrival of Luis was expected to see Azpilicueta return to his more familiar posting on the right side of defence to have two orthodox, natural full-backs in situ with Ivanovic contesting for a place in the centre, a position more befitting his burly physique. Two excellent performances later and it is the Serb who is one of the first names on the team sheet, leaving his Brazilian and Spanish teammates to scrap it out for the final berth in the back four. A goal-scoring display at Turf Moor followed by a muscular, dominant and dynamic 90 minutes at Stamford Bridge will have cemented his place in Mourinho's thoughts.

What will be interesting to see is how the manager will deploy his back four when faced with a higher calibre of opposition. Burnley and Leicester both acquitted themselves admirably for spells but were unable to sustain a constant threat. That will change in the coming weeks. Ivanovic has learned excellent positional discipline over the years but has never been able to completely compensate for his lack of pace.

The consistent hard work of Cesar Azpilicueta makes him valuable at either full-back position.

Against a quicker attack, Mourinho might opt for Luis and Azpilicueta on the flanks. He will also take notice of the habits of the opposition wingers. If they are inverted -- that is to say a left-footed player deployed on the right -- then Azpilicueta might get the nod over Luis as his direct opponent will naturally choose to cut infield regularly on to the Spaniard's preferred right side.

Competition for places is going to be in evidence at full-back, and that always brings out the best in those willing to knuckle down and fight for their place in the team. Azpilicueta will know more than most that hard work and consistent performances will be rewarded, having forced Mourinho to include him at the expense of the legendary Ashley Cole last season purely due to his own excellence and diligence.

Although there is always going to be at least one of them left disappointed each week -- unless Ivanovic plays at centre-back -- it does mean that Chelsea have an array of options to cover most scenarios. That can only be a good thing.

Phil Lythell

One of ESPN's Chelsea bloggers and author of Chelsea-centric blog ShoutyandSpitty.com, Phil has spent his entire life living within a 20-minute walk of Stamford Bridge. You can follow him on Twitter @PhilLythell.

Comments

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.