Predicting Chelsea's Starting XI Post-January Transfer Window

Thomas Atzenhoffer@socceratzCorrespondent IIJanuary 24, 2013

Will Frank Lampard be in Chelsea's first team after January?
Will Frank Lampard be in Chelsea's first team after January?Chris Brunskill/Getty Images

Chelsea have had a rather slow winter with only the arrival of Demba Ba being their main piece of business. The Blues did opt to sign veteran leftback and England international Ashley Cole to a contract extension, but their is yet to be a final word on Frank Lampard.

It looks as though the all-time leading midfield goal scorer in the history of the English Premier League will be gone after this season, it is just whether or not it will be in the next six days or in the summer time. BBC sports claim it is a business decision to be ready to let Lampard leave rather than it being a personal issue, but the fans are likely to be rather upset if their veteran leader hits the road.

With all the different possible scenarios in question there is going to be a line up reshuffle if the midfielder truly does leave. Rafael Benitez has already started to make some changes, but there are likely to more over the course of the second half at Stamford Bridge.


The Defense

Petr Cech is going nowhere, and when he does Thibaut Courtois is ready and waiting to take his place. Cesar Azpilicueta has cemented  his place in the right back spot and Ashley Coles contract dictates that he will remain at left back.

Gary Cahill and Branislav Ivanovic appear to the first choice central pairing but John Terry is on his way back for most likely at least one more season. David Luiz is still listed as a central defender but has had his mindset changed as of late.


The Midfield

David Luiz has been turned into a defensive midfielder by Rafael Benitez and with the injury to Oriol Romeu dictating changes he could grow more accustomed to his new role. John Mikel Obi has been less preferred under Benitez but could make a comeback.

Frank Lampard is the most box to box all-action midfielder in the Chelsea fold, but Ramires has the potential to be.

Eden Hazard, Oscar and Juan Mata are all top class and Victor Moses is a great up and coming talent.

Yossi Benayoun has returned from his loan to West Ham United in the opening half, and given his history with Benitez at Liverpool he will likely get some run-outs in the coming months as the Blues' schedule gets more congested once again.


The Attack

Fernando Torres and Demba Ba now have great competition for the lone striking place in the 4-2-3-1 system of Benitez. Ba has made a great start to his life at Chelsea, but Torres has had the best season of his Chelsea career thus far.

Even with it being a far cry from what his Liverpool campaigns were, it is good to see Torres finally attempting to get back to normal.


The Projected Post WIndow Lineup

Petr Cech: Cesar Azpilicueta, Branislav Ivanovic, Gary Cahill, Ashley Cole; Daviz Luiz, Ramires; Oscar, Juan Mata, Eden Hazard; Demba Ba.