Jamie Carragher: Why Jose Mourinho must drop Chelsea star for Arsenal clash

Jamie Carragher says Jose Mourinho can't risk Branislav Ivanovic against Arsenal

Jamie Carragher says Jose Mourinho must drop Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic for the visit of Arsenal.

The Blues manager left Diego Costa, Ivanovic, Nemanja Matic and John Terry out of his starting XI for their 4-0 victory over Maccabi Tel-Aviv in their opening Champions League group-stage on Wednesday night.

Could Mourinho really risk him at right back against Alexis Sanchez, Arsenal’s best player, who will be running at him from the left flank?

Jamie Carragher

Chelsea have endured their worst start to a Premier League campaign in 29 years following a return of four points from their opening five top-flight games of the 2015/16 campaign.

While Carragher tipped Mourinho to restore Costa, Matic and Terry to his starting line-up on Saturday afternoon, the Liverpool legend warned the Chelsea manager that he can’t afford to gamble on Ivanovic.

“There is a big difference, however, between not selecting John Terry, Nemanja Matic, Diego Costa and Branislav Ivanovic for a fixture that Chelsea could have won in second gear and leaving them out of a potentially season-defining game against Arsenal today,” Carragher wrote in his Daily Mail column.

“If Terry, Matic and Costa were not to start in the clash with Arsene Wenger’s men, you could legitimately say they have been dropped. I don’t, though, expect any of them to miss out against Arsenal.

“No matter how those three have been playing, there is no way Mourinho will be without them for this one.

“Ivanovic is a different case and Mourinho should drop him at Stamford Bridge. The full back made a fair point after the defeat by Everton that Chelsea’s problems should not be blamed solely on their defence — they have not been given great protection by the midfield — but his form has been poor.

“Could Mourinho really risk him at right back against Alexis Sanchez, Arsenal’s best player, who will be running at him from the left flank? Cesar Azpilicueta — Chelsea’s best defender — would be a far better choice, with Baba Rahman slotting in at left back.”

Costa came off the bench to win a first-half penalty and score a second-half goal in Chelsea’s 4-0 win in the Champions League mid-week.

MORE: Read the latest Chelsea player tweets

The Blues lost 1-0 to the Gunners in the Community Shield at Wembley at the start of the season.

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