Danny Higginbotham: Why Chelsea are losing midfield battles

Former Man United defender Danny Higginbotham says Chelsea are struggling to compete in midfield

Danny Higginbotham says Chelsea need to start winning their midfield battles to salvage their season.

The west London side crashed out of the League Cup on Tuesday night after a 5-4 defeat on penalties by Stoke City at Britannia Stadium.

Chelsea are still playing a very high line in an attempt to impose themselves on games, with the plan being that they’ll take the lead and then earn the right to sit back

Danny Higginbotham

The defending Premier League champions have won one of their last seven games in all competitions ahead of the visit of Liverpool on Saturday afternoon.

And former Manchester United defender Higginbotham explained why Chelsea have been struggling in recent weeks.

“The fundamental fact is that Chelsea are losing the midfield battles,” Higginbotham wrote in The Independent.

“Any suggestion that the legs of some of the defenders have gone – John Terry and Branislav Ivanovic keep being mentioned – is rubbish, I would suggest.

“Chelsea are still playing a very high line in an attempt to impose themselves on games, with the plan being that they’ll take the lead and then earn the right to sit back.

“But instead of that happening, they’re finding themselves being beaten for pace in the central areas by fast players suited to the counter-attack. Look at all the players who have caused Chelsea most problems.

“West Ham’s Dimitri Payet, Crystal Palace’s Wilfried Zaha and Yannick Bolasie, Swansea City’s Jefferson Montero. They’re all fast, counter-attacking players.”

The west London side have won just one of their last seven games in all competitions and have lost to Porto, Southampton, West Ham and the Potters.

Chelsea are in 15th place and 11 points behind leaders Manchester City after a return of 11 points from 10 games.

MORE: Read the latest Chelsea player tweets

The Blues have already lost six times in the Premier League, including two defeats at Stamford Bridge.

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