There has been much discussion regarding the possible line-ups for next season, however I haven't yet seen one that truly optimises the talent with which our team will be bestowed, given that Hulk is included in our imaginary line-up. For that we must consider our players' strengths, where they play best, and the players who can play each position effectively. After much consideration, here's the team and formation I've chosen, and why.
In this lineup, we of course have Cech, and have our most commonly preferred defensive line, although on some days Cahill may be preferable to Luiz, if only for his consistency, but overall Luiz performed better this season so he probably deserves a place in the squad. He also should be able to improve on his erratic form through more play time, given how he has improved throughout our 2011-12 campaign.
I've chosen to place Lampard as the sole defensive midfielder, as although he plays far better as an attacking midfielder, he did show some ability playing this role late last season, and this would clearly help him stay in the squad for longer and remain the ever-present leader of our midfield.
Though sometimes we might need the extra help of Mikel defensively, he's not been anywhere near as good as Ramires this season, who by the stats, was our third best player, behind the brilliant Mata and the illustrious Lampard. It would be nearly impossible to keep Ramires out of the starting lineup, assuming he continues to perform at the level he has been this season. But where to place the player whose position would seem to be challenged by the introduction of a rampant Hulk? Simple; Ramires could play in the middle, veering off to either wing to connect with either Hulk or Mata, along with Hazard, to create some incredible run-on and passing plays. His attacking creativity and short passing would complement these players, who could also help him to run through and score goals; something that we all know he does impeccably. Furthermore, he is defensively strong and if needed could perform any defensive duty required; both his tackling and defensive contribution are regarded as 'strong' on http://www.whoscored.com/, a website devoted to analysing football statistics, and they aren't wrong. This lethal combination of crucial attacking and defensive contribution may prove him crucial to the team.
We are all aware that Hazard is keen to play as a centre attacking midfielder, and we can all see that it's where he's played best this season, scoring 20 goals and providing the team with 16 assists; even if he may play better further to the right than in the middle. We should probably decide to keep him there, allow Mata to have the left wing and Hulk the right, creating the potent supporting strike-force that is so highly anticipated for next season.
Given his end of season form, as a lone striker, Torres should most definitely be given the chance to star up front, and hopefully he will. He should hopefully be on a bit of a high on confidence after winning Euro 2012, or he will be hungry after losing it; either way, it seems the confident, sharp, and hopefully prolific Torres is back, and this should definitely be helped by the three men he'll have at his back.
This is my chosen 11; please give me feedback on what you think of it, but to me it looks like the strongest of any I've seen and have considered.