Sometimes it's easy to reconcile things I'd like to see with things that I predict will happen. When occasions such as Spurs coming in for a title decider happen, when purpose and circumstance align, it's easy to predict a lineup. Other times, especially lately, with Hiddink going for the starting lineup equivalents of greatest hits and reunion tours, it's not been so easy.
I would have liked to have seen players with some actual future at the club given (more) chances. I would've preferred untested youth over played-out experience. Results have stopped truly mattering some time ago, finishing in the top half of the table (now guaranteed barring Swansea making up a 16-goal deficit in goal difference) or somewhere in the low teens was always going to be purely academic. Sure, it's nice to see Nemanja Matic resemble, at least partially, an actual football player again and it's been lovely to have Eden Hazard back, but some decisions, like starting Mikel at center back, or bringing on Falcao from the bench, or not using all of our subs, or not giving an (enforced) rest to player(s) who have actually worked their socks off this season has been baffling and even infuriating.
The interim manager's already announced decision to break with general tradition and not put any Academy kids into the lineup on the final day is just the cherry on top of the rotten cake of this season. Surely, Jamie Vardy would've admitted kids under the legal drinking age into at least this portion of his title party, no?
That's not to say that I would've rolled with, say, the FA Youth Cup winning lineup on Sunday. I would've preferred to see Marco Amelia in goal, however ancient he is, as reward for his uncelebrated task as the new Hilario. Courtois and Begovic both look to be staying for next season; give the old man a go for a few minutes.
Other veterans and usual first-team players I would've included are Oscar (because he has hardly started over the past few months), Ivanovic (if he's fit; plus it might be too late for Ola Aina), Baba (because the only way he'll ever get better is if he plays), and maybe Pato if we are truly considering the option of keeping him for next season. Fan favorites such as Hazard, Willian, and Fàbregas could've also come on as subs in the second half.
My preference would be something along the lines of: Amelia | Baba, Tomori, Miazga, Ivanovic | Loftus-Cheek, Colkett | Kenedy, Oscar, Palmer | Traoré. Get them out there on the Stamford Bridge turf for some fun in the spring
sunshine overcast weather.
Instead, I'm pretty sure we'll get something similar to midweek. Because reasons.
Courtois | Baba, Mikel, Cahill, Azpilicueta | Matic, Fabregas | Hazard, Willian, Pedro | Pato (I wanted to say Falcao, just to be trollish, but, surely, that's not an actual possibility, right?)
The WAGNH community's preferred lineup is a lot of closer to what I think Hiddink will do than what I'd prefer personally.
Courtois | Baba, Miazga, Cahill Azpilicueta | Matic, Fabregas | Hazard, Loftus-Cheek, Kenedy | Traoré