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Ivanovic’s forced absence a thing to celebrate for Chelsea fans

| 15.10.2015

Very rarely will you see fans react to the news that a club’s first choice right back is ruled out for three weeks with so much glee but that’s exactly the response Chelsea supporters have given today.

Branislav Ivanovic, while one of the key cogs in the Blues machine last term, has largely underperformed in the 2015-16 season.

He has, on Thursday, been ruled out for up to three weeks with a hamstring injury that would keep him out of games against Aston Villa, Dynamo Kiev, West Ham and Stoke.

But the news hasn’t been met with the despair that one would expect when your club’s winning goalscorer from the Europa League final is absent for a period of time.

The 31-year-old picked up the knock while on international duty with Serbia last week in a 2-0 victory against Albania.

Compared to last term, Ivanovic’s performances have been singled out as one of the main reasons for Chelsea’s poor start to the season.

Although it wouldn’t be fair to single him out as the only reason for their disappointments, according to WhoScored.com his average match rating has fallen from 7.25 out of 10 to 6.56 this season.

He’s also missed more tackles and made fewer clearances than last term, but despite this downfall in form he maintained his place in the squad.

The Guardian recently named him as a player who despite his showings finds himself as an ‘undroppable’ player.

Some fans went along the same mindset and saw this as something to force Jose Mourinho’s hand.

With the Blues lying in 16th place in the Premier League, they will see three points as the only option when they take on Aston Villa at the weekend.

Lose without Ivanovic on the pitch, and further investigation will have to go on as to the root of their problems.

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Ben Stones

Ladbrokes News’ equine expert, Ben likes nothing more than studying the form to pick out a winner or two for our readers. A Journalism and Media Studies graduate from the University of Winchester, Ben has previously written for a number of football and racing blogs and websites, as well as contributing to the sports pages of his home-town newspaper.