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Charles Ryder

Chelsea v Benfica (EL Final) 15/5/13 KO 19:45 BST

Not too long to go now, and given the stature of the game, I thought an early match thread would be appropriate.

 

How important does everyone view the final as being?

 

The tournament is a shadow of the European Cup, but it is still a successor of the Uefa Cup which was a very well respected competition in it's day, so we should (and will) take it very, very seriously.

 

As a final, and hopefully prophetic note:

 

Juan-Mata-Eagle-Whisperer.jpg

 

Juan Mata, eagle tamer. Let's be having them!

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Whether we win it or not this season will still have been a complete car crash for us.

 

That said, it's a European Final for the second successive season and I would love to see us win this.

 

It's going to be a tough game because Benfica are no push overs, Benetiz team selection will be interesting because the likes of Moses, JT and Lampard have been regulars throughout the competition so I am hoping he will select them all in the final as well. 

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Whether we win it or not this season will still have been a complete car crash for us.

 

That said, it's a European Final for the second successive season and I would love to see us win this.

 

It's going to be a tough game because Benfica are no push overs, Benetiz team selection will be interesting because the likes of Moses, JT and Lampard have been regulars throughout the competition so I am hoping he will select them all in the final as well. 

Not sure I agree with you suggesting its been a 'Car Crash'. A european trophy and a Top 4 Finish would suit me fine after the whole debacle our senior management has put us through. Before this season started I would have taken top 4 and a CL quarter/semi.... Just a shame Robbie isnt still in charge to see it through.

 

Remember... I know we won the CL last year but we finished 6th in the league (BEHIND NEWCASTLE)!

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Not sure I agree with you suggesting its been a 'Car Crash'. A european trophy and a Top 4 Finish would suit me fine after the whole debacle our senior management has put us through. Before this season started I would have taken top 4 and a CL quarter/semi.... Just a shame Robbie isnt still in charge to see it through.

 

Remember... I know we won the CL last year but we finished 6th in the league (BEHIND NEWCASTLE)!

 

I don't mean a car crash just in terms of results on the field but I mean the season as whole.

 

RDM's sacking and the shameful way it was handled, the almost immediate hiring of Benetiz afterwards suggesting he was lined up before the sacking was made.

 

The Clattenberg "racism" claims.

 

Lampard's protracted contract saga.

 

Woeful loses in the Super Cup, Club World Cup and League Cup.

 

Entering the season with only two recognised forwards and then it quickly becoming apparent Sturridge was going to be sold in January making me think we didn't sell to Liverpool in the summer because we failed to sign a replacement before the start of the season meaning too much faith was put in Torres.

 

Selling Merrielles and loaning Essien meant our midfield has looked lightweight for most of the season.

 

Basically it's not been a season to remember for me when off the back of our first ever European Cup triumph it should have been one of our greatest ever.  

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I agree with that sentiment, on paper it's been a good season, bar the Champions League exit, but it goes without saying that it will be remembered for all the wrong reasons.

 

Still, not many clubs have won the lot in European terms, so I'm desperate to see us lift the trophy. Not for the sake of Rafa, not for the sake of Roman, but for the sake of the fans who have forked out god knows how much following the team around on this marathon season.

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Not buzzing for this as much as I'd love to, the atmosphere at the club until the end of the month will always be discouraging, I'm only watching Chelsea games now as if it were an act of survival, the FSW has really sucked all the enjoyment from the field. Beating United at Old Trafford, on the merry way to leave the y*ds in the dust and Super Frank on the verge of hitting a record all Chelsea folk and genuine football people want to see, and of course another European final....but somethings amiss here, and the problem is simple, and it should be standing outside football stadium selling burgers and chips from the back of his van, instead of pretending to marshal the sidelines and writing love letters to bin dippers on the bench.

I told myself I'd be thrilled if we got to the final/won the Europa League, but it's been such a lackluster competition. Having said that I'd love another trophy at the club, always nice to win things, eh?, be nice to see the boys lift some silverware after such a tedious season.

Charles Ryder and SHELLY like this

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My big fear, as soon as we made the final, was John Terry. As we know, Rafa was keeping him out of league games and playing him in the Europa, then, after the first leg at Basel, he surprisingly played the league game against Swansea, and was missing for the second leg of the semi-final. Surely, given he has contributed hugely to our passage to the final, and has had to sit out so many league games, he deserves to lead us out in Amsterdam? I will feel sick if he doesn't, and I have a sneaky suspicion that might happen.

 

Imagine we're winning with minutes to go and Rafa brings on Benayoun, with Terry sitting on the bench. That would take the gloss off things for me a bit. I suspect a back four of Dave, Ashley, Ivan and Luiz, with Terry missing out. So, so sad.

 

We shall see.

Amputechture and SHELLY like this

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We should be wary of the threat of their left winger Nicolas Gaitan, looked very skilful and a great dribbler whenever I've seen him before. It will be interesting to see how Matic performs too. It will be a very tough game but if we get the team selection right there's no reason why we can't win.

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We should be wary of the threat of their left winger Nicolas Gaitan, looked very skilful and a great dribbler whenever I've seen him before.

 

He's slipped a bit off the radar though hasn't he? I remember a couple of years back he was linked with very big moves to Man Utd amongst others. I haven't seen him lately but I remember being very impressed. Does he make the Argentine squad? Is he likely to for 2014? I've not heard his name for a while. He must be about 25 now as well. He's certainly not a kid.

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Looks to me like he could easily play on either wing as a sort of winger/playmaker hybrid.

Lots of flicks, always looking for the killer ball, equally capable of gliding past a man or picking out a pass from deep.

 

Having said that, he doesn't offer much that we don't already have and we shouldn't be going in for him unless it's for a small fee. He's barely played for Argentina but that's to be expected when they have the likes of Lavezzi and Di Maria on the wings.

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Any chance our fans will do something like choreo or mosaic?Every final we go with the flags.I think it's time to show some class.Just see what Bayern Borussia ,the spanish and italian fans are doing.Even Man u and Pool fans have done things like this.I don't think it is so difficult.

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I really cannot wait for this, win this and we'll be the first team to win the Champions League then win the Europa League the following season. Also I want another crack at the Super Cup.

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Nervous and excited at the same time, come on Chelsea. I know it's not the Champions League but i have always enjoyed this competition. I hope it's a one off though, i want to be back in the Champions League next year.

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Yes I think it will be by far the toughest game in the Europa League. They certainly gave us a big scare in the CL last year.

It would great if we won tomorrow as that would seal the top 4 and mean that Saturday against Villa would be a 'free hit' for the top 3.

We also have the advantage of Rambo and Luiz who obviously know Benfica very well and they exactly the sort of players that will be buzzing for this game. I also hope Moses starts, his Europa League form deserves it, and it will mean a lot to him aswell.

The tournament has been a bit of damp squid really, with the only stand out game being the game away to Basel. Nevertheless, I think there will be a cracking tempo to this game and it will sink in how good to it when we see the likes of Luiz, Brana and Mikel going mental as we win ANOTHER trophy. Also when ITV have to begrudgingly admit we are the first English side to win the European Cup, Uefa Cup and the Cup Winners Cup , which will be pretty sweet.

European finals don't come around often so whether in Amsterdam or anywhere else in the world, all Blues should have a cracking night as JT wins another cup and the sh*t from the lane will win f*ck all again.

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Nervous and excited at the same time, come on Chelsea. I know it's not the Champions League but i have always enjoyed this competition. I hope it's a one off though, i want to be back in the Champions League next year.

Exactly. I put in my previous post that it's been a damp squid. Well what I meant is our games. We've just sort of been on cruise control.

As my dad is a Middlesbrough fan, I have had some special memories with this competition and have always enjoyed it. I was there for one of their great comebacks in the quarter final vs Basel. What a night that was.

I remember hating this competition as a nipper though. I had been treated to that great champions league run as an eight year old, so was slightly spoilt. Then three years of hating this competition- Robbie's leg break, crumbling in 2 minutes in Isreal (I cried that night haha) and then getting thumped by Viking (who the feck are they?).

But this is a very good competition and it has been enjoyable whilst being in it and it looks like it hasn't bit our top 4 place at risk (hopefully).

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If we beat spuds I expect/hope we'll rest at least half the people against Villa that will be starting in the Final.

I would be very surprised if our starting XI in the final isn't (barring injury):

---------Cech

Dave - JT - Luiz - Ash

--Lampard - Ramires

-Oscar - Mata - Hazard

--------Torres

I'd predict a 2-0 win, let's bring home the bacon.

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Portuguese minnows Estoril have enhanced our chances greatly. They held Benfica 1-1 at the Estadio da Luz, cutting Benfica's four point lead to two over 2nd placed Porto with two games to go. It's Porto-Benfica on Sunday. So they can't rest anyone for that game, they have to play it at full pelt as it's as good as a cup final for them.

 

If we beat Spurs then we can put our feet up a bit and look forward to the occasion.

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A huge game, it is a European final after all.

 

However I can only give it full consideration if, and only if, we beat Spurs tomorrow. Otherwise then we will have another huge game against Villa to come first.

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Bit worried about the game, we'll probably be chasing and he'll bring on Benayoun when we're chasing the game

 

hes the jack off all trades, dont you know?

 

 

 

chasing the game? bring benayoun on!

 

defending the lead? bring benayoun on!

 

cech gets sent off? bring benayoun on!

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All the papers running with the story that the fat f**king fraud is set to axe BOTH Lampard and JT for this game.

 

Words have completely f**king failed me if this is true.

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All the papers running with the story that the fat f**king fraud is set to axe BOTH Lampard and JT for this game.

 

Words have completely f**king failed me if this is true.

 

They've been out of favour for his League starting XI's pretty much since he took over.

 

Suddenly, the game before the cup final it looks like they will both play.

 

Despite (I believe) playing in every game in the lead up to the final Benetiz will drop both JT and Lampard.

 

Classless. 

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