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  1. Me too, he obviously has a plan worked out, and accepts the huge risk of being made responsible for a hypothetical loss by all the fans who would have known so much better. If conte figured out the false 9 is the best way to exploit their weaknesses I'm all for it!
  2. There is no but. We can say that now, as we know how the 2012 game ended, but back before the game there were those same voices that you currently represent, roughly stating "we don't stand a chance tonight, absolutely no pace nor attacking power in the time and we rely on a 32 year old sole striker to win it for us against the best team in the world that will have all the possession". And if we win this tonight, in 5 years when we face Barcelona again some will state "yeah but back in 2018 we had one of the best players in the world in our attack and some amazing defensive players in Azpi, Christensen and Kante, the situation is completely different, no way we can win this". The truth is that these statements are very likely to be true as Barcelona were and are the clear favourites, and no one would have been surprised if they had destroyed us in 2012. But what 2012 shows us is that we are capable of beating Barcelona despite being the underdogs, and the fact that we obviously have a different squad today to back then is no very logical argument against that. In fact, our today's squad has strengths that our team back then would have dreamt of, and Barcelona is not the same team any more either. Don't give your own team up before the game even started, I believe in the lads, regardless of any odds!
  3. I think one should also remember that in big games against strong opponents, Cahill is usually pretty good. Especially against very dominant opponents he tends to be disciplined and excellent at blocks which can be vital against Barca. I remember thinking after last years FA Cup final that he had really kept us in the game a few times and was our strongest defender. I really can't imagine that Emerson will start after just one game against Hull City a few days ago. In addition Barca tend to play a 4-4-2 diamond, with the right wing mainly covered by Sergi Roberto, and I think Marcos can cope with that. He usually is surprisingly good at defending players who are faster than him. There have been many talks about players' character in recent weeks and he is one of these important characters for us on the pitch, and for some reason also one of our greatest attacking threats.
  4. Totally agree with you, and I also like the look of that line-up, which looks strong at sitting back but should also be explosive enough for counter attacks, especially as both Kante and Luiz are both strong at initiating attacks. Only concern is that Azpi on RWB has never really seemed to work brillintly so far (even though one could argue it would rather be the role of a far out right back helping to park the bus) and that I don't really remember the back 3 ever playing together like this. The one thing I had really hoped for over the last month and that I very much deplore not happening is the establishment of a clear, familiar, standard back 3 as we had it last season in Cahill-Luiz-Azpi. I guess right now the closest thing to this is Rüdiger-Christensen-Azpi, but one cannot really claim that they have reached blind understanding, besides I for once would appreciate Cahill's character and experience on the pitch. So, if the players can work it out, your line-up would have some very appealing aspects
  5. I think we need to get over these comparisons, we have a squad with strengths and weaknesses that imo on a perfect day is well capable of exploiting Barca's weaknesses, so there's no reason for being depressed. The squad of 2012 was full of character, but it also was very old and the starting eleven contained basically one fast player in Ramires and one creative player in Mata, which over the last three games for a long time made it look impossible to create any danger for the opposition's goal and yet their immense will and character made it happen. Today Chelsea look different and Barca look different, and even though some of these players aren't proven world class internationals with great CL experience I believe that players like Azpi, Christensen, Rüdiger, Cahill, Kante or Luiz are capable of rising to the occasion and throw their bodies into every shot, and I believe that players like Willian, Pedro, Hazard, Giroud, Morata or Cesc can cause Barca's defence some problems! If this game doesn't provide the right motivation for every single player than no one will, the last two games were the ideal psychological preparation, the team is rested and will be prepared by one of the best coaches in the world. KTBFFH
  6. 3-5-2 seems like the obvious option, but it's gonna be hard to find that midfield 3. Fabregas simply can't defend and DD hasn't performed at all recently, worst man in the team last night imo. I actually believe Luiz (if available) would be our best midfield option, and then we might as well play willian in a 343 who is still more useful without possession than cesc. Slightly leaning towards Moses on the right as I find him stronger defensively and gotta be Alonso on the left, no doubt. Up front I think giroud just about has the edge, might be the ideal striker for this game between hazard and willian. What I'd like to see Courtois Azpi-Christensen-Rüdiger Moses-Kante-Luiz-Alonso Willian-Giroud-Hazard What I think we'll see: Courtois Azpi-Christensen-Rüdiger Moses-Fabregas-Kante-DD-Alonso Hazard-Morata(who might actually be better for 3-5-2)
  7. I can't really hate arsenal. Watching them and their loser's attitude in any aspect of the game just makes me sad for anyone who actually supports this club... Feel like they'd have to be much more of a general threat for me to hate them
  8. I'm rather devastated that you rate our title winning chances at only 29% :/
  9. I believe the 3-5-2 with Hazard-Morata as front two would be excellent, due to their different physique and possibly strong technicl compatibility it could work out perfectly. It gives you so many options, one of the two might move to the wing while the other stays in the middle, one might fall deeper while the other stays up front, and both have the technical abilities to do both. I feel like this would add such great offensive flexibility and unpredictability, especilally with Fabregas in behind, which the rather fixed 3-4-3 was maybe lacking in some games. What it does require though, is very strong wing backs (as they are even more vital than in the 3-4-3) and sufficient MF back-up for three positions. So, for the 3-5-2 to be effective, we'd probably have to do a bit more transfer business. But when talking about the 3-4-3, Sanchez might indeed be a bit of an update on Pedro, but the latter was also very strong last season, and I believe there are bigger concerns in the starting 11 than him on RW.
  10. How can these newspapers be so dumb and seriously state we might buy van Dijk?
  11. Cedric Soares would be my favourite RWB purchase. Check this guy out, pacey, composed, good crosses, a great defender and PL experienced. Actually the better player than Bertrand in my opinion, even though the latter could also challenge Alonso for the spot. But Sandro for LWB and Cedric for RWB would be my absolute dream solution!
  12. A thread with the completely surprising and shamelessly radical title 'Alexis Sanchez', written with a capital A and S. Those Chelsea Fans must have gone mad!
  13. Actually I just read recently that we have had the highest transfer income worldwilde over the last 4 years, and the best transfer balance of basically any big european club (even after Morata)! But if people want to stultify themselves, I don't mind...

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