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PL, Chelsea vs Stoke City, 17/01/09, 1500 GMT


loz

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It will be interesting to see if Scolari has the courage of his convictions and rewards Kalou for his performance against Southend and keeps Drogba out of the first team.

It may be made easier for him to bring Drogba back whilst still playing Kalou if Joe Cole's injury results in him not being available (which looks likely to be the case).

I would expect Carvalho to return after Alex's dodgy performance against Southend and lets pray we give up on this schoolboy corner defending!

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It will be interesting to see if Scolari has the courage of his convictions and rewards Kalou for his performance against Southend and keeps Drogba out of the first team.

It may be made easier for him to bring Drogba back whilst still playing Kalou if Joe Cole's injury results in him not being available (which looks likely to be the case).

I would expect Carvalho to return after Alex's dodgy performance against Southend and lets pray we give up on this schoolboy corner defending!

I hope he doesn't to be honest, I know he will always be a threat but I think the spirit in the team looked better tonight and While Kalou must get another chance I would imagine Deco will come in for Joe.

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If that is the case then it makes a mockery of Scolari's mini outburst this week about players under performing however I suspect you are right with regard to Deco.

I'm confused now..If whats the case?

I mean I hope he Doesn't play drogba, He has to leave him out for a while and longer if he starts mouthing off about it after the way he's been playing.

I didn't mean I hope he Doesn't play Riccy, I think thats a bit of a toss up against Stoke as they will try to bombard us in the air and (tonight apart) I think Alex might have the edge on Riccy in that department.

I think Deco is likely to come in and dont really see too much wrong with that as he was not having that bad a game when he was last subbed and he seems the ideal replacement fo Joe..on Paper...Shame we're playing on Grass I suppose.

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I'm hoping we line-up with

------------Cech-------------

Ivanovic-Carvo-Terry-Cole

Ballack---Mikel---Lampard

Bosingwa--Anelka--Kalou

I think Bosingwa can cause lot of havoc on the wing and he wouldn't even have to back track that much.

Kalou must play or Phil would be just unfair to him. He truly deserves to start this game. I think he will score as well.

We could also use Belletti in for Mikel.

If Stoke manager has any sense they will concentrate their attacking to the wings and try to win corners and get as many crosses in the box as possible. I would.

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................................Cech

..Bosingwa.....Carvalho.......Terry......A.Cole

..................................Mikel

.....................Ballack............Lampard

...Stoch.............................................Kalou

................................Anelka

This could well be our chance to see our young Stoch make a start with Deco and Drogba under performing, Anelka will play the lone striker (which he played very well last night), Kalou and Stoch on the wings. We can only hope.

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think we will see something similar to what we played on wednesday against the Shrimpers!

...........................Cech

Bosingwa...Carvalho..Terry...Cole

..........................Mikel

..................Ballack...Lampard

............................Deco

....................Kalou

................................Anelka

Belletti could come in for either Mikel or Ballack. Not sure if Ivanovic or Alex would be used, but I'd expect to see them, and not Mancienne on the bench. I do think that Deco will come in, in place for Joey, but other than that I think this will be the team that starts. The main question is, who makes the benhc? Our tried and trusted usual bench, or will we see some of the youngsters on the bench? I'd like to se FDS and Mancienne on there, maybe even Stoch?

Scott

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According to PhysioRoom Malouda is back tomorrow, i do hope so because he's actually been very important.

I would like to see this team..

....................PETR

Ivanovic..Ricky....JT......Cole

...................MIKEL

..........Frank......Ballack

Bosingwa........................Kalou

..................ANELKA

If Malouda is back then Bosingwa can go back to right back and Malouda can go on the wing. I would rather have Bosingwa higher up because he can beat a man and get a good ball in and have Ivanovic and RB because he is a very good defender and deserves to play.

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I wouldn't mind seeing this....

-------------Cech-----------------------

Belletti - Ricky - Terry - A. Cole

-------------- Ballack --------------

-----Lampard ---------- Mikel

Bosingwa ---- Anelka --- Kalou

I would like to see Scolari put Ballack in a "deep-lying" playmaker position since he can't seem to score at the moment, he is quite reliable back there from what I have saw. Mikel should be a decent midfielder would back up Ballack if needed. Bosingwa and Kalou would do some damage by supporting Anelka.

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I wonder if we will be using zonal marking on throw ins, regardless Delap could cause us some problems.

What ever system we are using we will have some tough time watching Stoke give corners etc. Delap is their biggest threat if he can give those long throws from good places. His throws are very accurate and fast. I can only think us playing the good'ol Carvalho-Terry in this game.

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Apparantly, there is talk that Carvalho has had a bit of a fall out with Scolari? Probably nothing much but could mean he may not be selected?

Hasn't Mikel now earnt himself a suspension? When does that take effect? Personally, I wouldn't play a defensive midfielder in a home match against Stoke anyway. Lets go all out attack and score some f**king goals!!

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I'd go for something like:

Cech,

Ivanovic, Terry, Carvalho, Cole,

Bosingwa, Lampard, Beletti, Ballack, Kalou,

Anelka.

Yup, dropping Mikel is controversial as he has been immense for us this season, but Belletti can play there very well too and maybe offers a little more going forward, which could be key in helping us unlock the other team away from home.

Bosingwa on the right wing may be controversial also, but if I'm honest, I think he's absolutely f**king awful at defending, so is better off just running up and down the wing and hopefully putting in some more intelligent crosses than he has recently.

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Apparantly, there is talk that Carvalho has had a bit of a fall out with Scolari? Probably nothing much but could mean he may not be selected?

Hasn't Mikel now earnt himself a suspension? When does that take effect? Personally, I wouldn't play a defensive midfielder in a home match against Stoke anyway. Lets go all out attack and score some f**king goals!!

I think the suspension comes into force after7 days, that will mean Mikel will miss the Ipswich game (ideal) Belletti done well when he came on and against weaker attacking sides he seems a decent option there,

I'd keep Mikel against Stoke as a bit more height defending can't be a bad thing against a team that will certainly have a main gameplan of high balls into our area.

I thought Mikel has looked a bit sloppy of late and I hope he bucks his ideas up, maybe the 1 match ban will help but he's looked a bit complacent for me of late.

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i would start drogba because he is captain of my fantasy team ;)

also would do him good to get in amongst the goals again and against stoke he would cause havoc

cech

bos --- jt --- ricky --- cole

kalou --- super frank --- mikel --- malouda

anelka --- the drog

and if i could borrow a phrase from the great mike bassett - 4-4-f*cking-2 B)

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No thanks to Droggers. And it's harsh to drop Ballack after such a superb performance on Wednesday.

Is Malouda available for this again then? Good news if so.

Come on. He did well to keep his shot down but essentially it was an open net. And other than the goal he was his usual self - miss placing passes, missing the target with shots. The only difference is he wasn't getting caught in possession like usual and that was because Southend were sitting off

Someone above said that Malouda may be due back. Not sure myself

Lamps has come out and said himself not to alienate Drogba. Like he said, on his day he is the best. We have to try and get him back to that and get him wanting to play again. You won't do that by casting him aside

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No thanks to Droggers. And it's harsh to drop Ballack after such a superb performance on Wednesday.

Is Malouda available for this again then? Good news if so.

Eh ? He had an adequate game. Which is as much as i expect from him these days.

Ideally id like to take Boswinga out but it will be the same team as Wednesday, im sure of it.

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If Malouda is ready i'd play him rather than have Bosingwa pushing forward , he looses posession a lot and struggles with decent crosses . Stoke will be anxious to try and expose our inability to defend high balls and set pieces so expect them to look for free kicks in our half . If Drogba plays i'd be surprised , he's sulking again and cant see him giving 100%.

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Luiz Felipe Scolari has Florent Malouda available to face Stoke on Saturday, with Didier Drogba and Ricardo Carvalho available for selection. Deco misses out.

'I have Malouda for tomorrow and I don't know how long he will play, 45, 60, because he starts again. I have Kalou and young players, and this is the time I put young players in the squad, Miroslav Stoch and [Gael] Kakuta.

I really hope we see these two come on the pitch at some point especially Kakuta!

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Right, so Malouda's back and I feel he deserves a chance. Kalou played very well against Southend so he's earned another start. So, I see it like this:

Cech

Bosingwa Carvalho Terry Ashley

Kalou Ballack Lamps Malouda

Anelka Drogba

LFS says he won't play 4-4-2 because his only left winger is Malouda. Well then, he's fit, so no excuses. If Drogs is still in the doghouse, you could play Anelka as the lone striker with Mikel in the holding role (but I think this is tactically stale). I also would not be suprised to see Belleti start.

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Right, so Malouda's back and I feel he deserves a chance. Kalou played very well against Southend so he's earned another start. So, I see it like this:

Cech

Bosingwa Carvalho Terry Ashley

Kalou Ballack Lamps Malouda

Anelka Drogba

LFS says he won't play 4-4-2 because his only left winger is Malouda. Well then, he's fit, so no excuses. If Drogs is still in the doghouse, you could play Anelka as the lone striker with Mikel in the holding role (but I think this is tactically stale). I also would not be suprised to see Belleti start.

Scolari said Malouda will play 45mins max. So i dunno about 4-4-2 unless we're 2 goals up and Scolari brings Kakuta or Stoch on to play LM!

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http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-1120110/

Drogba trained with the first team yesterday and stayed behind to practise free-kicks, but that did not convince Scolari to bring him back.

Droggers out of the squad for tomorrow then.

Malouda back just in time to replace Joe which is good, this however I am unsure of:

Scolari said his team will adopt a bizarre blend of zonal and man-to-man marking and 'something else' against Stoke in order to combat Rory Delap's outrageous throw-ins.

... if we get it even slightly wrong tomorrow, Stoke are going to destroy us; Delap's throws and their strikers power is going to be a nightmare.

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