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PL, Aston Villa vs Chelsea, 21/02/09, 1245 GMT


loz

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This is a massive game for us in terms of our CL qualification this season. Lose this and we fall 5 points behind VIlla and with Arsenal at hime to Sunderland you would have to fancy them to take the chance to close the gap on us to just two points.

I was surprised to see Quaresma not start against Watford and it was a nice surprise to see Stoch come off the bench rather than Quaresma. Not sure if that tells us anything about the selection against Villa - I can't see it being a case of resting Quaresma as he needs playing time mroe than anyone.

JT will be back from suspension and Anelka's three goals will surely secure him a spot in the first eleven. Big question will be whether we go out with a 4-4-2 from the outset or whether we opt for a holding midfielder.

I can't see Hiddink making wholesale changes to the formation and tactics in his first game in charge and against a good side.

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What formation does he use with Russia? He could try the 4-2-3-1 if he feels brave.

Bosingwa - Terry - Alex/Riccy - Ivanovic/Ferreira

-------------Ballack---------Mikel/Belletti-------------------

Quaresma-------------Lampard----------------Stoch/Kalou

---------------------Anelka/Drogba-----------------------------

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What formation does he use with Russia? He could try the 4-2-3-1 if he feels brave.

Bosingwa - Terry - Alex/Riccy - Ivanovic/Ferreira

-------------Ballack---------Mikel/Belletti-------------------

Joe Cole -------------Lampard----------------Stoch/Kalou

---------------------Anelka/Drogba-----------------------------

it's a bit early for Joe Cole

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I'd play as follows:

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

Bosingwa------Carvalho-------JT---------Ferreira

-----------------------Mikel

Stoch-----------------Lampard-----------Quaresma

--------------Anelka------------Drogba

There was an interesting article in today's Times. Apparently Hiddinck had quite a bit of input in to Saturday's game. I particularly like this quote from Mancienne.

"He's basically said that we've got good players and a very strong squad, but he's just going to give us a bit of structure, said Michael Mancienne, the 21-year-old defender who was given a debut at right back in an another important departure from the Luiz Felipe Scolari era. "Instead of our wing backs pushing too high up like we have been doing in the past few games, he wants one of them to cover back when the play is around the other side. He reinforced a few things and had a lot of tactical input before the game."
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I think we'll start with the usual 4-3-3 although I'd like to see the two main strikers out there I think it might get introduced gradually, maybe Stoch will get a start as he has looked bright late on against tired defenders (as has the 4-4-2) but it would be nice to see what influence he could have from the off.

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I think Forums seem to lead to people looking for somebody to moan about, Scolari is sacked and one of the first posts that appears after is "who do you want out next?" It looks like Ballack is the next target..

He hasn't set the Prem alight but has been on average better than Deco and better than Malouda this season and not really playing in a system that suits him.

Maybe a change of manager will help him but singling him out as a bad player amongst the performances of a lot of the team this season seems harsh to me.

i think that's a bit unfair. deco put in 1 or 2 mom performances earlier in the season at least

i think it is time people stopped making excuses for him

agree with ethical strategies team but wouldn't make mikel drop back. like the quote from mancienne said, rb/lb not to be so adventurous and mikel to just play a traditional cm role rather than forced to hold back. he is a good enough passer to have some value further forward. o and kalou for stoch. don't think he is ready for such an important game

mancienne at lb

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Scolaris last team:

(4-3-3): Hilario; Bosingwa, Alex, Terry, A Cole; Ballack (Deco 72), Mikel (Belletti 56), Lampard; Quaresma (Drogba 62), Anelka, Kalou.

Against Watford:

(4-3-3): Cech; Mancienne, Alex, Ivanovic, A Cole; Ballack (Belletti 82), Mikel (Stoch 72), Lampard ©; Anelka, Drogba, Kalou.

Hiddinks first team:??

(4-2-2)

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

Bosingwa------Carvalho-------JT---------Mancienne

-----------------------Mikel

Stoch-----------------Lampard-----------Quaresma

--------------Anelka------------Drogba

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i think that's a bit unfair. deco put in 1 or 2 mom performances earlier in the season at least

i think it is time people stopped making excuses for him

agree with ethical strategies team but wouldn't make mikel drop back. like the quote from mancienne said, rb/lb not to be so adventurous and mikel to just play a traditional cm role rather than forced to hold back. he is a good enough passer to have some value further forward. o and kalou for stoch. don't think he is ready for such an important game

To be honest I don't think Decos MOM performances were exactly that..I think it was partly because in those games the team looked very good and the new player got the attention more than the fact the system really worked in the early season, I know he scored a long distance goal but the Keeper should have saved it and the rest of his game was only what you would expect of a player of his quality game in game out.

Ballack scored both our goals in a game not long ago and I don't think he got MOM in that but the performance was not much different.

Also Deco has had two reasonable games and I think the rest Ballack has offered more.

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"Instead of our wing backs pushing too high up like we have been doing in the past few games, he wants one of them to cover back when the play is around the other side"

If this is the case (and i hope it is) then Bowsingas days at Chelsea are numbered. Which is fine by me.

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Scolaris last team:

(4-3-3): Hilario; Bosingwa, Alex, Terry, A Cole; Ballack (Deco 72), Mikel (Belletti 56), Lampard; Quaresma (Drogba 62), Anelka, Kalou.

Against Watford:

(4-3-3): Cech; Mancienne, Alex, Ivanovic, A Cole; Ballack (Belletti 82), Mikel (Stoch 72), Lampard ©; Anelka, Drogba, Kalou.

Hiddinks first team:??

(4-2-2)

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

Bosingwa------Carvalho-------JT---------Mancienne

-----------------------Mikel

Stoch-----------------Lampard-----------Quaresma

--------------Anelka------------Drogba

I would like to see this formation. Well any formation apart from 4-3-3

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From official website:

GUUS GETS GOING

Posted on: Mon 16 Feb 2009

Guus Hiddink began work at Cobham this morning, taking his first Chelsea training session.

The Dutchman, who was a spectator at training last week before taking in Saturday's 3-1 win at Watford, worked alongside Ray Wilkins and Paul Clement, introducing a fast-paced competitive element to proceedings.

They split the squad into two teams for the main exercise - a match on a square pitch with four miniature goals, with the aim being for each side to switch the play and create space to score, a feat achieved by Salomon Kalou, who netted the winner in a 2-1 victory for his side.

Casting an eye over the warm-up

That was the last action for the players who started at Vicarage Road at the weekend, their work complete, while the rest of the squad worked on some attacking routines in preparation for Aston Villa.

Paulo Ferreira was heavily utilised on the left flank, and is expected to fill in for the suspended Ashley Cole at Villa Park on Saturday. The highlight of the exercise though was unquestionably Deco's overhead kick, an effort even more sublime than the goal he scored at Bolton back in December.

Absent from today's session were Ricardo Quaresma, Miroslav Stoch, Mineiro and Franco Di Santo, who all start for the reserves against Portsmouth tonight. You can see the game as well as plenty of reaction and debate from Watford, and more from today's training, on Monday Night Live from 6.30pm.

Does this mean Quaresma and Stoch wont be included in the squad against Villa? Seems like Paolo will be playing, nice to see him perform for us.

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Seems like Paolo will be playing, nice to see him perform for us.

Cant say I'm looking forward to seeing Ashley & Luke Young test Paulo down the left. Would rather we put some pace out there. I would take a gamble on Mancienne, I notice he isnt named in the reserves.

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Would it work against the Villains, maybe..

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

---Boswingwa---Riccy/Alex--JT---Paulo-----

---------------------Mikel----------------------

----------Ballack-----------Lampard-------------

----Drogba-----------------------------Kalou-----

----------------------Nico---------------------

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Cant say I'm looking forward to seeing Ashley & Luke Young test Paulo down the left.

Nor me.

Whilst im thrilled Paulo looks like he is getting back in the the first XI, i cant believe yet again its going to be out of position.

He deserves a turn in his rightful role. Especially if we are going to switch to 442, where he will offer more than Boswinga.

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Noone's pointed out that Villa have a UEFA cup tie this Wednesday, less than 3 days before they face us. Could help us a little bit.

I notice Davies picked up an injury for them at Everton as well. Fingers crossed for him its not too bad but bad enough to keep him out for a week! He has been playing really well for them.

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If this is the case (and i hope it is) then Bowsingas days at Chelsea are numbered. Which is fine by me.

going a bit far dont you think? he's been out of form for a long time (as has the rest of the team) but i see no reson why he couldnt get back to his early season form

plus we need to get away from buying players one year then selling them the next like we did with del horno, we all moan that we want the club to spend less on players yet we want them replaced when they have a dip in form even though weve seen what the they can do before.

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going a bit far dont you think? he's been out of form for a long time (as has the rest of the team) but i see no reson why he couldnt get back to his early season form

plus we need to get away from buying players one year then selling them the next like we did with del horno, we all moan that we want the club to spend less on players yet we want them replaced when they have a dip in form even though weve seen what the they can do before.

It is a strange one with Bosingwa..the media in general put him down as a very good signing and usually give him a fair rating on match Days but he has fallen badly out of favour here,

I think our system got found out and once our wingbacks started getting pressured along with the opposition putting a man tight on Mikel it badly affected what he can give us..same really as Mikel and both have looked less important players since.

I know Bosingwas defending is not as good as Ferreiras but if we are to have a Manager who is going to constantly change tactics he could still be a nice weapon to have as he offers something the other RBs dont (Maybe Mancienne in that position could).

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Boswinga is obviously down on confidence, I don't think his ability has changed. Also he hasn't had Joe cole to work with.

For Mikel its a long season and a lot of responsibility on a young player. Its natural for these guys to be less consistent than others. Mikel's passing remains very accurate and he continues to make good quick decisions. I still feel he has a lot more to offer in terms of penetrating passes.

Boswinga is just not taking his man on as often as he did earlier in the season, and his recent bad tackles could reflect frustration with his own game and the uncertainty at the club.

My only problem with Guus is that he takes teams a long way but ultimately not far enough. Anyhow that's a rant for another day.

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Boswinga is obviously down on confidence, I don't think his ability has changed. Also he hasn't had Joe cole to work with.

For Mikel its a long season and a lot of responsibility on a young player. Its natural for these guys to be less consistent than others. Mikel's passing remains very accurate and he continues to make good quick decisions. I still feel he has a lot more to offer in terms of penetrating passes.

Boswinga is just not taking his man on as often as he did earlier in the season, and his recent bad tackles could reflect frustration with his own game and the uncertainty at the club.

My only problem with Guus is that he takes teams a long way but ultimately not far enough. Anyhow that's a rant for another day.

He was one of our best players in the fisrt ten games of this season. I see no reason why he coudn't regain that form back. Same goes with Deco. He is total class on his day unfortunately there haven't been many of these days in the season. I hope Hiddink is able to bring our the best from our underachievers.

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