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9 games in 35 days

Eton Blue at the Chelsea Megastore

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And if we beat Preston on Saturday you can make that 10. I can't ever recall a run of games like it. quite where any possible cup replays fit in is anyones guess.

I think it's safe to say that what happens over the next few weeks is going to go a long way to determining what sort of say we have in the title race.

With a game more of less every three and a half days our squad is going to be put to the ultimate test and the management team will really start to earn their crust.

We are going to learn a lot more about Carlo these next few weeks and will also find out just how our so called ageing squad copes. We are gonna find out a lot about the players too. The good , the bad and the Mikel.

Whose up for it?! Bring it on. This is what it's all about!

Arsenal may have taken the top spot tonight but I think it's ours to lose. No excuses.

The season starts now.

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Agree entirely when you say it's ours to lose. We've got a good enough squad for it, it's just a matter of them all turning up for those 35 days and not just cashing the cheques as it felt like they were doing at points during December. Good news is that Ballack, Malouda, Joe Cole all had as good a games if not better than they have played this year. They're the crucial ones along sadly with Mikel, who it looks like we'll be seeing in the first team more regularly in this period if Essien's injury is as bad as thought. A few guys have probably been carrying us recently, and these guys who perhaps haven't been great are the ones who are going to have to show what they're capable of if we are to get through this little period.

Personally I can't wait, I love this time of year. This is where we seperate the Lampard's from the Deco's.

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Been ours to lose from the get go lads!

I have no worries, we lose Essien for a few months, but seems Super Frank has found his shooting boots/hair style again so I think that almost equals out!

At first glance that many matches will make you think "Oh noooo", but really blessing in disguise is what Im wondering. This will force Ancelotti to give more playtime to fringe players/youth bring ups. This will not only get great experience, but should boost squad morale greatly, as long as results are favourable.

I'm expecting to see quite a variety of starting 11's and even tatics for this hectic part of the schedule, and I think thats going to help us figure out whats goinna work best for those big end of the season CL games and matches v Man U etc that might determine the EPL champs.

As well, it almost works nicely for Drogba/Mikel (NOT ESSIEN! lol) to be at the cup of nations, as it will almost be an extended break for them compared to the CHelsea schedule.....who doesnt want a fresh Drigba just in time for Arsenal and the 2 legs with Inter? Hopefully he'll go to the finals and be denied by a dodgy call so he comes back pissed and ready to kill!

Edited by Barry Bridges
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I'm very nervous....but at the same time excited. Play with confidence like against Sunderland, and we can do this.

A bad game early, could have a snowball effect through more of the games, which would be disastrous.

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23 Sat 12:45 FACP A Preston North End

27 Wed 19:45 PREM H Birmingham City

30 Sat 17:30 PREM A Burnley

2 Tue 19:45 PREM A Hull City

7 Sun 16:00 PREM H Arsenal

10 Wed 20:00 PREM A Everton

20 Sat 15:00 PREM A Wolverhampton Wanderers

24 Wed 19:45 CPLG A Inter Milan

27 Sat 12:45 PREM H Manchester City

We have some tough ones in there. Hopefully we'd use the depth of our squad sensibly and come out on top at the end of that run...starting with the first game where I think a couple of reserves must start while the likes of Ivan, Terry, Ashley could be given a rest.

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There are a few tough ones in there but as the saying goes, when the going gets tough.........................

Anyway, Arsenal's next four league fixtures are Villa, Man Utd, Us & then Liverpool. That is some run of games. To be honest, if they are still top of the table after those four matches, they will deserve to win it.

Hopefully they'll be down keeping the dippers company by then though!!

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