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Chelsea v Man City (PL) 20/03/11 KO 16:00 GMT


loz

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I would have thought the only decision for Carlo to make is who to play up front. Based on what we saw against Copenhagen (despite the missed chances) I would say we should stick with Drogba and Anelka.

So I would hope to see

Cech

A Cole

Luiz

Terry

Ivan

Ramires

Lampard

Essien

Zhirkov

Drogba

Anelka

however I wouldn't be surprised to see Malouda and Torres start.

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This game along with the home match against Spurs and the away game against ManU will determine our status this season.

Our record against City has been terrible over the past 18 months. From memory we have lost the last 3.

They have De Jong back to stiffen their midfield. He has been too tough for us, last couple of outings.

I'll be amazed if Drogba starts. He is now too slow to cause any real problems. In fact he wouldn't even be my first attacking sub, that role would go to Kalou.

I'd like to see us go for speed with Mikel to provide the defensive coverage on Tevez and Dzeko (spelling).

We also need to watch Silva who has bee in excellent form. Malouda provides more muscle in the midfield than Zhirkov but because of the speed and creativity Zhirkov provides I'd go with him.

Cech

Ivan Luiz, terry cole

Ramires Mikel Lampard Zhirkov

Anelka torres

subs: Kalou, Drog, Malouda and others

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I don't think there is a better time to play them now. If we can learn anything from the last 3 lost, it's not over attacking and leave space for Tervez. They will sit back and play the counter, a point will do Maccini fine. There won't be any surprise in the team selection, I think Drogba is better playing off the bench these days, he hasn't played a solid 90 minutes for a while now, and I don't fancy his chance against big strong defenders of City. The pace and movement of Torress and Anelka should cause more problems. We win this one, we are just about having the CL spot secured. The last 3 occasions we lost to them, we could have easily won 1 or 2 if we had a bit of luck and a bit smarter. This time we will get them.

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CECH

IVANOVIC D.LUIZ TERRY A.COLE

ESSIEN RAMIRES LAMPARD

ANELKA TORRES MALOUDA

There's a temptation to start with Zhirkov in place of Malouda. Yuri is faster and more direct, and he looked like our most creative outlet in the first half against Copenhagen. Yet Zhirkov hasn't played much since coming back and Malouda may use this opportunity to reclaim his starting spot. Plus, the Russian thrives in a situations where he has space to run into but I expect City to play very compact system defensively so we may need a patient approach and Malouda is more suited to that.

Drogba is getting better but is still miles away from his best. Also, when we start with Didier our passing game suffers and we tend to go for long balls way too often for our own good. Bringing him fresh from the bench to batter the City defense at some point in the second half is the way to go, imo.

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Luiz in at CB, Ivan out at RB and then the rest is the same team that finished on Wednesday.

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

Ivan.....Luiz....Terry....Cole

.........Essien.....Lampard

....Ramires..............Malouda

..........Drogba...Torres

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Should be a good game, if you look at the subs in the copenhagen game you can only assume that Torres, Malouda and Essien(obviously) are going to start this one.

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

---Ivan------Luiz------JT-------Cole

-Ramires--Essien--Lampard--Malouda

---------Anelka-------Torres

Hopefully Luiz can cool down a bit as he was lucky last time around.

Come on Chelsea!

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

---Ivan------Luiz------JT-------Cole

-Ramires--Essien--Lampard--Zhirkov

---------Anelka-------Torres

I think Yuri needs an extended run in the side. He can cause problems from out wide. He has shown some flashes and it would be a mistake dropping him.

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Some big decisions for Carlo.

I hope we don't persist with this 4-4-2. I think we look very vulnerable set up like that.

Torres will play. Carlo has already said so.

I would like to see the following team (assuming that Torres does start - personally, I'd go for Drogba):

Cech

Ivanovic

Terry

Luiz

Cole

Essien

Lampard

Ramires

Malouda

Torres

Anelka

The key for me is not to get caught with the fullbacks both stuck upfield. One or the other.

A draw is a better result for us than them so the onus will be for them to force things. They don't like to do that and it will give us a bit more space. We have to be patient and avoid giving them an early goal to hang on to.

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I think a draw is better for them than us, it leaves us behind them - I think they will play defensively and try to hit us on the break, like the last few times

It does, but we will still have a game in hand and can overtake them.

They will be cautious but if we get to the last twenty with the scores level then they are the ones who will have to force it.

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CECH

IVANOVIC D.LUIZ TERRY A.COLE

ESSIEN RAMIRES LAMPARD

ANELKA TORRES MALOUDA

There's a temptation to start with Zhirkov in place of Malouda. Yuri is faster and more direct, and he looked like our most creative outlet in the first half against Copenhagen. Yet Zhirkov hasn't played much since coming back and Malouda may use this opportunity to reclaim his starting spot. Plus, the Russian thrives in a situations where he has space to run into but I expect City to play very compact system defensively so we may need a patient approach and Malouda is more suited to that.

Drogba is getting better but is still miles away from his best. Also, when we start with Didier our passing game suffers and we tend to go for long balls way too often for our own good. Bringing him fresh from the bench to batter the City defense at some point in the second half is the way to go, imo.

Agree with the above still don't think Yuri is fully match fit and Moulda would cause them more problems

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It's going to be interesting to see if Carlo has learnt anything from past mistakes. If City played defensively at home, imagine what they might do at Stamford Bridge.

They might park the bus and either we find a way to create goals or else we will lose.

Oh, and keep an eye on that Tevez fellow. He's really a pain in the a*se.

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In theory a hyped-up Luiz should be able to take care of Tevez, and Torres should provide the extra edge we've been lacking in recent seasons against Man City. Fingers crossed we'll see this:

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

Ivanovic-------Luiz---------JT------Cole

----------------------Essien

--------------Ramires-----Lampard

--Anelka----------Torres----------Zhirkov

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In theory a hyped-up Luiz should be able to take care of Tevez, and Torres should provide the extra edge we've been lacking in recent seasons against Man City. Fingers crossed we'll see this:

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

Ivanovic-------Luiz---------JT------Cole

----------------------Essien

--------------Ramires-----Lampard

--Anelka----------Torres----------Zhirkov

Thats what I'd play, a 4-4-2 in this game would be a horrible idea

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A few factors for me:

1. They played a day after us meaning we get an extra day's rest

2. We're at home

3. They played over an hour with 10 men and had to chase the game from the start

4. We rested players like Essien and Torres for the majority of the game

If we don't win this one, purely because the above, I will be bitterly disappointed in the team.

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The time has come for us to extract our revenge on City. They have been a thorn in our side especially Tevez. Perhaps Luiz should be assigned the job of marking him. They will be knackered and demoralised after they crashed out to Dynamo Kiev in the Europa League.

Mancini's strategy against us has been to sit back and play on the break. It worked for him at the Bridge last season. Carlo is fully aware of this and I expect him to take the necessary steps to counteract it.

In a game such as this the first goal is extremely important. I believe Carlo will give Torres the opportunity to break his duck and I expect Anelka to partner him up front.

It will be interesting to see what formation Carlo comes up with and I'm looking forward to a 2-1 victory for us.

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