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Chelsea v Napoli (CL) 14/03/12 KO 19:45 GMT


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Undeniably an uphill battle to stay in the champions league especially as we will need to chase the game to some extent (although it would be daft to gung-ho which I am sure we won't) and Napoli will alwats be looking to his us on the break as they did in the first leg, and do in just about every game they play.

Not 100% sure what the back line will be as Cahill has been playing well and it would seem harsh to bring in Luiz in his place. I also don't expect to see Luiz playing at right back so expect to see Ivan there (hopefully he won't do the Bosingwa crossing impression he did against Stoke).

Up front I think we will see Mata, Drogba and Sturridge and I expect Essien, Lampard and Ramires to play.

I see Essien as being key to keeping a clean sheet without which I very much doubt we will progress.

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If Napoli play 3 at the back I hope we go with two up front with both Drogba and Torres. That would give them something to think about. Since attacking is the only option we have, having Torres and Drogba supported by Mata, Ramires and Sturridge and protected by Essien would be something I'd love to see.

My line up would be:


Ivanovic Cahill JT Cole


Ramires Mata Sturridge

Torres Drogba

If we turn this around it would be a near miracle and I believe in miracles.

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If there is any way that Mikel and Essien can play together we wouldn't have any problem dealing with their tricky players.

Looking at 2 of their goals in Naples, it was down to poor marking by Meireles and Luiz, it wasn't down to much tactical masterstroke, but to be honest AVB got it wrong from the word GO, hope RDM tightens the defence and let the front line give their all

Edited by Normal9ja
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Looking forward to the game, it's going to be a great atmosphere but let's be honest, it's going to be tough.

We need to go at them , it really is that simple. We also need to keep it tight and that's the worry.

I can see us scoring the goals we need to but how many of you think we won't concede ? Honestly....?

Such a shame as we really have enough to beat Napoli over 2 legs. It's just that ludicrous team selection out there has cost us big time and so I will go to SB in hope on Tuesday but I'm going to be realistic.

Agree about keeping Cahill in the team. We should play a deep sitting midfielder and that should be Romeu , but I suspect it will be between Mikel and Essien and we should all pray it's Essien as Mikel has far too often failed against teams like this who will attack through the middle.

It's quite obvious RDM is going to go with the Drogba/Lampard/JT spine and he is quite right too. I think Drogba having one of those Valencia style nights is the best chance we have and so it's fingers crossed all round.

Edited by bjd
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We need a big win really, so I think we should start with all 3 of Drogba, Torres and Sturridge. May as well go for it right from the start.

Maybe something like:







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When the whistle blew at the end of the first leg I believed Chelsea would overturn the deficit and I still do. For all of Napoli's attacking riches their 3-1 result owed more to our sloppy mistakes than their brilliant play. After all, if you stand back and allow Lavezzi a free and unimpeded shot on goal, as we did, there's a good chance he'll score, which he did. And if you don't pick up the run of Napoli's best player, Cavani, he'll get on the end of a cross and make you pay. If we mark those men tightly, which will happen with the return of John Terry, they're just not going to run roughshod over our defense.

The big occasions have seemed to produce the best play out of Chelsea this season and on Wednesday night I think the aura of European football and a rocking Bridge will spur us on to victory.

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How would that be ideal? It would mean extra time and pens..

I'm not thinking straight here, thought that would put us through for some reason!

I guess 4-1 if we can capitalise on the atmosphere like we did against City. Will be tough but I can see us going through.

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Mikel would be too slow for their forwards. Essien...one and only!

I believe had Mikel been in that holding role that day over Mereiles Lavezzi wouldn't have got past him and Ramires easily, like he got past the 2 aforementioned men.

He is not that Usain Bolt or Ramires in terms of speed but their is this physical presence he brings around him in pitch that although he isn't good in tackling but dribbling past him is something which i don't see happen much, Lavezzi made a meal of Meireles and Ramires that day, both of whom were faster but less physicality.

He brings that hard to beat attribute into his game, something which we lacked on the 1st leg.

If i were the coach, i would find a way to play him alongside Essien.

Be sure of the tough cover in front of the defence and let the attacking players express themself.

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2-0 would be enough. It's not impossible really. An early goal is important though.

Can't really see us keeping them off the score sheet, so for us to go through we will have to play way beyond how we have played all season. Might just go to penalties and I dreamt another heartache...

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Maybe I'm in a fantasy world , but I think we have more than enough to do these. We had plenty of chances over there (so did they) but we're at home , and its only 2-0 to win. I would go Terry and Cahill , Iva and Cole. Essien to play DM , Ramires and Lampsy , Studge , Didier , Mata.

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Im picking Mikel also, partly because he covers so well. The key is going to be overloading Maggio and whomever the other WB is and hitting in behind when they get further up the pitch. That is going to mean Cole and Ivan high up and Mikel holding fort.

Cahill starts, because we can't afford a Luiz incident, needing to chase two goals. The rest are as you would expect.

RDM must use all his fan favourite status to whip up support from the crowd in his press conference, we will need it.

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i think we need a defensive midfielder as we dont seem to be able to play otherwise, we know that Ramires and Meireles are not ideal for that position, Oriol is too young, Essien is an option but its better to play guys who are confortable in their positions.

Hes no Makelele but he gives the defence decent cover allowing the full backs to push up; I know Ivanovic will so lets hope Cole pulls his finger out of his ass and puts pressure on Maggio.

This is a real test so lets hope all our players are up for it..

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RDM has changed the formation we are use to and we are now playing a 4-2-3-1 which is going to take the players time but I think they should play

------------ Torres ----------

Sturridge -- Mata ---- Ramires

------ Lampard --- Obi --------

Cole -- JT -- Cahill -- Ivanovic ( Luiz if Brano Out )

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

I know people will say go Drogba, But i just think on this formation Torres wills score.. But we have to keep playing attacking, Forward, and 1 Touch

football like we did on Sat.

If Napoli Play 3 at the back play a 4-4-2 which Nando and Sturridge upfront..

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Maybe I'm in a fantasy world , but I think we have more than enough to do these. We had plenty of chances over there

The problem is that Chelsea had plenty of chances in Napoli in AVB's original formation, with two defensive midfielders. Loads of scoring opportunites, up and down the pitch they went.

But did you notice how Chelsea slowed to an absolute crawl once Lamps and Essien were inserted and Chelsea went to a 4-3-3? Immediatley, they became the Chelsea we've seen all season: slow to move the ball, lots of passing sideways at the back, no penetration, no creativity.

We could hold Napoli scoreless, with a bit of luck, when they roar down the pitch on a breakaway.

But I fear we're going to struggle to score goals, because we have all season. I'd let someone pull my fingernail out with pliers if we could rent Cavani or Falcao for the night.

Edited by wxwax
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