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Fulham vs Chelsea (PL) 09/04/12 20:00 BST


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Onwards and upwards and the games are coming thick and fast.

Very lucky win against Wigan but at the end of the day they were in form and a win is a win, if it were United everybody would be saying it's a sign of a grinding out results etc.

It's Fulham's cup final so they are bound to be up for this and are coming in on the back of a good result, both Newcastle and Spuds play before us so there is added pressure to get a result.

Team ideas anyone?

Dempsey always seems to score against us and is in form so I think Mikel (who has come into form of late) is a must. I'd also play Sturridge but ought on the left. Torres would be my preference up front as well.

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You are right to say Fulham will approach this as if it is their cup final. That said so should we however our approach to today's game suggests the players haven't grasped that yet. It is also worth remembering that, depending on the score in the City vs Arsenal game tomorrow, a win could see us climb back into the top four.

I would have no problem with the team above but also no complaint if Drogba started ahead of Torres. I would definitely drop Malouda based on his performance today and would also put Meireles on the bench instead of continuing to pretend he is a holding midfielder. I am not at all impressed with Studge at the moment but he have little other option for the left unless we move Mata out there which is really a waste of his talent.

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Have to improve 100% over todays performance to even get a sniff of a point especially at Craven Cottage. Can't sit back and hope for a 1-0 victory..I hope for the best...but fear the worse based on todays performance.

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Torres will start, even if it's right or wrong. He was supposed to be rested today, and RDMs rotation policy will see him play. Maybe both plays?

Essien is quite rubbish now, but Mikel is a starter, despite the hating from Shed End.

I'd rather see Kalou than Sturridge. More defensive working and a better team player. Also a rested player today.

Hopefully Ramires is back.

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Might be time for Romeu to get a run out. He was on the bench today.

I know Di Matteo doesn't use three forwards, technically speaking. But in his system, our best three "forwards" are Drogba, Kalou and Torres. That's who should play in the vital matches.

Problem is, all the matches are vital; and you can't run them to death.

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I mentioned in one of the CL match threads I wonder if the players have decided to concentrate on the CL games over prem matches. After yesterdays game v Wigan I am starting to think they have. After this match I think we will know for definite.

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This will be a tough one as Fulham will be desparate to beat us and from what I saw on the MOTD highlights, look in pretty good form themselves.

Good to see Duffer seems to have a new lease of life. We did let him go at the right time but right now he looks a much better wide man than anything we have had to offer for many seasons.

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I mentioned in one of the CL match threads I wonder if the players have decided to concentrate on the CL games over prem matches. After yesterdays game v Wigan I am starting to think they have. After this match I think we will know for definite.

I thought that too but with Gourlay publically saying top 4 is more important I am sure that message will have been sent to the players.

I'm just putting it down to tiredness from having a midweek game

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Are the FA completely and totally f**ked in the head? A Saturday fixture and a Monday fixture? What the hell is that?

Not to mention that we have Tottenham, Arsenal and Barcelona in the space of seven days in the subsequent week...

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RDM won't change his formation back to the scrappy 4-3-3 proven boring and ineffective the last two years. If he thinks about a formation change, you can bet it is for Torres and Drogba to team up front, like a diamond or 4-3-1-2. In my opinion that's our only chance to beat Barcelona. Right now we're throwing away Lampard on defensive duties and Ramires on the winger. If we had played two strikers Sturridge would be allowed to play his favorite position as well.

EDIT: Mata as one of the three central midfielders is suicide in Premier League. As a trequartista in 4-2-3-1 he will do, since he's not supposed to fight for the ball, but as a ball winning box to box midfielder, no thank you. The man fears duels, when he sees an opponent he'll back off. That's the reason why Kalou is prefered in tough matches as well, he provides much better first defending than Sturridge.

Edited by Ozztheboss
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Are the FA completely and totally f**ked in the head? A Saturday fixture and a Monday fixture? What the hell is that?

Not to mention that we have Tottenham, Arsenal and Barcelona in the space of seven days in the subsequent week...

f**king unbelievable. For a Chelsea side which has generally struggled from one game to the next this season, the up and coming timetable is a real concern. For me the league games are much more important, I appreciate that we of course have to give it our all in the CL (especially against this Barca mob in what many have dubbed "the revenge") but can we honestly win it? It's highly unlikely.

Let's make sure we secure a place in the competition next season and it'll make the job of rebuilding over the summer a lot easier ie. bigger draw for new talent etc....

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We should've bought Dempsey in January.

Should be a tough game, and I really can't believe we have to play this so soon after the Wigan game. At least Fulham aren't in any relegation battle this season.

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At least Fulham aren't in any relegation battle this season.

I dont think the fact Fulham dont have anything to play for (except ofcourse the fact its their cup final) makes this game any easier. Really really tough game, and if the team plays anything like the Wigan game we'll get beaten.

But saying that i'll think we'll win. Bring back Lamps and stick with Drogba and play Torres with him too!

Need to show more desire.

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after Gooners win now every game is a must win, Fulham always seem up for it these last few seasons and lets be honest this is our weakest squad in a decade to face them tomorrow, I suspect JT will get further rest for next Sunday and the Barca game.

I don't agree with resting Mata he is vital in creating something and should play every game until May, he's 22 FFS and as fit as a fiddle. Mikel also, just think Essien has not come back into form and is a bench warmer at best sad to say that, and Meireles aint a holding player either. I agree with the rotation principle up to a point, I seem to recall Hiddink settled on a starting 11 and played the same almost continually in that glorious comeback 08-09 season and with the same hectic schedule - CL semis vs Barca, FA cup (all the way) & chasing top 4 prem at once. Maybe RDM is just keeping everybody happy but it seems to be responsible for a lack of consistency, 6 or 7 changes every time does not foster understanding on the pitch.

Chelsea win 3 prem games in a row ? has been done only twice so far this season, but to get top 4 realistically have to win 8 games in a row, something we all got used to over the last few years and hence almost everybody on here, from time to time posts spoiled and petulant comments criticising the players and club in general. when in reality they perform like nearly every other team in the league and have a fair few 2 bob matches every now & again- Judases the lot of you....lol

good to see City's investment yield nothing this season, as we all know to our continuing frustration, money alone doesn't guarantee trophies - a winning mentality is needed as well as a manager who is given authority to run ALL of the 1st team's affairs

If Chelsea's luck continues together with the renewed team spirit that saw them get the 92nd minute 'offside' (poor old plucky Wigan) goal by Mata I can see win # 3 tomorrow, hopefully Dempsey will have an off day as well, any other result doesn't really bear thinking about

FFS please KTBFFH

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Mata must play. Not sure about the rest of the squad other than Cahill and Luiz in the middle of the back 4 and Cech in goal.

Is Cole out again, I know he had a bad ankle, but how bad was it?

Paulo can come in and do a job at RB, and then in the middle of the park what's the situation on Ramires?

I think we'll see Torres start up front

Fulham are on a high right now, and Dempsey is firmly putting himself in a shop window for a move in the summer.

Right now, I think the team we'll see will be close to this:

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

Paulo.........Luiz.........Cahill......Bertrand

.................Meireles...Mikel

..........................Mata

.......Ramires.....................Kalou

..........................Torres

Scott

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Fulham's game of the season, I'd argue this will be our toughest game in the run in. Our players have to work, show commitment and kick Dempsey off the pitch. Play with passion, pride and most importantly - put in the effort Chelsea, I know our travelling fans will.

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I foresee us winnng this one comfortably.Whether by hook or by crook.When under an inspiring manager like RDN, Chelsea players always do seen to thrive.And remember, all these with the wicked schedule is a familiar territory to them

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