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As Sheva would say, let?s take the bull**** by the horns


Dorset

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In this country we call it good form, whereas foreign coaches refer to it as ?being in a good moment?. Whatever you call it and whatever ?it? is, if you have enough players displaying the signs you are more than likely going to do well and, should you be able to encompass a whole team in the description, victory is damn near guaranteed.

The weekend pairings of ?Pool v Us and the Arse v ManU should be looked at together because you can?t find clearer examples of six pointers if you tried. Taking the other game first, by common consent ManU is the current form team and their ?moment? players are Ronaldo and Scholes, both of whom have sustained their level of play for much longer than anticipated. Ronaldo?s improvement is crucial for them and, instead of disappearing up his own hype, he is now winning games. Scholes is rolling back the years, but when pulled from pillar to post in the last quarter of games, as he is against the better teams, his influence goes and that?s what is destined to happen on Sunday.

The Gunners as opposition makes this the clash of the Media darlings and whenever (or if ever) they morph into a systematically winning unit the title will become a target for them once again. As of now Fabregas is probably their only 'in the moment' player and Henry will forever be capable of brilliance, but you have to say that, as a team, they have more gel than Ronaldo?s barnet. So, taking these factors into consideration, you sense that the visitors may well, like several other teams against Le Arse this season, score first and then be worn down by Wenger?s relentless and grinding passing game (boring, boring, Arsenal). This one has 1-1 written all over it.

Turning to Us against the Scousers, and applying similar criteria, I think you have the makings of a much more exciting affair. Here we are faced with the Media?s very own Mr Magic from Magic Land and if ever Gerrard turns in consistent performances over a whole season - yes, Stevie, that is 38 games with a goals ratio to match - the rest of the Premiership might sit up and take notice rather than snigger and point to Frank?s superior statistics. However, now may not be the time to mock because Liverpool?s home record in the league is impressive and we will be under much more pressure than the carefree Wenger boys were when exposing their inability to defend against pace.

If the Reds have anyone ?in the moment? at the moment it has to be Gerrard, what with him being constantly in it and never ever out of it, as far as our blinkered Media is concerned. Other candidates are thin on the ground, as opposed to Crouch who is thin in the air, but he is at least scoring when given the opportunity and, should Rafa not tell him to swivel, he could be a threat due to our central defensive injuries.

This leads to a little bit of self assessment and, unlike many on the CSR this week, I?m going to be about as upbeat as it gets. Those in the moment - Drogba and Essen - stand out like beacons and strong performances from them, combined with the probable return of Cech will be a major boost. Anybody who saw the performance and body language of Robben on Saturday will be hoping that, from now until the end of the season, there is no flattery to deceive on his part.

Hate to be double negative, but even with a return of Petr, I can?t see us not conceding. On the positives side, circumstances dictate that we use Robben wide and attack from the outset because, in view of recent events, Jose will not go into this one thinking about the draw in hand and a policy of containment wouldn?t really suit the occasion, would it?

Tempting fate maybe, but I?m banking on the gap at the top narrowing by two points by Monday, with a 1-3 scoreline featuring two late goals for us. And here's hoping there might even be a few pictures of Sheva celebrating.

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Wishful thinking, Dorset. I will settle for a draw, and will expect a loss. If we cannot defeat Wycombe, than how can we win at Anfield? I just don't see it.

Wycombe wasn't a must-win situation and a draw was enough while the lads could save some energy for the Premiership match on the weekend, which was a must-win game.

I hope the boys will raise their game for this one. 1-0 to us would do just fine. Although with Cech and Terry out, I'd take any sort of win, to be honest.

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So difficult to predict. If I had to put money on the two games I would have both down as draws. If we are to gain points, then I think Arse have a better chance of beating Utd, than we do of beating Liverpool, due to the loss of key players.

But I will say my prayers and if we can take all three points at Anfield and The Arse give Utd a lesson in football, it will be a bloody good weekend.

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I'd like to see more of our players 'in the moment' because that's what's been the problem over the past couple of months - too many players not reaching a high enough level. Hilario has done OK as far as 3rd choice keepers go but it is a relief we have the option to play either Cech or Carlo this weekend - personally I'd go with Carlo, it's too big a game to play a guy who hasn't been in the eye of the storm for 3 months.

As for other players, Paulo has managed well out of position but not great. Jezza at full-back is erratic. Cashley flatters to decieve - he may have tonnes of loot but he ain't The Bank of England, not secure enough for me. Maka seems to me to have lost half a yard of sharpness - it's almost imperceptable but he is getting to balls later than you'd expect him to. Ballack doesn't have that first 5 yards and is consequently either losing the ball or giving away free-kicks. Sheva....well need I say anything? Kalou looks one for the future - afraid his confidence already looks shot. SWP - oh dear. I shouldn't really whine and moan like this but too many players are underperforming and it worries the crap out of me. Everyone is looking for saviours and excuses - JT, Cech, Joey Cole - but the players we have available have to up it a bit, simple.

As far as the game goes tomorrow, it's not only difficult to predict because the teams are pretty evenly matched but also because the choice of starters is so uncertain. Essien or Paulo at the back, Mikel in front of the back line, 4-4-2 or 4-3-3, will Crouch start or will they attack us out wide? Too many permutations to ponder but the main problem for us is that we don't keep the ball very well at the moment and away from home that's an important factor. Can we defend at great length and not concede - I doubt it, which is why I go along with Jose in his reasoning that a 6 point gap after the weekend would be ok.

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Yeah Mikel does worry me in that aspect. He is the sort of guy who if he picks up an early booking, you just no he ain't gonna last the 90 minutes. Far better to bring him on later in a game until he's learnt a bit, especially in an important game like this.

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If given the opportunity to select our best starting 11 , including Joey , J.T. , Peta , and playing 2 wide players then YES i could predict a Chelsea win , and probably win well at that . I have very little confidence in Hilario, he makes me nervous , and i dont rate him as a top keeper.

We have enough talent though to get a result of some sort, it all depends on the first 25 mins , keep the ball , no stupid free kicks , plenty of supply to Robben early on , and play the ball to Sheva's feet if he starts.

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Our guys are big game guys, wycombe means less than nothing.

Cech first game back its a worry but there has to be a first game some time and we need him now.

Mikel has a great touch on the ball, probably better than Essien, and is fit, so the holding midfielder is his position in my line up. As Jack says we need to hold the ball coming out of defence.

My main worry is that Essien will misplace a pass, its more costly in defence than in attack.

We can beat liverpool, I'm looking forward to it.

come on chelsea

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