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1/4. Chelsea vs Valencia. 1st leg.


sergeyMS
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So, it would be very important and very difficult match.

Both sides have serious losses.

Valencia would be missing some key players - Baraja, Marchena, Morientes.

We are missing creative part of the team - Robben and J.Cole.

And we cann`t rely on SWP, it wouldn`t be 1/4 Carling Cup, it`s something different.

Having our backline as strong as it must be and having a task to score I think we must bring Essien back and play 4-4-2.

Kalou must be on a bench to provide opportunity for `plan B` if something is going wrong way.

Makelele played 45 min against Watford and had a rest in last international match, so he`s starting .

So, for me it should be:

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

..........Rikky...............Terry............

Diarra................................A.Cole..

...................Makelele.....................

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

...................Ballack.......................

........Sheva..............Drogba...........

Subs:

Mikel

Kalou

Not much creative, but a lot of power and strength. Crosses into penatly area were very effective against Barca, making all 3 goals. So what would change against another spanish side?

I see our chances are:

1) A.Cole`s some decent crosses and Diarra`s runs.

2) Lampard`s long shot (just enough to hit bars, it`s time to score)

3) Essien, can provides possesion and makes some great runs, can finishes, can makes a nice shot. He can do everything. His name is Michael.

4) Drogba, it`s time to score 30th.

5) Sheva. It seems he likes to score in CL.

6) A kind of miracle from Ballack, sometimes it happens.

The CL`s spirit would pass through Terry, Rikky and Cech and I believe we could see great defending and great communication, so it smells like a cleensheet.

I have a full belief in Chelsea. For me it would 3-0, giving us a pass to semis after the 1st leg already.

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Referees, appointed for quartes-finals:

Roma vs ManUtd-------- Gerbert Fandel (GER)

Chelsea vs Valencia---- Tom Henning Evrebe (NOR)

PSV vs Liverpool-------- Bertran Layek (FRA)

Milan vs Bayern M------ Yuri Baskakov (RUS)

Let`s hope this norwegian would be alright. Though Hauge got a promotion for final match last year, after showing red to Del Horno. Good example for others. icon_twisted.gif

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I think it's very important that we don't concede a goal. If we do we have to make sure we score atleast two more than they. They are strong at home and I can see us losing there. 2-0 to us would be good. 2-1 would be very, very bad.

They might not have Morientes but they can still score goals.

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We should beat them at the Bridge. Focus must be on not conceding a goal anyway.

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

-------Diarra------Rikky--------JT-----------Ashley C.-----

--------------------------Maka--------------------------------

-----------------Essien-Ballack-Lampard--------------------

--------------------Sheva------Drogba-----------------------

If Essien is fit, if not Mikel

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Is it exactly that Baraja, Marchena, Morientes will miss the game?

If so, that's great!

Good score for chelsea is 1:0. Have no right to concede even one goal at Stamford Bridge.

IN CHELSEA WE TRUST

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Im thinking:

...................Big Pete..................

Diarra........Carv......JT........A. Cole

....................Maka.......................

...Essien........................Lamps......

....................Ballack

.........Sheva.............Drogs...

Our Dutch winger, that seems to be made of paper, has gone and done it again. Will he ever be fit for a lenghty amount of time? A big miss for Chels, as he really does give us something different.

I have a feeling that Jose will go for Diarra and Cole as Full Back's, due to Vicente and Joaquin starting for Valencia. Both will pose a real threat going forward.

Will Obi Mikel play some part? I hope so.

Maybe SWP? or the long awaited return of Joey Cole? (I feel he may get 30 mins).

Baraja and Morientes are out for Valencia through injury. Marchena and Navarro are serving suspensions.

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vicente is injured a lot. he's class, but I wouldn't be surprised to see silva start wide left.

joaquin has had a really poor season. he's made a bit of an impression lately coming off the bench, but I would expect the slower angulo to start (good footballer though).

there is the possibility of 451, and there is the possibility of angulo in the middle or up front, which would give jsr a possible starting place.

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vicente is injured a lot. he's class, but I wouldn't be surprised to see silva start wide left.

joaquin has had a really poor season. he's made a bit of an impression lately coming off the bench, but I would expect the slower angulo to start (good footballer though).

there is the possibility of 451, and there is the possibility of angulo in the middle or up front, which would give jsr a possible starting place.

Joaquin is having a poor season, agreed, but don't underestimate his threat. All he needs is one good game against Ashley Cole and we're in trouble. Angulo is a smart footballer. He won't beat Cole for pace or for trickery but he is very good at moving around off the ball. Silva is also very good he is a bit of an unknown like Kalou.

Angulo would be likely to play behind/off Villa, wouldn't he?

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Apologise for this , but Chelsea scare me at the moment . A lot depends on the first 25 mins , if were passing the ball well, look comfortable and confident , though not over confident and we can get decent supply to the front two it will scare them . We cant give them time on the ball and if we can limit their posession we will get a result . Its games like this Sheva relishes so im hoping he's fired up and can produce the form we all know he can.

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From what I have seen of Valencia recently, they play with a lot of width and have quality wingers - and I am worried that if we play our 4-central midfielder diamond midfield, their width with really expose us - leaving their wingers one-on-one with our fullbacks.

I would prefer us to go with the 4-3-3/4-5-1 for this one. That way our two wingers will be able to help out our fullbacks, so that they aren't as badly exposed.

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

Diarra..........Carvalho........Terry.................Cole

...............................Maka.................................

..............Ballack/Mikel.........Lampard...................

SWP.........................................................Kalou

..............................Drogba...............................

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I see most seem to have gone for the line up:

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

-------Diarra------Rikky--------JT-----------Ashley C.-----

--------------------------Maka--------------------------------

-----------------Essien-Ballack-Lampard--------------------

--------------------Sheva------Drogba-----------------------

It's pretty much what I expect. That is a typical Mourinho Champions League line up and one set up for a not very enthralling 1-0 victory. I think Mourinho would even see a 0-0 tonight as a good result. That is why, in a way, it would almost be a good thing if we concede an early goal. If we do concede we will need to score at least 3 or 4 to have a decent chance second leg and I would love to see us go for it and bring on Mikel, SWP / Kalou or perhaps even Joe in the second half at the expense of some of those less attacking midfielders.

Of course it would be great to be Champions of Europe, but do we really want to win it by grinding out matches 0-0 / 1-0? Well I don't.

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No Essien, sorry.......

Here`s MOurinho`s press-conference:

http://www.chelseafc.com/xxchelsea18070 ... _2209129_2

Jos? Mourinho has begun the build-up to the Champions League quarter-final against Valencia by comparing injury lists with his Spanish opponents. On that criterion alone, he is willing to swap.

The Chelsea manager announced that Wednesday night's game will come too soon for Michael Essien, not yet fully fit after straining knee ligaments three-and-a-half weeks ago.

That important absence is added to by Arjen Robben but there is better news with Wayne Bridge's return to availability following his own knee operation.

On Joe Cole, who has expressed a desire to make his return this week after four months out, Mourinho said: 'He is not injured anymore. If he is ready to play or not is still a doubt.'

--------------------------------------------------------------------

And many more.............

So, now it seems like:

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

......Rikky.........Terry.......

Diarra...................Cole....

...............Maka...............

.....Ballack........Lampard..

...............Mikel...............

......Sheva.......Drogba.....

SB:

Kalou, J.Cole, Bridge

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As Sergey has quite rightly pointed out, Essien is still injured with ruptured knee ligaments.

That means that we will either go for plan A: 'The Win':

..........Maka...........

SWP...............Lamps

.........Ballack.......... (Which i highly doubt).

Or Plan B: 'Play it safe':

.........Maka.......

Obi.............Lamps..

........Ballack.......... (I cant see it any other way).

Jose will certainly want to keep a clean sheet, and playing Mikel Obi, will give us more possesion in midfield and greater control of the game.

I expect J.Cole, or SWP to come on in the horrific event that we go 0-2 down, only.

I think he would still be confident of getting a result at the Mestalla, even at 1-2 down.

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I think if we should be in need to come back from behind in the 2nd half we could use Kalou and J.Cole.

Sweepy..... I think we`ve seen enough of this, I believe it would be frustration once again.

Imagine, if he will lose possesion against Vicente or Joaquin, it can become vital moments of the game.

Also I don`t believe Del Horno would be unable to handle with Sweepy...... icon_rolleyes.gificon_rolleyes.gif

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not an easy place to go to, the mestalla, one of the more intidimdating grounds in spain, their support is like the andalusian support- much more like the british than spanish.

would hate to take a bad result there or even an away goal.

I liked swp in that central position instead of ballack- made runs beyond the striker and doubled up with robben in wide areas.

without, robben, it might not be so effective, in fact it surely wouldn't unless we also play kalou...

you still feel ballack will be more important today than he would have been at home to sheffield in the league, and I KNOW he will start.

putting paulo on the right as whoever is on the left will be pacey and will be a dribbler. confident paulo can put those in his pocket, and he did quite well against watford IMO.

but lets put this out there just to be different. also an opportunity to see cashley play the entire flank. he's supposedly good at that, so why not? angulo will not be outstripping him if he play on the right.

..........................................cech

ferreira...............terry...................carvalho.............cashley

.........................................maka

....................................................lampard

.................................swp

...........kalou

............................drogba.................sheva

you'll also notice, this attacks del horno. he's unfit, and though I rate him, he prefers to fight and head the ball more than face dribblers. so swp and kalou will both be attacking him. also it puts big emphasis on swp and cashley, lets see how they do. (I think cash will play well today in with our diamond of death, as it happens.

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Chelsea line up:

1 Petr Cech

19 Lassana Diarra

6 Ricardo Carvalho

26 John Terry ©

3 Ashley Cole

13 Michael Ballack

12 Mikel John Obi

8 Frank Lampard

11 Didier Drogba

7 Andriy Shevchenko

21 Salomon Kalou

Substitutes: 23 Carlo Cudicini, 20 Paulo Ferreira, 9 Khalid Boulahouz, 18 Wayne Bridge, 4 Claude Makelele, 24 Shaun Wright-Phillips, 10 Joe Cole.

Wanted to see JOM in the team but not the expense of Maka. Also good to see Birdgy and JC on the bench back from injury

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Interesting to see Mikel favoured over Maka for this game.

Shows two things:

1. Jose's faith in Mikel to deliver on such a big stage and in such a pivotal role

2. Jose's intention to take a lead to Spain

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