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the best part about the result versus Rosenborg yesterday...


MannyJello

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...was that we are guaranteed top of the table to advance to knockouts and Valencia have no chance of moving on even if they beat us. which means the result of the 11 December match against Valencia is just about utterly meaningless to both sides.

which means that we can rest our players heading into the critical Premiership match against Arsenal on the 16th, whereas l'Arse will be shooting for a victory in their CL match against Steaua Bucharest on Wednesday the 12th and will have to play most of their top men.

Sidwell, Shevchenko, Pizarro, -- the Valencia match on 11 Dec. is made for each of these lads to play 90. since Essien will be still be serving his league suspension he'll probably get a run in for this match. hopefully Ferreira will be back, too, and if we're lucky, Carvalho can use this like a reserve match to get back in form. certainly our two reserves eligible for the group stages -- Hutchison and Sawyer -- should feature. maybe Ballack could have been back for this, but remember he's not on the roster for the group stages. it would be great to see something like this:

------------Carlo-----------------

Ferreria--Carvs---BenHaim---Bridge

-----Sidwell-------Essien----------

---SWP--------------Kalou--------

-------Sheva-----Pizarro----------

with Lee Sawyer getting on the pitch in attack in the second half, Hutchison resting Carvalho if he can't play 90. would be nice if Malouda were healthy for this match, too.

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Games like Valencia we should be giving kids like Sinclair a taste of the CL instead of loaning them to QPR for experience!!

I agree. José would never do it but I do hope that Avram has the guts to do it (don't know if it's about guts...).

And give some players who need it some rest.

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even if Sinclair hadn't been loaned out to QPR, he wasn't on our roster for the group stages. the official club site explains that SS does not qualify as a "club-trained player" because he hadn't spent the previous 3 seasons at Chelsea; and his loan to Plymouth last season means he couldn't be included on the "B" list with Hutchison and Sawyer. so you can blame the club for loaning him out in the past, but not for the most recent QPR loan.

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Well you may well argue that it´s a great result, and of course it is. But I´m slightly pissed off that the Valencia match is now meaningless as I´ve got tickets for the game and will be disappointed to travel for 5 hours each way, take 2 days off work to see a training exercise....

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I'm with you on this one wicksy. I'm taking someone for their first experience of the famous CFC that night... although I'm pleased we're top and qualified etc... its still money paid and I'd like to see a good game.

However, I don't mind not risking the 'big 4' players (JT,Lamps,J.Cole&Drogba) - but I want to be entertained at the same time.

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Well, this is awkward!

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