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Carling Cup Everton at Home Thread


loz

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The first game without our African players (not quite sure how Everton have managed to delay the departure of Yobo and Yakubu so they can play on Tuesday yet we either haven't been afforded or requested the same luxury for Mikel)

From the team that started against QPR I would expect Ballack, Joe and Belletti all to return to the starting XI. Bridge maybe to start ahead of Ashley and Sinclair to drop back down to the bench. So going with Kalou and Pizarro up front again.

We may just see a couple of rturns from injury though which would alter things.

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OOps - cheers for pointing that out Geezer - all this time I have thought Kalou was a Brixton boy icon_wink.gif !

OK Pizarro up front with Sinclair in support or Pizarro leading the line alone in the 4-5-1 with Ballack in the holding role. Maybe a chance for Sahar on the bench?

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We are seriously going to struggle to get a team and a bench together for this first game unless some of the injury plagued group are back.

If no Cech, Cudicini, Lampard, Terry, Malouda or Sheva coupled with Rikki being suspended and the ANC boys gone it could look like

Hilario

Belletti

Cole A

Ballack

Alex

Ben Haim

SWP

Sidwell

Pizarro

Cole J

Sinclair

Bench: Taylor, Ferreira, Bridge, Sahar, ????

Shows how we've arrived at the bare bones of the squad.

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Will be a tough game but Grant is hardly playing the reserves, he has Mikel still, Carlo could be back, Riccy is back, we have both Coles, SWP, Belletti, Alex, Bridge who Grant appears to prefer to anyway and Ballack who is playing very well.

So okay striker wise we are very short but otherwise the quality on the pitch if all of the above is available is pretty damn high.

So I think a win for us.

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Has it been confirmed Mikel is available yet? Huge boost to have him and Ballack in the middle - not to mention Ricky returning from suspension.

I think we'll play 4-3-3, with Mr Piz as the lone ranger. SWP and Cole on either side with Sidders, Ballack and Mikel in the middle. Beletti, Alex, £8 million Spuds target, Bridge along the back 4 and Hilario in goal happy0034.gif

Come on Chels 429.gif

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I am 99% sure it has been confirmed Gem although most websites are still saying that he 'should' be available - I heard on the radio last night he was available.

Everton are moaning about Pienaar not being allowed to play as South Africa's first game isn't until January 23rd but SA, unlike Nigeria have invoked the 14 day rule which is that the players must be released 14 days before the opening game of the tournament.

It is a bit farcical that some countries invoke it whilst others don't. For me there should be a hard and fast rule and clubs should not be allowed to even ask for players to be released. At least it would be applied consistently to all clubs then.

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There seems to be an assumption that Sheva won't be available for tonight. Is that definite? I haven't seen anything either way but I didn't get the impression that his injury was very serious.

I'd be quite happy with:

Hilario/Carlo/Cech (one of, not all three!)

Belletti, Alex, Carvalho, Bridge

Cole, Mikel, Ballack, SWP

Sheva, Pizarro

or whatever formation Grant can make from those same players.

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As far as i know Sheva is still not fit, but Carlo is,Ricky is back from suspension so here's my take

...................................CUDICINI.............................

BELETTI.............CARVALHO..........ALEX.............BRIDGE

......................................MIKEL...............................

....................SIDWELL...................BALLACK...............

WRIGHT-PHILIPS...............................................J.COLE

.....................................PIZARRO............................

subs

HILARIO,SINCLAIR,FERREIRA,BEN HAIM,SAHAR.

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Cech (According to BBC Sport he has an outside chance of being fit)

Beletti

Riccy C

Alex

Bridge

Makelele

Ballack

Mikel

Joe Cole

Pizarro

Sinclair

Subs: Carlo (Hilario if Cech isnt fit), Ben Haim, Sidwell, SWP, Sahar.

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Id rather start with Carlo in goal and Pizarro up front, even if sheva and Cech are fit. The possibility of re-injury at a time when we really, really need as many players as possible is just too scary.

Put sheva on the bench if he is fit, and let him be that extra boost we might need. Ive got a strange feeling that this might be Pizza's coming out party in blue

Cmon the blues ::Scalf::

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I'd like to see Sinclair start upfront alongside Pizarro, so I'm going for this formation. Chances of it happening? Slim.

---------------Hilario (Cech if fully fit)

Beletti------Riccy------Alex------Bridge

SWP-------Mikel------Ballack------Joey

---------Sinclair------Pizarro

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Paddy Power are offering 10/1 on Sheva to score the first goal tonight. Taken from the Official Chelsea website.

Do we take that to mean he might be playing?

I take that to mean that Paddy Power is going to be making some money on that bet today.

source: http://www.chelseafc.com

Paddy Power and Chelsea FC have a couple of great offers for Blues fans ahead of tonight's semi-final first leg against Everton.

10/1 Shevchenko First Goalscorer

It's not a joke or a mistake, Paddy Power are offering Chelsea fans near enough double what any other bookie is offering on Sheva tonight. How can you ignore this, if he's fit has to play (remember if he doesn't play you get your money back).

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Unfortunately not Elliot, he isnt even on the bench. Malouda starts.

40 Hilario

35 Juliano Belletti

33 Alex

5 Ricardo Carvalho

18 Wayne Bridge

12 John Mikel Obi

13 Michael Ballack ©

24 Shaun Wright-Phillips

10 Joe Cole

15 Florent Malouda

14 Claudio Pizarro

Subs: 23 Carlo Cudicini, 20 Paulo Ferreira, 22 Tal Ben-Haim, 9 Steve Sidwell, 27 Ben Sahar.

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