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Avram's selection 'problems'


loz

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Just now they are that his squad is a tad threadbare and thus making the team seletion has been pretty straight forward however his headaches are not far away (nice as headaches go)

To fit back into the squad are

Terry

Lampard

Ballack

Drogba

Essien

Kalou

Mikel

Taking the starting XI against Wigan.....

I think we can assume JT will come in in place of the very unfortunate Alex who certainly has done nothing to merit being dropped.

Sidwell will drop out of the team and his place will go to one of Ballack, Essien or Lampard with Ballack being the form player of the three. However I would expect SWP to vacate his central role although he has done well in there. That means there are two central positions to be filled. So that means two of the big three are back in the team. however to accommodate all three Maka needs to step down and he has been on sparkling form since his return form injury. Of course he will not be able to play every game so this will free up some space.

Which all means Mikel is probably going to struggle for first team action (barring further injuries to players)

Surely Malouda will be benched unless his form picks up meaning we resort to Joe on the left and SWP on the right but SWP has been erratic on the wing due to the quality of his crossing so maybe Kalou will end up on the flank again.

However then what about Drogba, surely he will play but surely Anelka will too so we either have to change the system to accommodate two up front (meaning everything above needs revised) or we push Anelka out wide.

A lot of options and, for me, the best one is probably going to put some major noses out of joint.

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If he goes 433 with Drogba on top then Anelka, Malouda and Kalou are all contenders for left wing.

In that case i would go for this

----------Drogba-----------

Anelka--------------J.Cole

and the rest

---Ballack/Lamps*---SWP

-------Essien**---------

Bridge--JT--Carvs--Beletti

*Whoever of them is in form, didnt work together last year so i doubt they will now.

**Maka if he can play.

And SWP must play centrally.

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Most of these selection problems (options?!) are not new; the players mentioned are used to a certain amount of rotation, particularly in midfield. What will be intriuiging is the Anelka/ Drogba combination. Such is his current form I am sure that Nicolas will not be warming the bench therefore Stevie and Ten are going to have to work out how to play the two together.

I am not sure that playing Anelka as one of the two behind Drogba would work obstensibly because Anelka's great strength is playing right on the shoulder of the last man. So that would mean playing the two of them up front which would necessitate a change to the 4-3-3 formation that has aways served us so well.

I can see the following line-up:

Cech

Belletti, JT, Riccie, Bridge

Mikel/ Maka

Lampard, Ballack, Essien

Joe

Drogba Anelka

This would mean that the onus would fall on Belletti and Bridge to provide us width that was so lacking when we played two up front last season. Whether it would work, however, remains to be seen.

Thoughts...?

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Cech,

Belletti, JT, Carvalho, Bridge,

Essien, Makalele, Lampard, Cole,

Anelka, Drogba.

Subs: Cudicini, Alex, Cole, Ballack and Shevchenko.

That's probably what I'd go for. Incredibly harsh on SWP and Alex who have been great lately, and yes I've changed my stance on the Cole/Bridge scenario ;-)

Edit: Jose's Melons, you seem to of picked 12 players!

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That still gives you 12 mate

this is what you put

Cech

Belletti, JT, Riccie, Bridge

Mikel/ Maka

Lampard, Ballack, Essien

Joe

Drogba Anelka

that is 1-4-1-3-1-2

Er... 1,2,3 um... bugger! Thought it was too good to be true.

Okay, then things get more difficult. Perhaps Ballack for Lamps until he gets fit and form back.

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I'd go with Jose's Melons has... looks a pretty decent starting line-up for me.

Not sure if the refs would as he is proposing a somewhat unorthodox starting 12!!

The sad thing is I counted his line-up before hand and got 11 icon_lol.gif doh! smack_head.gif

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so, let's imagine it is early May and we are travelling to Anfield for the second leg of the CL semi-finals, having won the first leg at home 1:0 (sound familiar?). we need to throw out a side that will lock down the scum and maybe nick a goal on a counter attack, but drudging out a scoreless draw won't be bad either. and let's imagine everyone is healthy.

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

----Belletti----Carvalho----Terry------A.Cole--

------------------Makelele--------------------

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

-------------------J.Cole-----------------------

-------------------Drogba-----------------------

subs: Carlo, Alex, Bridge, Ivanovic, Mikel, SWP, Anelka

no room at the inn for: Hilario, Ben Haim, Ferreira, Sidwell, Pizarro, Malouda, Sheva

that line up is pretty easy, actually, as it essentially comprises (what we can imagine would be) our best XI (knowing that the Bridge/Cole question is open for debate). essentially Joe Cole would be the linchpin in this game -- after our midfield wins possession and seeks to link up with Drogba, we'd kick it to Cole and let him try to break someone down 1 v 1. of course, we might also play the hoof it long ball to Drogs on occasion, as we've been known to do.

but let's imagine that the second leg is at the Bridge, and we head there after having lost 1:0 at Anfield. now we'll be looking to score 2, playing a bit more free flowing and having to make some sacrifices defensively. this is idle speculation of course, since we don't know how Anelka will meld with Drogba when he gets back, and we don't know how Lampard will look with Ballack when both are healthy (and forgetting last season, since Ballack already looks 10 times more effective this season). but, here goes:

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

----Belletti----Carvalho----Terry------A.Cole--

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

-------------------J.Cole-----------------------

------------Drogba-------Anelka----------------

subs: Carlo, Alex, Bridge, Makelele, Mikel, SWP, Malouda

no room at the inn for: Hilario, Ben Haim, Ivanovic, Ferreira, Sidwell, Pizarro, Sheva

we'd have to sacrifice Makalele to make room for a second attacking player, this time Anelka. if the Anelka-Drogba partnership doesn't work, we could drop him and add SWP to the starting line up next to Joe Cole, forming the familiar two winger-one striker combo. in this case, the only difference on the sub's bench would be Malouda instead of Ivanovic, and you might almost convince me that switching Mikel for either Pizarro or Sheva makes sense, too.

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I wonder, unless Lampard actually makes his intentions to stay, if he will even get picked automatically. Ballack has been playing well, and seem very at home with the captaincy. I know that he has been pretty much thrust into the position, but he has done well.

Mikel is a future player, and I feel he should be picked as often as possible, and will get picked ahead of maka in general league games. So, if we are playing a 4-3-3 then Lampard and Essien are battling it out. Or mikel sits out and essien takes his place. I really think that we should play Anelka and Drogba together as much as humanly possible. I would also like to see Di Santo and Ivanovic figure. terry will come back, which is sad for Alex, but with injury and suspensions I feel Alex will be very useful for us

For me

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

...Belletti.............Carvs.....Terry......Bridge

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

..................Essien...........Ballack

Joey............................................Anelka

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

Carlo, Alex, Ivanovic, SWP, Malouda, Santo

Now, this is terrible, because to me there is an eye on the fact that Grant will want his boys to figure, so I hvae put them in with an eye to the future....needless to say it is a treat to face the possibility of such selection woes

Scott

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