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match thread - FA Cup away to Barnsley (8/3/08)


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i had to start another thread so that we didn't lose people to a complex discussion of family members' tickets and train schedules and the like. icon_wink.gif

i see Grant rotating the side almost completely but certainly intent on continuing the momentum that has seen the club score 7 in two without conceding. i think we'll go for an early goal to quell the home support and to turn the pressure up on the home team.







subs: Hilario, TBH, Sidwell, SWP, Sheva

rest: A. Cole, Ferreira, Carvalho, Ballack, Drogba, J. Cole, Kalou

i think we've really found a good vein of play, the loss to Sp*rs seems to have inspired, and we're now focused our intent on winning the FA Cup. also, the fact that Barnsley beat Pool at Anfield will ensure that we don't take this team lightly.

add it all up and I predict a 4-1 thrashing. Lamps, Essien, Anelka and SWP to score.

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oz, because i think Sheva is seen as more of a striker at the tip of the 3 person attack, where as Pizarro is seen more as a link-up striker or winger. i also seem to recall that Grant played Pizarro in that role in the last few FA cup matches against lower division clubs, and quite honestly, those should really be the only matches he sees as a starter from now on barring injury.

if Sheva starts, my guess it would be up top in place of Anelka, which I guess is possible. but seeing as how Sheva hasn't played in a match for a month (barring the reserves), and seeing as how this can't be viewed strictly as a stroll in the park, i think Grant chooses to start Anelka instead.

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Obviously we don't want to undersestimate Barnsley, but this would be a great opportunity to get a few players into form, and to try out a Drogba/Anelka strike partnership.

I would go with:





Bench - Hilario, Ben Haim, Mikel/Essien, Kalou/SWP, Shevchenko

Alex and Bridge deserve a start to show a bit of confidence in them - both are probably a bit low for different reasons. JT and Lamps are still recovering from injury and could do with another match under their belts. The african boys all need a bit of time to get back to their pre-ACN form. Ferreira to start in front of Belletti as he is more defensive, which should give SWP and Kalou more licence to get forward. Malouda really needs some time on the pitch to get in some kind of form.

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Maybe, just maybe, we will see Pizarro start instead of anelka

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Even though our next game after this is... Sunderland (I think), I'd still rest a couple just so they're fresh.

Carlo, Beletti, Alex, JT/Ricky, A.Cole, Sidwell, Mikel, Ballack, SWP, Kalou, Anelka

Bench: Hilo, Lamps, JT/Ricky, Essien, Sheva

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i wouldnt be surprised to see some of wednesdays starters playing. would like to see ivanovic on the bench. not sure of his fitness though. ill go for -







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I'm all for resting players, and maka has to have a rest, probably joe cole as well, but we also need to keep up the winning momentum and to keep fine tuning the winning combination.

I might be inclined to start drogba to see if we can't run him into form. anelka also need some goals, as do we all.

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I agree with TomP that this is the perfect game to try Drogs and Nico together up front by reverting to a 4-4-2 formation. Crespo and Drogs formed a brief glimpse of the type of partnership a lot of us want to see during our 2nd championship winning season and I'd like to see what these two guys can do together.

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I think Malouda has to start. he looked good against the Greeks, and I think that he needs a run of games. If at the end of the season he is still not performing, at least he can leave with us saying we gave him a chance


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Chelsea 3 - 0 Barnsley (Scorers: Ballack, Anelka, Belleti).

C'mon Chelsea!

*Chelsea are expected to line up in a 4-3-3 as follows:

23 Carlo Cudicini

35 Juliano Belletti

6 Ricardo Carvalho

26 John Terry ©

18 Wayne Bridge

24 Shaun Wright-Phillips

5 Michael Essien

13 Michael Ballack

10 Joe Cole

39 Nicolas Anelka

15 Florent Malouda

Subs: 40 Hilario, 22 Tal Ben-Haim, 12 John Mikel Obi, 21 Salomon Kalou, 14 Claudio Pizarro.

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I've just been watching some flashbacks from the game between Pool and Barnsley and with a few minutes left til kickoff I have to admit that I'm beginning to feel rather nervous. We should beat them but I can't help feeling that it's going to be a tough game to play.

My mom says 2-1 to us and I say 3-0. I hope I'm right icon_wink.gif

Come on you Blues! woohoo.gif


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I just saw Geremi as number 14 on our bench. Surely a blunder on behalf of Star Sports. I thought the Cameronian (is that spelled right ?) was gracing Newcastle with his pedigree...

Anyone else seen that ?

14 Pizzarro

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certainly plenty of flair out there with malouda, sweepy, anelka and joey on the field. Joey needs to play with a little more composure as he may see this as a chance to practice his step overs

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