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Next Assignment: Stoke!


Oblivion

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Having fluffed our lines somewhat against Utd, the attention now turns to Stoke, who are third from bottom with 4 points from 5 games.

Surely no more than a training ground run-out yes? One can only hope.

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

Bosingwa.....Alex....JT......Cole

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

............Ballack.....Lamps

..........Cole............Kalou

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

Cudicini

Belletti

Ivanovic

Malouda

Anelka

Sinclair

Di Santo

Chelsea to win 3-0

Thoughts?

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Surely no more than a training ground run-out yes?

Hopefully - although the thing you have to remember is a "training ground runout" for our squad is the biggest match in their careers for most of the Stoke boys. If they aren't up for this match, they are never going to be.

As far as the team goes - I would be pretty surprised your team wasn't the one we start with.

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Why do you think he will drop Malouda - Scolari didn't drop him when he was rubbish, now he is just a bit below average I don't see why he would be dropped.

Malouda does well to both directions, attack and defence. His attacking needs more dimension but if he keeps running all the way to the defence his attackin hurts no doubt about it. He does his job with great discipline so that is why he keeps getting picked time after time. He needs to improve a lot attackingwise but I think he is a sort of player coaches like for his workrate and commitment. Two goals in 3 games and it is even harder to drop him.

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for his workrate and commitment.

Not sure if I would go that far. Those are two words I would not assocaite with the Malouda we have largely seen up to now. What pissed most of us off in his first season was his apparent lack of hunger and bottle - or in other words, his workrate and commitment. He may have been low on confidence, but he gave the impression that he really didn't care. That needed improving ten fold and it's good to see it is improving but he's still got a fair way to go.

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Malouda has certainly impressed me so far this season, I think too many people are still a bit blinkered by last years shambles but I'm certainly happy to see the guy getting a chance after his recent performances.

As for the match, I'm not sure it'll be such a breeze, Liverpool's shooting etc was pretty awful but Stoke defended very well for the full 90 minutes, so we'll see...

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I have thought malouda and kalou are to lightweight for the premiership but if i had to pick one of the two i would probs pick malouda as he has most match experience and has had a good start to the season i think, with a couple of goals. Personally i think we need a stronger more tricky winger. :ShaKe:

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I have thought malouda and kalou are to lightweight for the premiership but if i had to pick one of the two i would probs pick malouda as he has most match experience and has had a good start to the season i think, with a couple of goals. Personally i think we need a stronger more tricky winger. :ShaKe:

He probably has had the better start of them both, but Kalou's played 2, scored 2. Malouda's played 7 I think, scored 3.

I'd prefer Kalou, but Malouda is getting a few good games in, so I'd keep him in and put Kalou on for Joey, who's had a terrible start.

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

....Bosingwa.......Alex..........JT.....A.Cole

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

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

......Kalou...........................................Malouda

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

Subs

Carlo

Belletti

Ivanovic

Ferreira

Mineiro

Joey Cole

Anelka

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I don't think there is a need to go force against Stoke. I think we should some players a rest. Ballack, Malouda, Ashley Cole, Joe Cole, etc.

I disagree. Stoke put up an excellent rear guard action against Liverpool, will be buoyed by it and will think they have a chance of pulling of another surprise. We can rest someone like Ashley Cole as Bridge is a straight replacement and there is no reduction in quality but resting 4 or 5 players at once shows a complacency that could bite us on the bum!

If all goes well and we build a strong lead then by all means hook players to rest them. 2-0 at half time then we can make a couple of changes.

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I would like to see Ivanovic start alongside JT. Other then that i don't think we need to change much.

I think that would be incredibly harsh on Alex. He has rarely, if ever, put a foot wrong when filling in for JT and Carvalho over the past season and a bit and is surely first choice when either of the regular first picks are absent.

If we want to play Ivanovic then we should rest Bosingwa again.

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We've got to keep Fuller and Lawrence quiet more than anything, and not be fussed about and pressured by the long-throws... the Liverpool game was a great defensive performance and 28000 Stoke fans behind their team off the back of that game will make it tough on us... i still think we'll pick up three points but this is definitely not going to be a walk in the park

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Stoke looked a decent team so far, and I dont see the point of resting players this early in the season. I remember a certain fat Spanish man do that every eyar and hasn't won a title . If we win ( as we should), thats 2 points gained on Liverpool, or should I say 2 points returned since they beat Man United and we didnt.

Alex must play, sounds like Stoke it's a long ball team, so his physical presence is essenitial. Drogba should start in place of Anelka. The rest team pick themselves. As much as I believe Kalou should play, Scolari is in the mood of ' pick Malouda until I die', so the frenchman will get another game.

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We won't rest players other than those injured. Boswinga and Alex will both be in the side for sure.

The players that do need to be nursed are Ballack, Deco, and Drogba. Deco is out anyway and Drogs has to be played because we need him in form. Ballack is the creative midfield so he plays as well.

Really the doubts are around the combination that plays up front. Our goal scoring is much better this season than last despite the fact that Anelka could not be in worse touch if he tried.

Over the last few seasons Joe Cole was regularly substitued early on by Mourinho and personally I feel that was the way to get the best out of him. Malouda is a good wide link player and has high work rate even if he lacks the last yard of pace or creativity. If Ballack Mikel and Lampard play in midfield, then its a question of choosing 3 from Drogba, Anelka, Malouda, Kalou and Joe Cole with Di Santo looking at a bench spot.

At their best my starting thre would be Drogba, Anelka and Kalou, even though this would leave us very weak on the right. As things are I would go with Drogba, Kalou and Malouda, but I expect Scolari to start Drogba, Malouda and Joe Cole in classic 4 4 3.

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