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PL, Bolton vs Chelsea , 06/12/08, 1500 GMT


loz

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Once again a chance to 'bounce back' after a bad result. We are beginning to hear that a few too many times!

Chance of there being too many changes form the team that capitulated to Arsenal are slim. Maybe Joe fit again and I would expect to see Malouda start again.

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Sadly, this will probably be the case.

I am, however, hoping against hope, that the bringing in of Stoch won't be just a one-time thing and we might actually get to see a youngster or two if Scolari feels his big stars have disappointed.

I predict an easy win for us, especially given it is an away game.

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An away game against a weaker club bang in form though. They will fancy their chances, big time, and we'd better be up for this, physically and mentally , or it will be more dropped points.

Agreed. Bolton are playing well at the moment and Elmander is dangerous on his day. Their form has been better away from home though so I'm hoping we will continue our great away record. After our recent results any win for us will be welcome.

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we need a win.

We need some goals from the midfield. Forget about Malouda and Kalou they will not do it. Its Lampard, Ballack, Deco and Joe Cole that have to rescue us now. Also Terry could make his head count on corners and the like.

Some accurate distance shooting from 25-30 yards would create more gaps out wide and up front in any event.

come on chelsea.

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This wont be an easy match, Bolton has been in solid form lately, they will play the physical long ball game as usual. With JT not at his peak and Ivanic hasnt been tested by aerial threats so far , they could cause us some serious problems in the air. The deciding factor will be how solid their defence is, let one in early and we will score half a dozen, otherwise it could turn nasty for us. Hopefully Joe Cole will be back to add some spark, but I cant see an instant improvement in our attack( prove me wrong please, Scolari!), its up to Bolton whether they can defened or not.

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I cant say I agrre with using this match to give fringe players a chance, I think we should field our strongest team and bench to try to ensure we win this game, I would hate to think what would happen to morale if we lost this one, which is a distinct possibilty.

I agree, but there's no way Stoch can be as bad as Malouda and Kalou. It'll be his first start so he'll be raring to do trying to make an excellent first impression!

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This will be a tough game. We suffer most from freekicks and cornerkicks. I think overall that is our weakest area. It usually is with strongly attacking teams. Terry can't do it alone. I think Alex might take Ivanovic's place in this game to bring the physical presence to our defence. Elmander is a tall and strong guy who can punish us.

If we manage to score early I think we will roll to a 4-0 win.

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

Boss------Alex----Terry------A.Cole

---------------Mikel-----------------

-----Ballack----------Lampard-----

-----------Deco---------------------

----------------------Malouda------

-----------Anelka-------------------

If Joey is fit change him with Deco.

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From what I have seen Alex is pretty average at heading the ball and Ivanovic looks very solid under pressure but perhaps not quite so aggressive going forward. However he does have a cultured right foot for the long ball forward. With Drogba in the front line that could be a useful outlet.

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i can see us struggling in this one

bolton are a very physical side and like to rough the opposition up a bit, they wont give us time to settle on the ball and play our game, and will probably play for the draw, sitting with 10 men behind the ball

hopefully we'll be able to find the net a couple of times

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This will be a tough game. We suffer most from freekicks and cornerkicks. I think overall that is our weakest area. It usually is with strongly attacking teams. Terry can't do it alone. I think Alex might take Ivanovic's place in this game to bring the physical presence to our defence. Elmander is a tall and strong guy who can punish us.

If we manage to score early I think we will roll to a 4-0 win.

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

Boss------Alex----Terry------A.Cole

---------------Mikel-----------------

-----Ballack----------Lampard-----

-----------Deco---------------------

----------------------Malouda------

-----------Anelka-------------------

If Joey is fit change him with Deco.

No way would I play either Malouda or Deco against Bolton. This will be a physical game and it will probably be cold and wet and you just know those two won't show up.

I understand Joe should be fit so he has to start. Is Belletti fit yet? If so I'd play him instead of Deco. If not we either play Stoch or I would consider playing Bridge left midfield.

Terry and Alex are a must up against battering ram Davies and hopefully Anelka will be up for it and score a couple against his

former club.

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No way would I play either Malouda or Deco against Bolton. This will be a physical game and it will probably be cold and wet and you just know those two won't show up.

I understand Joe should be fit so he has to start. Is Belletti fit yet? If so I'd play him instead of Deco. If not we either play Stoch or I would consider playing Bridge left midfield.

Terry and Alex are a must up against battering ram Davies and hopefully Anelka will be up for it and score a couple against his

former club.

You might be right Nibs. Ballack and Lampard should start in any case. I trust Joey to deliver even if the weather isn't the best and the defenders play tough. Hope he is able to play.

Who would you play instead of Malouda then? Bridge has no chance to be picked before Malouda, just don't see it happen. There is a chance we play with two DM's(Mikel and Belletti) but that would leave Anelka and Malouda/Joey up front... We just might play exactly the same lineup as against Arse.

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Maybe Bolton away is not the game to do it (but when is a good time?), but I’d really like to see us throw in a wild card and give a start to either Stoch or Kakuta. At the moment we seem to be down to the bare bones of the squad and some players seem to think they have nothing to prove. We need to show the likes of Malouda and Deco that it isn’t acceptable to put in performances like they have of late (or in Malouda’s case 99% of the time). You imagine Bolton facing up to us thinking they had done all their homework but instead of any easy time with the ineffective Malouda, we unleashed a raring to go Kakuta on them?

The way we have played in recent weeks, what have we got to lose by saying to one of the youngsters “right son, here is a chance – show us what you can do� I would love one of our youngsters to break through and get all the plaudits like an Owen, Rooney or Fabregas has done in the past. We have had such a good side and had such success in recent years that it was never going to happen, but right now I think it’s worth a shot

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Maybe Bolton away is not the game to do it (but when is a good time?), but I’d really like to see us throw in a wild card and give a start to either Stoch or Kakuta. At the moment we seem to be down to the bare bones of the squad and some players seem to think they have nothing to prove. We need to show the likes of Malouda and Deco that it isn’t acceptable to put in performances like they have of late (or in Malouda’s case 99% of the time). You imagine Bolton facing up to us thinking they had done all their homework but instead of any easy time with the ineffective Malouda, we unleashed a raring to go Kakuta on them?

The way we have played in recent weeks, what have we got to lose by saying to one of the youngsters “right son, here is a chance – show us what you can do� I would love one of our youngsters to break through and get all the plaudits like an Owen, Rooney or Fabregas has done in the past. We have had such a good side and had such success in recent years that it was never going to happen, but right now I think it’s worth a shot

I agree, but I'd rather they were introduced after we were about 3-0 up, there has been plenty of times these players could have had a run out so far this season, but Di Santo has been thrown on for the last 5 mins when losing to Liverpool and Stoch had 10 mins while losing at home to Arsenal. That is not the way to do it, and I don't think against a physical side like Bolton it's time to start with the kids, If they play and we're out muscled and lose it could shatter their confidence......but if we go a few goals up and the game is in the bag, then by all means bring them on and have a look at them.

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Agree completely. So far we seem to have blooded Di Santo and Stoch out of desperation, rather than any sort of organised development plan, which is NOT the way to do it.

Why they haven't been given 20 mins or so in the games we've been winning easily is beyond all of us, but unless we get off to a flying start on Sat, away at Bolton is perhaps not the best time to give them a start or a good chunk of the game.

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I’m inclined to agree that Bolton away is not the ideal time to throw in young hopefuls. But when is the best time? I would rather see them get a start, than throw them on when we are 3-0 up and cruising when they have little to prove. It’s a bit like boxing when you have your Audley Harrison’s, Naseem Hahmed’s / Amir Khan’s. Keep giving them easy fights and build them up to be great, then as soon as they come up against anyone any good, they are found wanting.

Owen made his name with that goal against Argentina and Rooney with his goal for Everton v Arsenal. I know you do have to nurture young talent, but what’s the point in wrapping them up in cotton wool?

As I’ve already said, with injuries and supposed first team regulars under-performing, NOW is as good a time as any to throw in a youngster or two.

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As I’ve already said, with injuries and supposed first team regulars under-performing, NOW is as good a time as any to throw in a youngster or two.

Deco has done nothing to earn his place in this game. I would also put Ivanovic instead of Bosingwa and give Alex the central D role. Ballack and Lampard should play. These Bolton games are their cup of tea. I would also consider giving Cole's place to Bridge. I really hope Joey can play in this one.

I really hate if Scoari doesn't put bigger men in the pitch today. If Paolo plays I really start to wonder what goes inside LFS's brain.

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Deco has done nothing to earn his place in this game. I would also put Ivanovic instead of Bosingwa and give Alex the central D role. Ballack and Lampard should play. These Bolton games are their cup of tea. I would also consider giving Cole's place to Bridge. I really hope Joey can play in this one.

I really hate if Scoari doesn't put bigger men in the pitch today. If Paolo plays I really start to wonder what goes inside LFS's brain.

Joey's still out according to SSN. Hoping for the same formation as against Arsenal, except Malouda for Deco, something I'd never expect me to say. Deco dropped to the bench and Stoch on the bench to play at least 15 mins.

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Here's the team news:

Luiz Felipe Scolari has recalled centre-back Alex to face Bolton in the only change from the side defeated by Arsenal last weekend.

The Brazilian defender returns to the line-up in place of Branislav Ivanovic, making his first appearance since the Carling Cup fourth round tie with Burnley on November 12.

With Joe Cole still absent, Salomon Kalou and Deco continue in the wide areas, with Florent Malouda missing out due to injury.

Didier Drogba completes his three-match suspension this afternoon, and so Nicolas Anelka continues alone up front.

Chelsea will line-up in a 4-1-4-1 formation as follows:

1 Petr Cech

17 José Bosingwa

33 Alex

26 John Terry ©

3 Ashley Cole

12 John Mikel Obi

21 Salomon Kalou

13 Michael Ballack

8 Frank Lampard

20 Deco

39 Nicolas Anelka

Substitutes: 23 Carlo Cudicini, 2 Branislav Ivanovic,19 Paulo Ferreira, 27 Mineiro, 44 Michael Woods,16 Scott Sinclair, 43 Miroslav Stoch.

Bolton are expected to line-up in the following 4-1-4-1 formation:

Jaaskelainen; Steinsson, Cahill, A O'Brien, Samuel; Muamba; Davies, Nolan ©, McCann, Taylor; Elmander.

Subs: Al Habsi, Gardner, sh*ttu, Basham, Smolarek, Riga, Obadeyi.

The referee is Howard Webb.

Good to see 3 youngsters on the bench but we know, its just to add up the numbers. Scolari will not be surprising us if he brings on Ferreira for Deco if we are 0-0 at the hour mark.

I'm just hoping he becomes less predictable.

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