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PL, Chelsea vs West Ham, 14/12/08, 1600 GMT


loz

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The return to the Bridge of two Chelsea greats, sadly sitting in the West ham dugout and thus soiling their good names.

West Ham are a club in turmoil, playing badly, totally lacking in creativity and seemingly devoid of any great desire to win football games! Put that up against our home form and we should have a close match!!

Drogba is now well and truly back in the reckoning and seems to be sharp as well despite is lack of first team football. If Scolari opts for the one up front approach again then I would expect to see Drogba start but he may go for Anelka out wide in place of Kalou (who other than scoring last night was pertty woeful).

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Agreed but, having said that, even when you do play Anelka through the centre he ends up drifting out to the flanks, especially when things aren't going well for him. He was doing it again last night which meant when the ball did come into the middle there was nobody there except on the few occasions when Kalou had ran in.

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I found watching Cluj last night that as soon Drogba came on, Anelka was all over the pitch! Sometimes back in midfield, out on the wing or up front. It doesn't really matter where LFS puts him, he'll always drift. Put it on the wing and give a chance to roam and leave Bosingwa to bomb on ahead possibly? But the question is, is Anelka clever enough to realise that Bosingwa will be making runs and he needs to get out of his way? Hmm...

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Is Bosingwa smart enough to put a cross in first time?

If we play with the 2 upfront, I think that means we will be really, really, relying on Bosingwa and Cole (or Bridge, did Cole get subbed through and injury?) to provide the width! If we go two upfront, we would probably be seeing a midfield of Mikel, Ballack, Lampard and Deco which ultimately would place Kalou and Malouda on the bench (when Malouda gets back).

Anyway, staying focused on this game, and not getting too ahead of myself; I haven't even began to think who Essien will replace when he is back, although I'd imagine Ballack. I think we will see the following team put out there:

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

Bosingwa..........Alex.......JT.........Ash

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

...........Deco........Ballack....Lamps

......................Nic

..................................Drogs

Or we could see more of a diamond formation with Deco at the front and Nic and Drogs playing more even!

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

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

..............................Deco

...................Nic.................Drogs

Either way, it'll mean little width and a lot of overlapping runs from the Fullbacks. I therefore hope the fullbacks make the effort to get the crosses in as soon as they hit the final 3rd, and not try and cut back thus allowing the defence to stop any crosses or crowd out the strikers!

Scott

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I like that formation but I think the full backs actually need to get further than the last 3rd before they cross. Time again this year I've seen Bosingwa cross the ball from the right about 25 yards out and it's meat and drink to the defenders. Both fullbacks need to get behind the defending fullbacks and nearer to the byline before crossing. That way the attackers have time to get in the box and the ball is a lot harder to deal with for the keeper and defenders.

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Is Bosingwa smart enough to put a cross in first time?

If we play with the 2 upfront, I think that means we will be really, really, relying on Bosingwa and Cole (or Bridge, did Cole get subbed through and injury?) to provide the width! If we go two upfront, we would probably be seeing a midfield of Mikel, Ballack, Lampard and Deco which ultimately would place Kalou and Malouda on the bench (when Malouda gets back).

Anyway, staying focused on this game, and not getting too ahead of myself; I haven't even began to think who Essien will replace when he is back, although I'd imagine Ballack. I think we will see the following team put out there:

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

Bosingwa..........Alex.......JT.........Ash

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

...........Deco........Ballack....Lamps

......................Nic

..................................Drogs

Or we could see more of a diamond formation with Deco at the front and Nic and Drogs playing more even!

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

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

..............................Deco

...................Nic.................Drogs

Either way, it'll mean little width and a lot of overlapping runs from the Fullbacks. I therefore hope the fullbacks make the effort to get the crosses in as soon as they hit the final 3rd, and not try and cut back thus allowing the defence to stop any crosses or crowd out the strikers!

Scott

We have a really creative midfield with Deco and Lampard so it is basically up to them to decide where to go each time. Share the ball wide to Bosingwa or flick the ball to Drogba's chest in the center. The game and the opposition will decide which route to exploit more.

If it seems that the wings are better way to go Anelka can drift to the wing or better yet to be subbed to Kalou. If the center works better Deco will be looking at Drogba or Anelka for those runs behind enemy line.

My point is that we can be more versatile with 4-4-2 and Deco would be in the role I see he should be. The problem with the wing play is that those damn crosses have to be so good to make it work. There is only Bosingwa who can cross and maybe Deco but that is it. I think we have banged our head to the wall for too long now.

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Replace Alex with Ivanovic and that's the team. As you say it leaves no room for Joe Cole or Kalou and has no width.

Ballack, Lampard and Deco don't have the pace or the youth to play wide and if Anelka drops too far back it will slow the play down.

On the other hand leaving Anelka out doesn't seem fair. Could possibly start drogs on the bench for one more game but that only puts off the showdown. Nevertheless that's the 11 best players at Chelsea's disposal this weekend so that's probably the way I'd start.

In recent games Deco has been on the left and Lamps on the right. I don't think that suits Franky as much.

Anyhow looking forward to the game.

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He was injured but made his comeback against Cluj.

Hope Joe plays against the Spammers as he usually plays well against his former club (as does Lamps – despite the stick he will get).

We need Joe to start putting in some consistent performances. I know he has been injured but then again he hasn’t looked fit now for more a less a season and you begin to wonder will he ever be 100% fit again? At the moment he is struggling to put in 60 minutes and that is a concern when the other options are Malouda & Kalou.

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If Carlton Cole does us any damage then we will be the first for a long time to suffer at his hands. Some of his performances for West Ham this season aren't fit for the 3rd division let alone the Premiership. Amazing to think there was once a day it looked like he might be a decent player.

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If Carlton Cole does us any damage then we will be the first for a long time to suffer at his hands. Some of his performances for West Ham this season aren't fit for the 3rd division let alone the Premiership. Amazing to think there was once a day it looked like he might be a decent player.

Yeah it shows how we have changed, what happened to the promise he showed when we all wanted him to get more chances, lets hope Di Santos lives up to his expectations better.

I still rate scotty Parker though, not saying he would command a place here but a decent player for a team like Spam.

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All ther title main contenders dropped points today. Here's our chance to start making the push for the front. COME ON YOU BLUES!!

My feelings exactly, the boost this could give us going into the festive period cannot be underestimated.

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What a perfect opportunity to get back to the top of the league, after what happened yesterday. I really think we should go with 2 strikers, go for that early goal, after that the space will open up and we will win comfortably. West Ham is pretty $hit at moment, but not any worse than the Spurs when they played us. They have a decent GK, seems to me most opposition GK did well at the Bridge lately :lol: Bellamy has pace, so I wouldn't surprised if Invanic plays instead of Alex.

I expect us to go out firing , otherwise I have serious doubts about Scolari's motivational skills.

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I've been thinking about this and it seems to me that there's no choice but to try a 4-4-2 of some variety. It's the perfect solution if it will work. You can't leave Anelka out of the lineup when he's scored 13 league goals and there's no way a fit Drogba's ego will take being out of the lineup. Therefore, you've got to try them together. With respect to West Ham, they're not terribly dangerous and therefore make a good guinea pig. Also, I think Joe Cole gives the side a little something extra and should be in the lineup. So I favor something like this.

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

Bosingwa--Alex(or Ivanovic)--Terry--A Cole

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

J Cole --Ballack---Lampard

-----Anelka---Drogba

That's a rough idea. Worst case scenario, Scolari can make a half-time switch and bring on Kalou and/or Deco. I don't really thing Lampard belongs on the wing but that's about the best solution I can come up with. Alternately you could stick Lampard center and maybe throw Deco out to the wing. Or Kalou. Somehow it would seem wrong to start Kalou over Deco or Ballack, though.

At any rate, it's a game we need to win. It really galls me to have Liverpool top of the table and West Ham is not in our class.

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I've been thinking about this and it seems to me that there's no choice but to try a 4-4-2 of some variety. It's the perfect solution if it will work. You can't leave Anelka out of the lineup when he's scored 13 league goals and there's no way a fit Drogba's ego will take being out of the lineup. Therefore, you've got to try them together. With respect to West Ham, they're not terribly dangerous and therefore make a good guinea pig. Also, I think Joe Cole gives the side a little something extra and should be in the lineup. So I favor something like this.

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

Bosingwa--Alex(or Ivanovic)--Terry--A Cole

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

J Cole --Ballack---Lampard

-----Anelka---Drogba

Good call, I want us to start in a 4-4-2 as well. I think Scolari is finally warming up to the idea, so there is a really high chance of that happening.

Also, remember it was precisely against West Ham some 3 years ago when Jose realised that 4-4-2 with Crespo and Drogba upfront is actually an amazing system ? History repeats itself here.

Fingers crossed. :lol:

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It's about time Scolari showed why Chelsea chose im over the likes of Hughes, Rijkaard, Mancini etc. by fielding two strikers upfront.

But it does not have to a 4-4-2 to acoomodate Drogba and Anelka, as Mikel has done enough to cement his spot in the starting lineup and our players can't offer much out wide anyway. But both of them can start only at the expense of either Mikel and Ballack.

I'd love this formation :

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

--------------------------------Ivanovic--------------Terry----------------------------------

--Bosingwa--------------------------------------------------------------------------A Cole--

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

-----------------------J Cole-------------Lampard-------------Deco-------------------------

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

Subs:

Cudicini

Bridge

Belletti

Ivanovic

Ballack

Stoch or Sinclair

Kalou

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Its great that we now have some genuine selection headaches. I'd like to have enough firepower in reserve to have a plan B if for some reason we don't over run them with plan A.

It is an option to rest one of the midfielders who are basically certain starters most of the time. We could be really adventurous and leave Mikel on the bench:

Joe cole Ballack Lampard

Deco

Drogba Anelka

Otherwise I'd be leaving Joe C to replace Deco after 50 minutes. I do think that there will be plenty of work for Ballack and Deco over the xmas new year period and we want to keep them fit. Same for Drogs.

Where Essien is going to fit in you'd never know.

Anyhow Manu are now off for a while and will likely have bit of catching up to do when they get back.

Deco starts ahead of JC for me because I think he can may be really play the killer pass for Drogba. I do want to see the anelka drogs partnerhsip work. Now that Anelka is under more pressure for his spot will his game improve or will he go sulky? A good test of character

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We have to take advantage of the slip-up's yesterday and ensure we get 3 points no matter what, at this moment in time i'd take a very scruffy 1-0 win like last season.

If we get the ball down on the floor and play football like we can though, we should have no problem rolling West Ham over, target their left-back and we should create chances

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