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PL, Everton vs Chelsea, 22/12/08, 2000 GMT


loz

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For the second week in a row we play last out of the top four sides and with Arsenal facing Liverpool the day before it is definite that our result against Everton could see us either going back to the top of the table or putting even further distance between ourselves and UEFA Cup qualification chasing Arsenal.

Furthermore Utd are off to Japan so we could put a bit more distance between us and them thus raising the pressure on them to win their games in hand.

With that in mind lets hope Roman has employed a particular strong man to grab Scolari by the shoulders and violently wrench his head out from the cave it is inhabiting between his buttocks.

Drogba has to start. Whether that is alongside Anelka or with Anelka is a choice Scolari has to make but there should be no issue of choosing whether or not Drogba starts.

In addition Deco should be benched. That is too many below par performances in a row to be entitled to a first team spot.

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Drogba has to start. Whether that is alongside Anelka or with Anelka is a choice Scolari has to make but there should be no issue of choosing whether or not Drogba starts.

In addition Deco should be benched. That is too many below par performances in a row to be entitled to a first team spot.

To an exactly what extent do you believe either of those will happen ? :rant: Because I will be one surprised man if I see any changes to the line-up we saw on Sunday.

I wholeheartedly agree with you on both counts, but I don't see it happening.

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Drogba has to start. Whether that is alongside Anelka or with Anelka is a choice Scolari has to make but there should be no issue of choosing whether or not Drogba starts.

In addition Deco should be benched. That is too many below par performances in a row to be entitled to a first team spot.

I think Drogba will start and agree he must. I think Deco is integral to how Scolari wants us to play and he will perservere with him, which I think is worth doing.

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I have no problem with Deco being used again in future but at the moment he needs a rocket up his posterior and he can't be allowed to carry on playing games where he gives the ball to the opposition more than he gives it to a team mate. ON those grounds he should be dropped, even if it is just for a game or two.

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anelka scored again on the weekend. We must be about to drop some away points and start winning at home. I'd like to start Drogba, but I'm not sure that I like the idea of Anelka dropping too much deeper into the channel, nor am I sure that he'd do a better job there than Deco.

We have been winning away with the current system so that's an argument to stick with it. Its funny I've been waiting for our lineup at the start of the season that is with mikel, lamps, deco and ballack and not that its back not sure its right.

Suspect if drogs does start it will be JC that makes way even though he is the one with drive at the moment.

Everton have virtually no strikers right now. On balance I'd like to give deco a rest, start with Joe Cole and then replace him after 55 minutes with either deco or kalou. Lets play drogs and anelka and see what happens.

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anyone any idea why were lpaying on the monday? we may get one day more to prepare ( a totally uneeded day) but it now means we will play 3 times in 7 days, as opposed to others who get an extra day in between. and even worse utd get a little mid season break to recover before xmas. lovely, well done the FA.

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It is an away game so we will play 4-5-1 I have no doubts about it.

Anelka will start and Drogs in the subs.

Deco will play although his passing has been appalling in recent games. I think Ballack will be on the bench as he has been sh*te lately.

Joey and Malouda/Kalou on the wings.

Will be a tough game but a must win! If Arsenal are able to take points from Liverpool we can take the league lead and never look back :D

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MUST WIN.

Hoping for a 4-4-2, but it's more of a 4-5-1 with a midfield of Mikel, Lampard, Deco, Ballack and Joey but with Joey playing just off Anelka? Like so:

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

...Lampard.............Ballack..............Deco

.............Joey Cole

...................................Anelka

Yay or Nay?

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The thing is, while we are clamoring for 4-4-2 at home and rightly so, whether by luck or judgement our away form is record breaking at present, so I think it is highly unlikely Scolari will change anything.

Whether that means we play DD central, with Nico wide right/left, or stick one of them on the bench, I don't know, but I think 4-4-2 ain't going to happen for this game, unless we go behind and Scolari actually employs a clever thing called....tactics.

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It looks like Everton will not be able to field a single natural striker and will quite propably pack a lot of men behind the ball, so I'm not sure we need Mikel in this match. He's good in the holding midfielder role, but do we really need a holding midfielder in this match? I think we should try something different because I feel it's gonna be one of those games where we will struggle to score goals no matter how much we keep the ball and pass it around. I don't feel we need to be extra defensive in this match, so why not go for something like this:

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

----Bosingwa------Alex----Terry------A. Cole----------

-----------------------Belletti----------------------------------

------------------------------Lampard----------------------

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

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

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

Drogba can finish from outside the penaltyarea and can create a goal himself, but at the moment Anelka seems to need good service and I think with Drogba as a sort of targetman we might find another way to get past a packed defence. We could try the dreaded long ball every now and then if we fail to pass the ball into the net as we know Drogba is very good at winning those aerial battles.

Mikel is good defensively but while Belletti may not be as good as Mikel in the holding midfielder role, I think that with his shooting he can provide an extra threat. We've all seen that at the moment Mikel's shooting isn't something that would worry any goalkeeper out there. I know it's very unlikely that we'll see something like that against Everton, but for some reason I think it might just work in a game like this in which the opposition is likely to park that bus infront of the goal.

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I think we should stick to the system that has served us well so far away from home. At Everton we should be able to play the counter attacking game and Anelka should keep his place as the striker in 4-5-1. Drogs is a great option to bring off the bench should we need to. I agree Deco should spend some time on the bench too. His form has been unimpressive recently and this is not likely to be the sort of game or opponent suited to him. I'd go with Mikel, Lamps, Joey, and maybe Ballack purely on the hope he might nick a goal with a header (although he has reverted to the form of his first season here recently). If not Ballack we are probably looking at Kalouda or Kalouda as I don't see Scolari trying any new options in this game.

Everton are always tough at their place and expect nothing different this time. We should get some scoring opportunities on the counter attack and if we can score first we have a great chance of extending our great away record.

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It looks like Everton will not be able to field a single natural striker and will quite propably pack a lot of men behind the ball, so I'm not sure we need Mikel in this match. He's good in the holding midfielder role, but do we really need a holding midfielder in this match? I think we should try something different because I feel it's gonna be one of those games where we will struggle to score goals no matter how much we keep the ball and pass it around. I don't feel we need to be extra defensive in this match, so why not go for something like this:

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

----Bosingwa------Alex----Terry------A. Cole----------

-----------------------Belletti----------------------------------

------------------------------Lampard----------------------

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

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

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

Drogba can finish from outside the penaltyarea and can create a goal himself, but at the moment Anelka seems to need good service and I think with Drogba as a sort of targetman we might find another way to get past a packed defence. We could try the dreaded long ball every now and then if we fail to pass the ball into the net as we know Drogba is very good at winning those aerial battles.

Mikel is good defensively but while Belletti may not be as good as Mikel in the holding midfielder role, I think that with his shooting he can provide an extra threat. We've all seen that at the moment Mikel's shooting isn't something that would worry any goalkeeper out there. I know it's very unlikely that we'll see something like that against Everton, but for some reason I think it might just work in a game like this in which the opposition is likely to park that bus infront of the goal.

even without their strikers I don't see Everton parking the bus at home unless they take the lead. Their fans will expect them to have a go at home.

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It looks like Everton will not be able to field a single natural striker and will quite propably pack a lot of men behind the ball, so I'm not sure we need Mikel in this match. He's good in the holding midfielder role, but do we really need a holding midfielder in this match? I think we should try something different because I feel it's gonna be one of those games where we will struggle to score goals no matter how much we keep the ball and pass it around. I don't feel we need to be extra defensive in this match, so why not go for something like this:

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

----Bosingwa------Alex----Terry------A. Cole----------

-----------------------Belletti----------------------------------

------------------------------Lampard----------------------

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

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

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

Drogba can finish from outside the penaltyarea and can create a goal himself, but at the moment Anelka seems to need good service and I think with Drogba as a sort of targetman we might find another way to get past a packed defence. We could try the dreaded long ball every now and then if we fail to pass the ball into the net as we know Drogba is very good at winning those aerial battles.

Mikel is good defensively but while Belletti may not be as good as Mikel in the holding midfielder role, I think that with his shooting he can provide an extra threat. We've all seen that at the moment Mikel's shooting isn't something that would worry any goalkeeper out there. I know it's very unlikely that we'll see something like that against Everton, but for some reason I think it might just work in a game like this in which the opposition is likely to park that bus infront of the goal.

Yes, Everton won't have a recognised striker but I disagree that we should rest Mikel. When Mikel hasn't played this season (Tottenham wasn't it?), we weren't as strong in the midfield. Our passing was off and we looked very vulnerable when defending cause Mikel gives that extra bit of presence with that 6'0"+ frame and great tackling (now...). Cech, JT, Mikel, Lampard and Anelka are the players that we can't afford to drop at this moment.

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even without their strikers I don't see Everton parking the bus at home unless they take the lead. Their fans will expect them to have a go at home.

Does Moyes manage the team or the fans? :D

They know we've been great on the road and I'm not all that sure that they're gonna be coming full steam at us in this match. Moyes propably feels that they might well be able to keep it tight if they just pack their defence. We've seen it happen. We have looked quite clueless when we've faced an organised defence and it would suit us better if Everton would play an attacking game against us as I think we can hurt them on the counterattack, but I've got a feeling that with their lack of attacking players, they might not be as attacking at home as you seem to suggest.

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When Mikel hasn't played this season (Tottenham wasn't it?), we weren't as strong in the midfield. Our passing was off and we looked very vulnerable when defending cause Mikel gives that extra bit of presence with that 6'0"+ frame and great tackling (now...).

I think we had Essien in that match(against Spurs) who should have some of that physical presence as well. :D

It's just that I can see it being a tight and scrappy match. We've struggled to get the first goal in many of our matches and have needed something special like a Bosingwa wonder strike to open up the game. Like I've said, I think Everton will play the counterattacking game if they don't have their strikers available and I fear it will be another scrappy affair if we try to play the counterattacking game as well.

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I think we had Essien in that match(against Spurs) who should have some of that physical presence as well. :D

It's just that I can see it being a tight and scrappy match. We've struggled to get the first goal in many of our matches and have needed something special like a Bosingwa wonder strike to open up the game. Like I've said, I think Everton will play the counterattacking game if they don't have their strikers available and I fear it will be another scrappy affair if we try to play the counterattacking game as well.

Oh did we? Haha I didn't know that!

Yeah it will be a tight and scrappy match and I think we need to improve our narrow game and when they think we'll stay narrow we surprise them with a wing attack! Sounds stupid, but it just might work...:D

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Hmm.

Lets persevere with Kalou & Malouda whilst we're at it. I can see those three becomming the foundations of a great team.

Then again............

i'm not malouda's biggest fan, but i think against west ham at the weekend, we had little width down the left, and ash cole seemed to be working the line for most of the time on his own, malouda would have given him the extra support he needed

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i'm not malouda's biggest fan, but i think against west ham at the weekend, we had little width down the left, and ash cole seemed to be working the line for most of the time on his own, malouda would have given him the extra support he needed

Yes I agree we need more width on the left, but Kalou would be better IMO.

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