Carlo Ancelotti’s Chelsea are ready to go into battle in a potential Premier League title decider against Manchester United at Old Trafford tomorrow and the Blues will usurp top spot by virtue of goal difference if they beat Sir Alex Ferguson’s side.
It’s one of the most anticipated games in Prem history as one team is on the brink of winning a record 19th title and Chelsea, who were 15 points off the pace previously in the season, could complete a monumental comeback.
Chelsea Daft: Chelsea need to stick with the old tried and trusted 4-3-3 for this one. We’ve tried the 4-4-2 with Nando and Drogba up front a couple of times and you can see gradually it’s getting better but, this is too much of a big game to give it another try. Chelsea play better in 4-3-3 as it suits the players. Drogba HAS TO lead the line, Malouda and Kalou to start either side of him. We have options on the bench to keep the pace of our attack at a good tempo in the last twenty minutes in Anelka and Torres if need be.
The Chelsea Blog: Whilst we can’t be totally gung-ho against a side like United, I’d say we should go for 4-3-3 or risk getting nothing from it at all. When we had our flying start to the season, that’s the formation we relied on, whilst our poor spell saw the formation fiddled about with. Yes, we’ve signed Torres but we know there’s no point playing Drogba and Torres together because they both want to be in the same space at the same time and piggy-back doesn’t work in football. As the old cliché goes – if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.
Chidge: Definitely 4-3-3 we play at our best in this formation and this is no time to change it! Obviously on the presumption that we pick Drogba up front, which we should do on current form. Drogs is looking back on form, and playing him with Malouda and Anelka either side I think brings the best out of Lamps which is vital. Also, Mikel is playing very well at the mo holding it all together and giving balance to the midfield and again good for Lamps who looks to be getting back to form. Anyway we can still bring on Torres to finish Rio and Vidic off after Drogs has bullied them for 70 mins!
Chelsea Daft: I am pin pointing two key players for Chelsea tonight and the first is David Luiz (posted here) He couldn’t play in the CL and has become vitally important for our back four. With him next to JT it forces Ivanovic out wide and we look better for it. Luiz being back in the side is key. Didier Drogba (read it here) is the second player. Drogba has a habit of scoring in recent times at Old Trafford and will look to give Vidic and Ferdinand the run around. He has to start the game. One other key point I want to make is that United are susceptible to dropping deep when defending in the box and never pick up the late run. If Drogba can get the ball wide and pull it back square, Lampard could have some joy in this one!
The Chelsea Blog: Potential key battles could be between Vidic and Drogba. Drogba has found a new lease of life since his starting position hasn’t been guaranteed and he’ll be wanting to assert that position again. Vidic is always one of United’s most consistent players and won’t shy away from the physical battle either.
An interesting battle for me will be Rooney and David Luiz. We missed Luiz sorely in our Champions League meetings and I’m sure Rooney will love our defender getting up close and personal again.
Chidge: Midfield – Fergie quite often packs it against us so it will be tough to break them down unless we get wide and forward quickly. Good that Fletcher not playing but we need to deal with Park and Giggs pushing up on Brana and Ash. Rooney was superb against us in the CL so we need to stop him pulling all the strings, but we’ve got Luiz back to kick him all over OT and I hope he does!!! Utd only need a draw whereas we have to win so I suspect Fergie to be cautious which may help if we can take the game to them. Frank and Drogs are going to be key here!