A first post by Chief Jacob
And on we go to “Roman’s Challenge” or as the rest of the world calls it the “Champions League Cup”. No matter which team we end up taking on we will have some serious problems considering lack of player selection. No Ivo, Miereles or Ramires for the final due to multiple yellow cards and Terry’s STUPID foul for a red puts him out for the next match and possibly longer. Things are looking a bit dicey especially in defense where those cards and injuries are piling up. Here’s my breakdown:
Defense – Really hoping Luiz and Cahill are ready to go since we will need them both. Might even need Bertrand (is he eligible?) to play the right side. Bosi played ok but lets face it, he didn’t have to do much in the “defend or die” defense we employed in the second half against Barca and he was still getting beat on short cuts and passes through. RDM (or whoever else is the manager after this season) will need to take a serious look at finding some more defensive substitution options. Likely lineup (R to L): Bosi-Cahill-Luiz-Cole, provided they are all healthy
Midfield – We’ll have less problem filling out the midfield but Ramires has been one of the (arguably “THE”) best player for us this season and Miereles seems to have come around recently and been very dangerous. That being said, we have had quite a few players filling out the 2-3 of our midfield recently with relative success. This even includes some of our strikers, such as Kalou. Selection here becomes more about who we match up with and where we can get our best scoring chances from. Mikel has been better (still not brilliant in my opinion), Lampard is snake bitten but playing his heart out, Likely lineup: (2 Defensive Mids) Mikel-Lampard (3 Attacking/Wing “Mids”) Kalou-Mata-Torres/Malouda
Strikers – The choice here is a bit tricky since the loss of midfielders might require some striker deployment as wing mids as well as the current (good spirit) competition between Drogba and Torres. As you all will never forget, Torres scored the nail in the coffin goal (to Gary Neville’s “orgasmic” delight) outracing not just all 3 defenders (who only plays 3 in defense anymore?) but the goalie as well. Goal in hand or not, I still think RDM will go with the recent popular choice of Drogba up top to battle whatever defense is employed in front of him. He just needs to stay on his feet and stop trying to play the flopping game as he tried to do for much of the Barca game. Likely lineup: Drogba with Torres possibly moving up top later in the game.
Regardless of the lineup, Chelsea cannot afford to play another “defend or die” game and CAN NOT take any poor fouls and sending offs. Both Real and Bayern have too much talent and drive to let a depleted lineup such as ours away without putting a few past Cech (who has also been absolutely astounding lately). We must find the goals early and hopefully often and put the game out of reach from the start. I am personally tagging Lampard with responsibility of scoring his 4th of the competition and getting us off on the right foot.
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