September 13, 2009
Yesterday was a little disappointing, but I expected 0 points or 1 point from these two games, so it wasn’t as earth shattering to me as it seems it has been to some. United were well worth the 3 points – Vidic, Fletcher and Rooney in particular were excellent, and Berbatov in the first half was majestic at times.
Next week we play Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. They will probably line up something like this:
Bosingwa Carvalho Terry Cole
Essien Ballack Malouda
How do we contain them?
- Sit Huddlestone just in front of Drogba, so when competing for any high balls, he has King behind and Huddlestone in front. We tried this with King against Kevin Davies last season, and it seemed to work well.
- Have Palacios man-mark Lampard. Everything comes through Lampard, so nullifying that threat will mean they have to take chances in other areas of the pitch, which could leave them open to the counter.
Chelsea’s other huge attribute is their height; they are so dangerous from set pieces. In Terry, Ballack and Drogba, they have three of the best in the league at attacking the ball. For this reason, playing both Gomes and Crouch could prove vital. Gomes, whilst being capable of blunders, will compete for crosses, whereas Cudicini hugs his line like Robinson used to, inviting pressure on to us. A decisive goalkeeper against a strong set-piece side is crucial.
My full line up would be:
Corluka King Bassong Assou-Ekotto
Lennon Jenas Huddlestone Kranjcar
NB: If Dawson is fit, he would also be in my side ahead of Bassong/Woodgate, as he has played well against Drogba in the past.
Tough choice to not select Defoe or Keane, but I think both have been poor in the last two games (despite Defoe’s cracking finish against United), and I don’t think we can go with two many small players against a side as big and strong as Chelsea.
Harry was out-thought by Old Whiskey Face this weekend – let’s hope he comes back strongly.