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Live Match Thread: Chelsea Vs Manchester United - Cl Final

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Please use this thread for all posts relating to the Champions League Final against Manchester United in Moscow, before and during the game.

Moderators and our legal people will be keeping an eye on things. Keep it intelligent.

Please note that this unmoderated forum is a privilege and its abuse will result in the suspension of your account.

The match is on Wednesday 21st May (KickOff: 1945 hrs BST)

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IMPORTANT: Stream Information Thread

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The Road To Moscow - Carefree Chris - www.carefreechris.com

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Ze biggest single game I will have ever seen Chelsea play (up to this point).

I have never felt this nervous over a game more than a week away. It usually picks up a few days before the game.

I'm weird. I actually had hope for the Premier League, but I'm downright scared over this. I might watch this game through my fingers.

Come on men! Play hard, work hard, and make us proud.

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Biggest game I'v ever seen with a preference.

All the Euro-finals, World Cup-finals, Champions League-finals. Never had a country/club I really wanted to win. This time it's all different. I think nervousness will get a new meaning that day.

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I think the club, the players and AG always knew that they wouldn't win the league, and played well within themselves against Bolton.

However, for this I think Man Utd will get an absolute bashing - I suspect that the team will come out and play with a purpose and a strength similar to what we saw against Liverpool at Stamford Bridge.

The big question is, who plays at the back?

The rest is easy:

Lampsy Maka Ballack

Joey Drogba Kalou

Subs: Anelka, Malouda, Cudicini, ..........

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Cech

Essien

JT

Carvalho

A.Cole

Makelele

Ballack

Lampard

J.Cole

Drogba (or Anelka)

Malouda

Its Do or Die!!!!!! We're going to win 3-1, history will be made in Moscow!

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This game leaves me with an awful quandary. The two contentious positions are the Right Back berth and the Holding Midfield player. Many people will plump for Essien at Right Back - I think this could be a drastic error. If Manchester United's midfield consists of a pairing of Scholes + Hargreaves + Carrick, Essien will be vital in terms of both energy and combativeness: he needs to play in Midfield. His qualities are endless. He has the best chance of negating any possession in midfield, any space or any time. We've seen some of our best displays this season with Essien as the driving force in Midfield, and a lot of his influence is wasted out on the right hand side. In his place I would play Ferreira at Right Back: hopefully he'll put in a solid and dependable performance.

I hate so say it, but I believe Makelele is on the wane. He's played an incredible amount of high class football this season and I think in recent weeks his form and legs have dipped. This is Mikel's moment, IMO. He dictates the pace of the game; he's an imposing physical presence; he's young and well rested; he's more comfortable on the ball than Makelele. In essence, it boils down to experience over youth. Given the nature of the game, and the expected tentative nature of the affair I'd play Mikel. His passing offers more of a threat going forward and defensively, coupled with Essien in midfield he is resolute.

The issue is that Lampard and Ballack are players that you would never drop: so do we risk playing a narrow quartet in Midfield to stifle United and go with two up top? With Mikel holding, Essien and Lampard either side of the diamond and Ballack at the point. Or, do we sacrifice the undoubted necessity of having Essien in midfield to essentially have all our best players on the pitch at the same time?

I'll put out two team selections:

What Grant Will Choose...

Cech

Essien - Carvalho [if fit] - JT [he's going to play] - A. Cole

Makelele

Ballack - Lampard

J. Cole - Drogba - Malouda

Even though quite clearly this grouping of players does not function well. Look at the Bolton game. No pace out wide. No pace in the middle. A side capable of playing resolutely, if a little pedestrian. Could match up well with United, hoping that Ashley Cole has one of his "Ronaldo's in my pocket" days.

What I'd Like To See...

Cech

Ferreira - Carvalho - JT - A. Cole

Mikel - Ballack

Essien - Lampard - J. Cole

Drogba

Essien to dominate the right hand side with Ballack playing slightly deeper to spray passes. Cole(s) to occupy the left hand side and Lampard slightly freer to operate. Fairly tight, but full of drive and power to smother and then dominate United's midfield.

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