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Michael Tucker

Chelsea 2 Stoke City 1

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Khobar   

Yes.

I think Mourinho would rather deal with a problem when it arises than get caught out trying to pre-empt a problem that may never arise. He won't be d**king about playing "ifs-buts-and-maybes" at this stage of the season (or at any stage TBH). He may have a word with a player and tell them to play it safe, but I don't think it would go any further when points are on the line.

I agree - you always play the next game and not the one in 2 or 3 weeks. Otherwise. You run the risk of losing both.

I can see Brendan Rodgers doing it though.

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Sea foot   

I have seen Brendan Rodgers doing it though.

Fixed that for ya. ;-)

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Khobar   

Fixed that for ya. ;-)

thanks :-)

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If we win both games against Stoke and QPR it would take something immense for us to blow that lead in 7 remaining games. We could then literally draw 3 games against the likes of United, Liverpool, Arsenal and lose one other and still win the league (if my maths worked out properly) on goal difference.

Mourinho is going to need to see out these 2 games coming up. Best 11 every week from here on end please.

I couldn't have put it better. I'm sure Jose sees it the same way as well.

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Please don't just throw around the word "raped" to get your point across, it's quite offensive.

And while yes, it may not be the strongest midfield, I'm thinking of the games we've also got coming up. QPR away is a tough game and we'll need some steel in that midfield for then too. Matic cannot play both games because he's more than likely going to get booked, which means we'll miss him for the bigger games we've got approaching.

What that midfield I listed will do is move the ball forward quickly. Ramires is a better holding player than Matic (note, holding player, not midfielder) and he can do a reliable job playing that role opposed to his more advanced role. Matic exposes our defenders too often by charging forward to close down and Cesc doesn't have the athletic ability to cover when it happens.

One way or another we're going to lack a physical midfielder (I'm presuming Mikel still won't be fit) at some point. I'd rather take that risk at home against Stoke opposed to QPR away. That's just me.

Go with the best 11 and sort out the yellow card situation after the game.

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It depends on what you think the bigger risk is TBH. I don't think Mourinho will be willing to risk dropping points against either Stoke or QPR by playing a weakened team. It's disrespectful to the opposition, and if it turns around to bite you, then it's your fault as a manager. That's a risk I don't think Mourinho will be willing to take. You can't control injuries or suspensions, but you can control whether you give your team the best possible platform to win in any given game.

He won't overthink it, and I don't think we need to either. He'll put out the team of available players that he thinks will give us the best chance of getting three points in all our remaining games until the league is either won or lost. If players are unavailable, so be it. That's as it should be IMO. It's not the time of the season to be messing around and second-guessing yourself, trying to be cute.

We'll see I guess.

Yep, has the ring of truth for me. Well put too.

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jones   

Surprised that most posters in here would rather not take the possible two game suspension for both Cesc and Matic into account? Potentially, we can be without both of them for both the Arsenal and the Man U game.

What is the difference between not playing Matic against QPR because he faces a two match ban against two top sides, and resting a player before a top match to have him fresh (that most posters in here seem to advocate quite often)?

Remember that the cut-off date for yellow card suspension is after the QPR game.

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Scooba   

Surprised that most posters in here would rather not take the possible two game suspension for both Cesc and Matic into account? Potentially, we can be without both of them for both the Arsenal and the Man U game.

What is the difference between not playing Matic against QPR because he faces a two match ban against two top sides, and resting a player before a top match to have him fresh (that most posters in here seem to advocate quite often)?

Remember that the cut-off date for yellow card suspension is after the QPR game.

I would be tempted to play Fabregas and Matic at home to stoke. Then rest probably Matic away to QPR as he will definitely be needed in those 2 games. We will just have to hope neither are booked because I would not be surprised to see them start both, if they are available of course.

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Win the Stoke game first and foremost, plus the QPR game will almost certainly be against a referee hell-bent on denying us so I think attitude is more important than personnel for that one - just refuse to take any sh&t by any necessary means.

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GURJ SS   

I think we will have to just go with the flow and run the risk of both Matic and Fabregas missing the same game. If we try and avoid them missing the same game, they could both end up missing a title decider, because they avoided bookings. We should just go with our strongest team every game, and just do without them if need be.

To be honest, this is the one criticism I have of our squad set up. We are worried about having to use players from the bench. A team like ours who wants challenge on every front, needs 18 top quality players, who can rotate freely without giving us fans high blood pressure.

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