Michael Tucker

Chelsea 2 Burnley 3

490 posts in this topic

On 8/10/2017 at 5:57 AM, jones said:

Can't see Rudiger, Christensen or Musonda start this one. So the next players are guaranteed to start. Is it going to be 3-4-3 or 4-2-4?

3-4-3: Courtois - Azpilicueta, Luiz, Cahill - Pedro, Kante, Fabregas, Alonso - Willian, Batshuayi, Morata

4-2-4: Courtois - Azpilicueta, Luiz, Cahill, Alonso - Willian, Kante, Fabregas, Pedro - Batshuayi, Morata

Really think this XI would look best in a 4-2-4. There has been some talk about Conte "trying new things" in training. Really wouldn't rule this out.

Not too sure how we'll line up exactly, however I have a strong feeling we'll see a back three of Rudiger, Luiz and Cahill - with Azpi being pushed over to RWB in place of Moses. 

Was photos from training the other day apparently that had Rudiger, Luiz, Cahill and Azpi all wearing training bibs during a training match. May suggest it's being worked on.

 

 

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Posted (edited)

2 hours ago, xCELERYx said:

Not too sure how we'll line up exactly, however I have a strong feeling we'll see a back three of Rudiger, Luiz and Cahill - with Azpi being pushed over to RWB in place of Moses. 

Was photos from training the other day apparently that had Rudiger, Luiz, Cahill and Azpi all wearing training bibs during a training match. May suggest it's being worked on.

 

 

Yeah, saw that too. Slightly surprising to me if he starts Rüdiger ahead of one of Morata and Batshuayi, but I guess he opts for defensive stability and rather increase the attacking balance of the game if we struggle to break through. A risk-averse game plan makes sense considering the circumstances.

Edited by jones

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Posted (edited)

Here we go then. Opening game and possibly the thinnest match day squad I've ever seen. Quite remarkable that it's come to this. Regardless, we have to make do I suppose and hope that we strengthen significantly in the few weeks that remain. It's important to pick up points and remain in contention for the first half dozen games of the season, so that once Hazard, Bakayoko and any incoming signings arrive we'll be in touching distance to the leaders. Our fixture list gets easier after the first 10 games or so and with a bigger squad we can then look to build up a head of steam.

First things first and let's deal with Burnley. We've gotten a little lucky with the Andre Gray departure. He would have been the main threat here so let's hope to take advantage. Burnley will look to be physical and niggly and hope to spoil the day, but hopefully we'll have too much for them. Cesc will have a role to play in trying to unlock them. An early goal would lift everyone and make our lives a lot easier.

A good win is important here I reckon, not just for the points but for the morale of the team and the supporters. We need a bit of a lift after a rather concerning off-season.

I don't think he will start, but I would definitely go with Morata from the beginning. He's a confidence player and it would be a real boost for him. It would also give him a chance to get off the mark early and allay any criticism that lies in wake. I really do hope Conte starts with him.

Otherwise the team will probably be much the same, with Moses' absence meaning Rudiger makes his debut as well. The bench is negligible:

3-4-3:

Courtois; Rudiger, Luiz, Cahill; Azpi, Cesc, Kante, Alonso; Willian, Morata, Pedro

Subs: Cabellero, Christensen, Tomori, Scott, Boga, Musonda, Michy

Edited by A Blue Essien

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47 minutes ago, A Blue Essien said:

I don't think he will start, but I would definitely go with Morata from the beginning. He's a confidence player and it would be a real boost for him. It would also give him a chance to get off the mark early and allay any criticism that lies in wake. I really do hope Conte starts with him.

Otherwise the team will probably be much the same, with Moses' absence meaning Rudiger makes his debut as well. The bench is negligible:

3-4-3:

Courtois; Rudiger, Luiz, Cahill; Azpi, Cesc, Kante, Alonso; Willian, Morata, Pedro

Subs: Cabellero, Christensen, Tomori, Scott, Boga, Musonda, Michy

I think we've gotta go with Batshuayi upfront from the start. He has the fitness and the form behind him that Morata doesn't, while also being more adapted to the system we play. Morata off the bench against tiring legs, possibly in tandem with Michy, could be more beneficial to both him and the side overall.  

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On 07/08/2017 at 0:03 PM, Mark Kelly said:

Lol , I hope you're right , I just don't trust the refs to do the job they're paid for though. 

I just found out I have severe high blood pressure , you'd never guess would you ?

Good going for a veggie mate.

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Posted (edited)

13 minutes ago, PeteRobbo said:

Good going for a veggie mate.

Chocolate and chips and beer and wine .............I have just had to kiss them all goodbye !

Edited by Mark Kelly

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On 08/08/2017 at 11:53 PM, Don Antonio said:

Compared to our first team squad at 1st February, we've lost three senior players ... JT, Matic and Begovic ... ALL replaced by Rudiger, Bakayoko and Caballero. Leadership aside and based on current playing ability, that's not materially weaker in my book, though we need to see Bakayoko in action to say for sure.  Only Matic was a regular starter.

We've lost six young fringe players:

3 (Zouma, Aina and RLC) have all gone on Loan, replaced by Christensen, and probably Tomori and Baker/Scott. Christensen is more experienced. The other two are pretty much like for like replacements for me. Again, not materially weaker, and probably stronger (Christensen is a better CB than Zouma). Aina played 25 minutes of PL football last year, RLC played 31 minutes and Zouma played 247 minutes. Total 303 minutes. I think Christensen and Baker will have that covered !

3 (Chalobah, Ake, Solanke) have Left, with only Morata arriving to cover any of their positions (and you could say that none of them have been replaced, as Morata is on board to offset Costa). Between them they made 9 starts and 11 sub appearances last season, of which collectively just 257 minutes was in the PL (159 for Chalobah, and 98 for Ake; Solanke not selected at all last year - in anything). Again not much to be made up by new or existing players. All left because Conte didn't play them, not because of anything the Board did ... I dare say the Board are working hard to bring in replacements who Conte will actually want to use !

 

To sumamrise the players that have left and not been replaced so far were fringe players who hardly played, who were obviously not trusted or really wanted by the manager. The senior players have all been replaced.

We do need more depth, primarily because of the Champions League and for effective cover if we get injuries,  but we still have most of last year's first team intact, so there is no reason why they shouldn't perform again in 2017/18. 8 of the team that faced Arsenal were what we would consider our A-Team. Things are not as bad as people are making out ...

 

 

Yes indeed Don and pretty much exactly what I said yesterday in reply to someone claiming that our squad was now weaker than that of Spurs.

You're quite right of course, we do need more bodies, but we've replaced what we've moved on, with the exception of a few players who, while I think were really good and I would have liked to remain with us, did not figure very much at all last season.

Ergo, we need more, but we're still not so bad for the initial part of the season. 

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6 minutes ago, Mark Kelly said:

Chocolate and chips and beer and wine .............I have just had to kiss them all!

Ye Gods. Heartfelt sympathy all round then. Good luck with it.

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34 minutes ago, Mark Kelly said:

Chocolate and chips and beer and wine .............I have just had to kiss them all goodbye !

Had the same problem myself ten years ago (hereditary and 160/130), but it's not necessarily that bad. Plenty exercise sorted it for me, along with the inevitable pills. 120/80 now, and still enjoy a beer or four on match days. Chip's'll have to go though, along with red meat and too much caffeine. Good luck, mate!

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45 minutes ago, Mark Kelly said:

Chocolate and chips and beer and wine .............I have just had to kiss them all goodbye !

I'm veggie, too, not that you'd guess looking at me! Chocolate and (sweet) coffee whilst sat in front of a computer editing photos for many hours at a time are my downfall! Fortunately I don't suffer from high blood pressure... although a few more inane posts from JP might send me in that direction LOL

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