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Willians speed will cause them problems as in the first game, Hazard will also if he doesnt melt like he has done mostly in the past two months. He is however due a big game, this one or Leicester? Up top Giroux is physically stronger but less good at keeping posession, but Morata is not in a great place right now so Giroux it has to be. Does Conte sacrifice Fabregas or gamble that something comes from his probing passes. 

I'm not expecting us to go through but lets hope I'm pleasantly surprised and they pull out an Athletico away type performance and result.

 

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My heart and head says we will be stuffed. The nutter side of me says that we might produce the performance of the season and knock them out. Giroud could be our secret weapon. I like his attitude and I like what he brings to the party.  An interesting night awaits on Weds.

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Vinod   
1 hour ago, NoblyBobly said:

My heart and head says we will be stuffed. The nutter side of me says that we might produce the performance of the season and knock them out. Giroud could be our secret weapon. I like his attitude and I like what he brings to the party.  An interesting night awaits on Weds.

We will get two goals. Can Barca manage 3?

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jones   

Got a sneaky feeling Conte will bring Bakayoko in for this one. Midfield trio with him, Fabregas and Kanté. Willian and Hazard up front in a "double false nine". If Bakayoko can find the form he had early season, it can be really good - Fabregas straying passes and getting attention on the right, and surging runs from Bakayoko on the left. But if he plays like he has played in 2018, we are ****ed.

Edited by jones

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45 minutes ago, jones said:

Got a sneaky feeling Conte will bring Bakayoko in for this one. Midfield trio with him, Fabregas and Kanté. Willian and Hazard up front in a "double false nine". If Bakayoko can find the form he had early season, it can be really good - Fabregas straying passes and getting attention on the right, and surging runs from Bakayoko on the left. But if he plays like he has played in 2018, we are ****ed.

God help us if he brings back Bakayoko for this one. 

Conte has one major decision to make....does he play Giroud. Once that has been decided he can build his team around that. Barca will not like a big man holding up play and bringing Hazard and Willian into devastating areas. Conte has to grow a pair (so do some of our players) and we can win this and surprise everyone. Of course the ref will send a Chelsea player off at some point, but if we are ahead by then we can hold on.

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56 minutes ago, jones said:

Got a sneaky feeling Conte will bring Bakayoko in for this one.

I hope that you're wrong. His previous form, plus the fact that he's played no football for a while would suggest that it's unlikely, surely? Maybe as a late sub, but nothing more.

56 minutes ago, jones said:

Midfield trio with him, Fabregas and Kanté. Willian and Hazard up front in a "double false nine". 

If that happens (unlikely, it has to be said), then we're doomed., imo. Conte would surely have to start Giroud, and Barca would drive a truck through a 3-man midfield that included both Fabregas and Bakayoko.

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Blue Rod   

I too cannot see any sense in playing both Bakayoko and Fabregas in that midfield. Bakayoko has never really got going since he arrived, and Fabregas has not played a decent match in months. At the Bridge Fabregas was probably our most ineffective player. We can accommodate one of them but not both.

Having said that, playing Giroud might just suit Fabregas when  he's passing over the heads of Barca midfield, if he can find his passing boots. Our handicap is that after him we don't really have a midfielder with enough range of passes to take advantage of a decent No9.

I"d go with Tibaut, Alonso, Rudiger, Christensen, Azpi, Moses, Kante, Fabregas, Hazard, Willian, Giroud. 

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jones   

I was not saying I see that much sense in it, just saying I fear Conte is going to play him.

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kev61   

We will have to defend for our lives and try and nick it.There is no point in playing Giroud he offers nothing against a team that will probably batter us in possession.we need a midfield that presses high from their goalkeeper..fast players like Willian Pedro and hazard - if we can stifle them before their midfield even gets the ball we have a chance.

Let them get into a groove and we are fooked.we are an inferior team so we need to stop them from playing.

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7 hours ago, kev61 said:

We will have to defend for our lives and try and nick it.There is no point in playing Giroud he offers nothing against a team that will probably batter us in possession.we need a midfield that presses high from their goalkeeper..fast players like Willian Pedro and hazard - if we can stifle them before their midfield even gets the ball we have a chance.

Let them get into a groove and we are fooked.we are an inferior team so we need to stop them from playing.

I think there is a very good case for playing Giroud. When we are under pressure (which we will be) we can use the good old hoof up field to a big man who can hold the ball up and retain possession now and again instead of 

a) the ball coming straight back 

b) we try and do our usual tippy tappy triangles out of defence and we have another Christenson type disaster waiting to happen. We are not playing Stoke. One stupid careless pass or mistake and we will be a goal down and need two. 

Apart from that Giroud offers something offensively and gets the very best out of Hazard. We need Hazard at his very best. 

(Shame we haven't still got Bats instead of Morata....7 goals in 9 games for Dortmand!!)

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