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Sunderland vs Chelsea – Stan Blue’s predictions …

As I look ahead for the game tomorrow, I believe that Andre Villas-Boas will choose a strong attacking line-up

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As I look ahead for the game tomorrow, I believe that Andre Villas-Boas will choose a strong attacking line-up that will look like this:
 
              Cech 
                                                                                                                                                              
Bosingwa Ivanovic Terry Cole
             
Mikel
     
         Ramires       Lampard
   
 Sturridge             Mata
             
                   Anelka
                                                                                                                                                                 
Cech: There is no doubt that Cech will return between the posts, but I would have liked a situation where Hilario starts. He gives us strong cover whenever Cech is out, but like everyone I expect AVB to pick the ever dependent Cech now he is fit.
                                                                                                                                                                  
Bosingwa: This man is perhaps my best Chelsea player so far – His confidence on the ball and is ability to take out midfielders and defenders means that there is no more than we can ask for from a defender. Though he needs to work more on his recovery and crosses.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     
Ivanovic: Though he has not been too impressive this season, he still will most likely start ahead of Alex who had wanted to go to Italy, and my man, Luiz who is now fit again.                                                                                                                                                                                                                    
Terry: A sure thing – Captain fantastic was fantastic for England during the break and nothing but a bedridden injury can keep him out.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        
Cole: a Guaranteed starter.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        
Mikel: With the unavailability of Essien he is likely to continue to play, we might see the introduction of Romeu in the the second half if things are going to plan. Our fans would love to see another debutant on the pitch.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         
Ramires: His strength and aggressiveness should add strength to a Lampard-Mikel midfield. It can also help us stop the busting runs of the Sunderland midfielders.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     
Lampard: Although it would be nice to see a Josh or Mereles, I don’t think Lamps will get the Capello treatment here. He is still very good, but I would be pleased if he comes off for Mereles after the hour mark.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
Sturridge: He is the most productive front man we currently have, he sure knows how to put the ball into back of the net. I would be expecting his arrogance to destabilize the opponents back line, I must admit I like his arrogance, it was what we used to get from Drogba.                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
Mata: He played very well in his 90 minutes for a star-studded Spanish team. He provided Villa his first goal and was deeply appreciated by the team. I think he enters our first team automatically, unless the coach wants to start with Malouda.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          
Anelka: With Drogba out, he is the man for the job. Although this has not been his role at Chelsea because he loves to play deep, it will take some extraordinary courage to start with out of form Torres. Anelka may not like this, but it will do Torres a lot of good to find out that we expect him to shine.                                                                                                                                                                        
As for the score, my prediction is Sunderland 0 Chelsea 4 – It’s my dream!                                                                                                                                                                                                             
By Stan Blue
                                                                                                                                                             
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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Alan Frank

    September 9, 2011 at 7:40 pm

    I cannot see this being the starting 11 for tomorrow. AVB has already stated that he is prepared to drop Torres 'if' he doesn't start scoring. He certainly wont score if he is not playing! It would add insult to injury for the guy and do untold damage to his fragile confidence if he were also dropped by his club. I believe to leave him out of the starting 11 would work against Chelsea in the medium term in trying to do everything possible to get this undoubted talent scoring regularly again. Personally, I can see a Mata, Torres, Sturridge front three and a midfield of Lampard, Meireles and Ramires with Lampard asked to play a more defensive role as he did on tour of Asia. I am also not so sure that Ivanovich will get the nod ahead of David Luiz to partner JT at the back? For me Torres is a nailed on starter versus Sunderland but whether or not he finishes the game will depend on his overall performance and the teams overall performance. As Sunderland will come out and at us in their own backyard and with a forward three of Mata, Torres and Sturridge I am looking forward to a few goals from Chelsea this Saturday. KTBFFH

  2. Scott Balaam

    September 9, 2011 at 9:43 pm

    I think he will stick with Torres, especially as what was said in the press conference and the fact that the player has been told he has to be playing and scoring to stay in the national team. I have a feeling that Sturridge will start on the bench, with Malouda starting on the left, then Juan Mata on the right and Torres in the middle.

    As for the back, I think it will be Luiz with JT and then Ivanovic moving to right back.

    But we shall see …

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A View From The Bridge

Chelsea plan to bring back former youth star to replace midfield general

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Declan Rice

Chelsea target Declan Rice to replace N’Golo Kante if he leaves

According to the Daily Mirror, Chelsea have identified former youth player Declan Rice as the perfect successor to N’Golo Kante in case the Frenchman leaves the club.

Kante has struggled to make an impact due to injuries this season. The 29-year-old has made just 22 appearances while scoring three goals. His future too is now in doubt following interest from Spanish giants Real Madrid.

According to the report, Kante is not keen on a move away. This has not stopped the Spaniards from making him their number one target over Paul Pogba.

N'Golo Kante
N’Golo Kante is a transfer priority for Real Madrid

The Blues, however, are looking to stay on top of things by earmarking a successor to the Frenchman if the worst comes to pass. Capable of playing in both defensive midfield and centre-back, Rice will offer Lampard a number of options.

West Ham are adamant to hold on to their prized possession and value the player at £70million minimum. Premier League rivals Manchester United are also interested.

A return to Stamford Bridge will see the youngster reunite with best friend Mason Mount at the place where it all began for the duo. Having joined the club as a 7-year-old, Rice was eventually released in 2014.

Declan Rice started his youth career at Chelsea
Declan Rice is close friends with Mason Mount

He then moved to West Ham, where he made the most of the opportunity given to him by Slaven Bilic.

His performances saw him win West Ham Players’ Player of the Year award while also being declared as Young Hammer of the Year for the third consecutive season. (h/t Mirror)

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Rice is one of the best young English midfielders in the league today. A return to Stamford Bridge after having proven his ability elsewhere will see the budding star redeem himself for being let go.

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A View From The Bridge

Former Blues favourite feels Dutch star will fit in well at Chelsea – likens him to Lampard

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Jesper Gronkjaer believes Donny van de Beek will be a proper fit at Chelsea

According to Goal.com (h/t Mirror), former Chelsea favourite Jesper Gronkjaer believes Ajax star, Donny van de Beek will thrive at Chelsea.

He lavished praise on the Dutchman, likening him to club legend and current boss Frank Lampard. He has been described as a box to box player capable of taking a long shot.

“He is more like Frank Lampard, that kind of player. He is a big guy, box-to-box, and takes good long shots.”

Goals from midfield were something Lampard specialized in, and Gronkjaer’s words are no small praise for the Dutch sensation. If he is anything close to our former number eight, we will have a real player on our hands.

The Dutchman’s performances have garnered interest from European giants Juventus and Real Madrid, two sides who Van de Beek starred against last season.

Van de Beek had scored 10 goals and 11 assists this season prior to football being suspended. The season in the Netherlands has now been declared null and void, making his efforts pointless.

Donny van de Beek
Donny van de Beek has garnered interest from Juventus and Juventus

Having come through the youth ranks at Ajax, the midfielder has gone on to make 175 appearances for Ajax while scoring 41 goals and 34 assists. 

Just 22, he can only get better and can turn into a key player in the coming years. Whether we sign him or not remains to be seen. He has gone on to win nine caps for his country.

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Chelsea is undergoing a youth revolution under Lampard. The addition of Van de Beek will not just give us a young promising midfielder, but also one who has shown he can compete at the highest level.

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A View From The Bridge

Chelsea keen to beat off arch-rivals to 53-goal Ligue 1 star

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Chelsea keen to beat Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur to Memphis Depay

According to Spanish website Todofichajes (h/t Express), Chelsea are set to face off against Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal for Lyon star Memphis Depay.

With the French giants missing out on European qualification for next season, the future of the former Manchester United star has been called into question.

The 26-year-old arrived at United with much fanfare in 2015. It proved to be a disaster, with him scoring just 7 goals and 6 assists in 53 appearances for the club. He was eventually moved on in the summer of 2017 to Lyon.

Memphis Depay has attracted interest from Chelsea
Memphis Depay has attracted interest from Chelsea

To his credit, the Dutchman has rebuilt his reputation in France. A regular for Lyon, he has scored 53 goals and 43 assists in 134 games.

At 26, he has a number of years left in him and should be a risk worth taking. Lyon owner Jean-Michel Aulas has already conceded that Depay could leave owing to the lack of European football next term

With his contract set to expire in 2021, Lyon could end up losing him on a free next summer. With clubs set to face a financial hit due to the coronavirus crisis, the French side will do well to earn top dollar for the Dutchman this summer.

Mohamed Salah returned to the Premier League a different beast
Mohamed Salah returned to the Premier League a different beast

The lack of European football means Lyon’s finances are set to suffer even further, giving us some leeway in trying to force a deal. With Arsenal and Tottenham looking likely to miss out on the Champions League, our hand could be further strengthened.

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In spite of having failed at United, Depay still remains a potent player. Mohamed Salah has shown that all players need sometimes is a second chance in the right system.

A versatile attacker who can play anywhere along the frontline, Depay could very well get the opportunity to do the same.

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A View From The Bridge

Transfer blow for Chelsea as rivals move ahead in race for £60m-rated Ligue 1 ace

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Moussa Dembele doesn't have a lot of Premier League experience

Chelsea fall behind in the race for Moussa Dembele

According to the Daily Star, Chelsea have fallen behind Manchester United in the race to sign Lyon striker Moussa Dembele.

The Red Devils are increasingly confident of getting their man, having scouted him extensively over the past few months. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has sent scouts to watch Dembele at least three times in the last six months and is keen to convince him to make a switch to Old Trafford.

Dembele has enjoyed an excellent season at the Groupama Stadium and has scored 22 goals and assisted 7 in 42 appearances.

Moussa Dembele is a target for Chelsea
Moussa Dembele prefers Manchester United over Chelsea Image Credits: Getty Images)

Tammy Abraham has established himself as the first-choice striker under Frank Lampard. With Michy Batshuayi woefully out of form and Oliver Giroud out of contract this summer, bringing in a striker is key.

The major drawback in our pursuit is likely to come from the player himself. According to the report, Dembele is keen on making the switch to Manchester over a return to London.

The 23-year-old has experience of playing in England, having made more than 150 appearances for Fulham and Celtic. A clinical finisher, his best is yet to come.

Tammy Abraham
Chelsea have been heavily reliant on Tammy Abraham for goals this season

Lyon are resigned to losing a number of their stars owing to their failure of qualifying for Europe next season. Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas has already accepted that he may have no other choice but to sell. (h/t Daily Star)

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It is unfortunate that we have apparently missed out on a promising striker. He would have added competition and numbers to our attack going into the new season.

We will hopefully keep United at bay in the race for fourth place. A return to the Champions League will strengthen us in our ability to attract players in the summer.

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