Our next match is this Sunday at 4pm, against potential league title contenders Arsenal. Currently two points ahead of the pack, a win would give our squad that belief that they can deliver the league title, as well as leave Arsenal’s hopes hanging by a thread, nine points off the pace.
After dropping two points at Hull in midweek, Carlo et al will be looking to keep ahead of Man United, who are at home to bottom side Portsmouth tomorrow.
The Hull match saw us concede from a corner, giving the number of goals conceded from set pieces a rise to 75%.
The big news is off the pitch is that John Terry has been stripped of the England captaincy, hopefully he will be mentally fit for Sunday, and no more allegations will come to light before the match.
Petr Cech will start in goal, the back four will likely consist of A.Cole, Terry, Carvalho and Ivanovic. Mikel returns so could be put into the holding role, Belletti is still out so Ballack is the other candidates for the role, unless Carlo opts for Deco or Zhirkov. Lampard, Malouda, Joey Cole, Deco will also all be competing for a midfield spot.
Up front, you can’t look further then the Drogba and Anelka combination. Drogba has scored ten goals against Arsenal and marked his club return by scoring a free kick against Hull, similarly placed to his one against Arsenal back in November.
The last time we played Arsenal it ended in a 3-0 win for us at the Fly Emirates Stadium, with Didier Drogba scoring two and Thomas Vermaelin scoring an own goal, Ashley Cole grabbed two assists for us. Arsenal were the last team to beat us at Stamford Bridge, 16 months ago.
Arsenal also dropped points last match, suffering a 3-1 defeat at home to Man United, the match before was a goalless draw away to Aston Villa. Their goal difference is currently six worse then ours. Eduardo, Vela, Djourou, Gibbs, Merida and Van Persie are all out for Arsenal.
Mike Dean is in charge of the match, he last officiated our away match to Preston, and before that West Ham in December, where Lampard had to twice retake his penalty. He also oversaw the Stoke City away much, but is yet to be in charge of a match at Stamford Bridge this season.
Predicted Team: Cech, A.Cole, Terry, Carvalho, Ivanovic, Mikel, Lampard, Ballack, Deco, Drogba, Anelka.
Predicted Score: 2-0. Drogba (2)