A win on Wednesday night will seal top spot in Group F, meaning that Chelsea can put the Champions League to bed, until February, and concentrate on retaining the Premiership with games coming thick and fast over the crucial festive period.
The visitors to the Bridge on Wednesday night are ‘the peoples club’: Spartak Moscow. They were formed in 1922 by a meat workers’ co-operative in Moscow, the club was one of the few non-state-run football clubs in the Soviet Union. While CSKA were the club of the Army and Dinamo that of the KGB, Spartak were an independent workers team. As such they were a popular choice for supporters.
Spartak lost last time out to a very professional Chelsea, however previously they enjoyed a 3-0 home win against Zelina and a very credible 1-0 win at Marseille. This shows that they do pose a credible challenge and we cannot afford them the amount of possession surrendered to Marseille at home. Spartak’s Brazilian striker Ari says that they are very hopeful of getting a result in London, following their second half display at the Luzhniki a few weeks ago.
As for the English Champions, I expect Carlo and Ray Wilkins to have the team fully charged for this one. The team should be very similar to last Saturday with perhaps Bosingwa in at right back for Ivanovic and Kalou in for Anelka, who will be rested with Sunday’s trip to ‘Mickey Mouse Land’ in mind. ’Super Frank’ is back in training but will not figure in this one but just may be ready for Sunday.
I expect Chelsea to win 3-0 against the plucky Russian outfit, with cameo appearances from Kakuta and McEachran. It is imperative that we win, as all the major players in the competition seem to be in control of their respective groups and therefore gain an easier game in the first knockout phase.
Don’t forget the Tube Strike on Wednesday, so plan your time to be there early and enjoy the next step taken on the road to Wembley.