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CHELSEA vs Wolves: Preview

Venue: Stamford Bridge

Date: Saturday, 21 November 2009

Kick-off: 1500


It’s been a while since we played Wolves in the Premier League and the last time we did do that at Stamford Bridge, we battered them 5-2 courtesy of a Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink hat-trick.

Mind you, that was back in 2004 and Jimmy Floyd won’t be up front for us this time, unfortunately though neither will Didier Drogba because his is one of the names on our ever-increasing injury list. Mind you, the one positive to come from today’s injury-enforced changes could be opportunities for some of our younger players, with the likes Fabio Borini, Nemanja Matic and Gael Kakuta making today’s bench.



With our midfield and first choice striker missing, Carlo Ancelotti has concentrated on boosting our defence’s confidence ahead of today’s game, stating “From the start of the season the defensive line did very well. With Alex, Ivanovic, Terry, Carvalho, I think Chelsea has the best central defence in the world at the moment.  It is the same level as I had at Milan. I was very happy with [Alessandro] Nesta and [Paolo] Maldini there in the past and also I am happy to train the Chelsea defenders. No-one has four central defenders with this quality. They can play in any team in the world.” Not that he’s suggesting Wolves will be a doddle though, insisting “I know them and they have played a lot of games with very good play.  They have good strikers and I think Kevin Doyle tomorrow will be hungry because of what happened Wednesday with Ireland. We have to pay attention.”

Mick McCarthy appears full of praise for his opposing number ahead of the game, stating “I have been impressed, but he wasn’t a rookie manager was he?  He has won the Champions League twice so I am not surprised with what he has done.  He has got a good group of players and they look to me like they were under Jose Mourinho when he first arrived.  They look a really happy bunch together and there is no tittle tattle coming out of there anymore.   If they end up being the best team in the Premier League they will not be far away from being one of the winners in Europe.” And as for how he plans to ‘stop’ us today, says “It is a hugely enviable task as everyone wants to be doing it.  All those teams in the Championship would like to be doing exactly the same.  How do we stop them? We go and play against them. I always take the view that they will lose a game.  I said the same thing before we played Arsenal and I still say if we had scored when we were on top at the start of the game who knows what would have happened.  We would have been 1-0 up and that would have changed the course of the game and changed the way that it is played.  We are second bottom, we are playing the best team and we are not fancied.  They may be the best team in the world with the best players, with the best manager against a whole load of rookies that have just come up with a manager who has been in the Premier League once, gone down and got the sack.  All those things are against us but this is a game of football and you know what, we might just get a handball and win it.  That is football. I can’t give anyone a game plan about how I am going to beat Chelsea so don’t even ask me.  Don’t be so barmy to ask me how are we going to stop them, how are we going to do this and that because they can come up with something brilliant out of nothing against far better teams than us.  But it is a game of football and Hull weren’t fancied to beat Tottenham or Arsenal last season.”



Thanks largely to the international break and Johny Evans’ studs, Chelsea will be missing Frank Lampard, Michael Ballack, Deco and Didier Drogba through injury. John Terry is a doubt although could play a part if he comes through a late fitness test. Ashley Cole should be fit to return although Jose Bosingwa remains out long-term.

For Wolves, Iwelumo, Jones and Ward miss out. Kevin Foley could feature although Michael Mancienne is ineligible and Ronald Zubar is a doubt.



CHELSEA (from): Cech, Ivanovic, Carvalho, Terry, Alex, A Cole, Essien, J Cole, Anelka, Kalou, Borini, Matic, Kakuta, Hilario, Ferreira, Mikel Obi, Malouda.

WOLVES (from): Hennessey, Hahnemann, Zubar, Foley, Stearman, Berra, Craddock, Elokobi, Kightly, Halford, Henry, Milijas, Castillo, Edwards, Jarvis, Ebanks-Blake, Keogh, Maierhofer, Doyle.



Chelsea 5-2 Wolves (27 March 2004)



Wolves have struggled for goals this season and that might not bode well against the best defence in the Premier League. Having said that, with our midfield depleted and Didier Drogba missing up front, the Wolves defence might not exactly be overrun either.



Lee Mason



Blue is the colour is an honest insight to the World of Chelsea FC. Not always pretty, sometimes rather cynical, but always realistic.


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