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Hull vs CHELSEA: Preview

Venue: KC Stadium

Date: Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Kick-off: 1945 GMT


It’s probably fair to say that as far as the press are concerned, our games are probably regarded as an unwelcome distraction right now – particularly when they’d rather save their column inches to focus on what our captain gets up to off the pitch. Still, like it or not, we do have a game tonight and whilst the vultures will be hoping it could turn up a few more bones for them to pick over, as far as we’re concerned, the only thing we want it to turn up is 3 points and some breathing space at the top of the table.

Our game in hand tonight sees us take on Hull away and fortunately, in the time since the game was postponed (because 21st century or not, this country can’t cope with a bit of snow), both Didier Drogba and Salomon Kalou have returned fit from ACON. In their absence last weekend, we also managed our first away win for two months, so we should be better prepared on our travels.



Ahead of tonight’s game, Hull manager Phil Brown seems all too aware of Didier Drogba’s return, stating “There seems to be an innate sense that 4-4-2 belongs to England or 4-4-2 is an English system.  Tactically, a lot of English managers are more aware than just 4-4-2. We played it against Wolves because we thought it was an opportunity against some of our nearest rivals in the Premier League and at home. Where Chelsea are concerned, that might be a different ball game. They play 4-3-3 and they have been, it might be different now Drogba’s back and you have to be aware.”  However, the Ivorian’s return isn’t phasing him too much because he goes on “I thought last season and the stats have pointed towards it last season and again this season, that physically, physiologically and technically, everything, we have put our best foot forward against the top six, top seven teams.  I asked us to put our best foot forwards against the teams around us because that is the bread and butter. I have no doubts we will put our best foot forward on Tuesday.”

Ancelotti meanwhile, despite minor distractions like facing Arsenal at the weekend and the odd media circus or two, takes some time out to remind himself Hull weren’t a walk over last time we met, saying It was the first game, now we have played a lot of games in England and I have a good experience.  I knew very well the top four but small teams I did not know, now I have that experience. Every game is difficult here, around the game there is a very good atmosphere and when you play away it is more difficult to win.  Hull are very able on the long ball, on the head, and we have to pay attention to set-pieces, but we want to do our game.  It is no problem to play this game before Arsenal, now we are in a good moment and the players are fit, so it is not bad to continue to play when you are in a good moment, the momentum is very good.  The Arsenal game is some days away, we want to prepare every game like a final because every game is very important and we have time after to think about the next game against Arsenal.  We have to stay focused against Hull because if we are not we can have a problem.”



For Hull, Ashbee (knee), Ghilas (thigh), Bullard (knee) and Marney (calf) miss out. Kamil Zayatte (ankle) is fit and Amr Zaki could get his full debut.

For Chelsea, Belletti (calf), Bosingwa and Essien (both knee) all remain out. Ashley Cole (ankle) is doubtful although Ricardo Carvalho returns, with Didier Drogba and Salomon Kalou available again.



HULL: (from): Myhill, Gardner, McShane, Dawson, Mouyokolo, Boateng, Mendy, Hunt, Cairney, Altidore, Vennegoor of Hesselink, Garcia, Zaki, Geovanni, Zayatte, Fagan, Barmby, Duke, Kilbane

CHELSEA: (from): Cech, Terry, Alex, A Cole, Deco, Ivanovic, Malouda, Zhirkov, Lampard, J Cole, Sturridge, Ballack, Anelka, Carvalho, Ferreira, Turnbull, Matic, Borini, Drogba, Kalou



Chelsea 2-1 Hull (15 August 2009)



We should be pretty confident going into this game eh? Hull haven’t beaten us for 21 years, and from 39 matches in all competitions have managed just 4 wins.  More recent form has also seen Hull fail to win in their last nine games in the league, whilst we’re unbeaten in eight. Mind you I don’t want to tempt fate by getting too cocky, so I’ll just throw in that when Hull have beaten us, they’ve been at home and we didn’t exactly walk all over them in our last meeting either.



Mark Clattenburg




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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