Branislav Ivanovic’s suspension will most likely see David Luiz shift over to right-back, this means he will more than likely be facing Britain’s premier Tom Daley impersonator, who has already told the papers that ‘Spurs are better than Chelsea’. Jokes aside, it could well be the case that as Luiz is half-way down the field, chasing the ball like the Labradoodle pup he is, Bale will be slicing across the Chelsea defence causing all sorts of problems. This is where just-about-fit John Terry and Gary Cahill come into play, they could help firm up the defence with obvious first choice Ashley Cole, who is reported to be fully recovered from an ankle injury. Although understudy Ryan Bertrand has done more than enough to earn his stripes and is a very worthy choice. Spurs have no such joy in the centre-half positions, Ledley King and his perennial knee trouble will probably keep him sidelined and Kaboul is a worrying doubt too, something for Fernando Torres to be happy about.
The speed and accuracy of the Spurs attack/counter-attack should never be underestimated so it is vital Chelsea hold a tight ship across the back 4. Despite a shabby run of late Spurs have great creativity in their artillery and a big occasion could spark this up. Essien may be rested for the Champion’s League semi which means Mikel will take a holding spot with Lampard just in front.
Chelsea have reverted to type under Di Matteo and that is just what will get them through the remainder of the season, diagonal balls, Lampard surges and a swathe of Mata magic. Di Matteo, who actually beats Villas-Boas in the style stakes could go for his untidy 4-2-3-1 shape again with Torres starting as lone striker. Daniel Sturridge and Kalou will feature wide with Mata tucked in the middle.
Despite a shabby run of late Spurs have great creativity in their artillery and a big occasion could spark this up.
There is the pressing matter of meeting Barçelona in the Champion’s League semi-final but whilst it is a great achievement to reach that stage of the competition, given the upheaval to date, domestic events and realistic opportunities of acquiring silverware should be taken more seriously. If Barçelona lose to Chelsea in the semis, I will eat cat food for a day and issue a public apology to all Chelsea believers. The bookies will be rich if Barça lose, I’ve heard there are quite a few people who have re-mortgaged their homes to bet against Chelsea.
I’m going to stick my neck so far out there it will nearly reach the sun and come back looking like Alan Hansen’s turkey golf-neck and go for a prediction. Please don’t bet your home on this, I’ve always been better with words than numbers. Chelsea 0 - 0 Spurs in normal time. Chelsea to nick it 1-0 in extra time with Torres to score.
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