Spyin' Kop - Chelsea v Liverpool - Sunday 11th November

Posted by StevenLFC on November 5, 2012, 08:55:15 PM

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Chelsea v Liverpool
Sunday 11th November
Stamford Bridge
Kick Off - 4pm


Liverpool visit Stamford Bridge this Sunday on the back of a four game unbeaten run in the Premier League and we are visiting a stadium with happy recent memories for us. We have won on our last three visits to Stamford Bridge, scoring five goals and conceding just one. Unfortunately, we don't have the Craig Bellamy and Maxi Rodriguez partnership to set up another win with a cross-field pass and a tap in so we are relying on some of the new breed of youngsters to make it four out of four.

Having finally been crowned the Champions of Europe last season after so many agonisingly close calls, Chelsea have started the season very well. They are second in the league, just one point behind Manchester United and will be looking to go first with a win against Liverpool on Sunday. Ahead of the game, I visited Chelsea fan forum The Shed to get the view of the opposition fans ahead of the game. 

Enjoy

Edit: just a reminder that this was written prior to both Chelsea & Liverpool's European games, and some more Chelsea fans replied after I'd written this. You can see more responses HERE.


Chelsea Football Club, Champions of Europe. It was a long time coming! After so many close calls, how does it feel to finally have won the Champions League?

JoeyN: Fantastic. After nearly 10 years of CL dominance, we finally win it. Maybe in not the most spectacular way, but still we showed the world our club principles. Never give up even if the world and odds are against you.

Bobbywoodhogan: Fantastic, doing it on penalties was just the way it had to be after Moscow. Definitely my proudest moment as a Chelsea fan.

Lyncath: Estatic, we had to jump over pits of fire/snakes/spikes/red cards but we got it done - finally.

Zeta Orionis: It never really sank in properly. "We're European Champions", can say it but still can't comprehend it really.


Sals: It was an amazing feeling, as you say so many close calls and so much heartbreak. To win it in the dramatic, nerve wracking way that we did in a season with so many low points made it a really special moment.

As I write this Chelsea are second in the league, just one point behind Manchester United, second in their Champions League group and in the quarter finals of the League cup, you must be happy about the season so far?

JoeyN: A good start to the season. I'm not expecting us to win the league or retain the CL but getting 2nd/3rd and a FA Cup/League Up + CL World Cup would be a good season in my eyes.

Bobbywoodhogan: It's been good, I do wish we'd have made more of an effort in the Super Cup. The Man Utd game was a massive low point as we were genuinely robbed.

Lyncath: I've been happy with the way we started but the recent unfair loss to United stung, and stung sharply.

PloKoon13: Definitely. I wasn't really expecting us to be title contenders (maybe a little more so after we signed Hazard) and we've bombed in the League Cup in recent years so it's good to go on a decent run and sack off Man Utd in the way that we did. We're looking a little shaky in the Champions League however and getting out of the group is paramount; anything other than three points in midweek and we're in serious sh*t.

Zeta Orionis: It's been going quite well so far, though there are still plenty of things that need improving. Still a long way to go though, so no point getting too excited yet.


Sals: Really couldn't have asked for much more as far as the league has gone this season. Being so far off the pace last year I wasn't really full of optimism this season as far as a title challenge went but we are looking great. Got robbed by the ref vs Man U and conceded an unfortunate late goal to Swansea but things are looking very promising.

We now know that Di Matteo has set his team up to play attacking football, but before the season started where you at all worried that he'd play the defensive brand of football that he implemented during the late stages of last seasons's Champions League?

JoeyN: No. I think he did the right thing in playing like that. I don't think we had the players to play attacking football and with many of them getting on, it's very difficult to go about a new philosophy. Now we have the right players, I think he's done a fantastic job in getting us to play like this. He deserves a lot of credit.

Bobbywoodhogan: I wasn't worried at all, I knew we'd sign different kinds of players, the team we had last season suited the more defensive style especially after AVBs attack no defence team.

Lyncath: Ambramovich has been after a Chelsea team akin to Barcelona and the players he has brought in reflects this well. Di Matteo is the man for the job but this team is still gelling. We have what is arguably the best midfield in the league but our problem lies with our strikers.

PloKoon13: Not really. I remember Di Matteo as a particularly offensive-minded coach at West Brom and I was impressed at his adaptability in our Champions League victory. I don't necessarily mind defensive football (especially when we're as good at it as we were under Mourinho and Hiddink), but the team was pretty forward-thinking under Ancelotti, a trend which was continued irresponsibly by Luís André de Pina Cabral e Villas-Boas, and I didn't see why Di Matteo would move away from that (apart from a temporary deviation to win the Champions League), especially when we have seen what he was capable of at West Brom.


Zeta Orionis: Not really. Last year was very different, we had a worse squad and in those Barca and Bayern games we were in trouble with injuries and suspensions, so he did what he needed to to win, and it worked. This year we've splashed out on more creative players, so we were always going to approach the game very differently.

Sals: ​Not at all. RDM has shown throughout his managerial career prior to Chelsea - at both MK Dons and West Brom - that he is a very offensive minded manager and that was to such an extent at West Brom that it cost him his job. Last season he came into a team in crises and did what he had to do with the players that he had at his disposal. Now that he has a few more players to suit his style we can see him really make a mark on the playing style of the squad.

Fernando Torres Chelsea's Number Nine - it still feels strange writing that! He initially struggled when he joined Chelsea, possibly due to feeling pressure from Didier Drogba. Now Drogba has gone, has Torres stepped up to being Chelsea's main attacking threat?

JoeyN: Yes and no. He has improved yes, but he just isn't the same player. Even in his last season at Liverpool he wasn't doing well (August to January). I think this was mainly due to his injury. Sometimes when a player gets injured they're never the same. He lost that yard of pace and had to alter his game. He's like a 9 1/2 now. Scoring and creating chances in balance. I get frustrated when he doesn't shoot or runs into cul de sacs and misses 1 on 1 chances but he's trying. His work rate is tremendous.

Bobbywoodhogan: Nope, not the same player he used to be unfortunately but he's started this season ok, just need some consistency from the lad.

Lyncath: He's had some glimmers of brilliance (Arsenal, Newcastle, Tottenham etc) but overall he has yet to meet the standard left by Drogba. Drogba continues to haunt Torres even when he's several continents away... I have faith in Torres but I think that a good 90% of the posters here have run out of patience.

PloKoon13: Not really, although he is good in the buildup and has started working a lot harder than at the beginning of his career here. There are tiny and occasional moments of greatness but in terms of dangerous runs and one-on-ones and personally being able to intimidate an opposition defence he's still way off. If he had even half of Sturridge's ability to get on the end of chances who knows what he could achieve.


Zeta Orionis: No, not really. He's shown glimpses of quality, but nowhere near enough. Most of the fans have finally come around to the realisation now that if we're going to challenge for the league, he's not going to be good enough to lead our line. I expect a new striker to come in January and Torres to be gone by this time next year.

Sals: He has had his moments and his goal tally is respectable this season but he still doesn't look great and certainly a shadow of the player that he was at Liverpool. Saying that he will have the backing of Stamford Bridge for as long as he remains our number 9.

Have any of your individual players stood out this season?

JoeyN: Juan Mata has been extraordinary. Dare I say a very likely Player of the Year 2012/2013?

Bobbywoodhogan: Mata has been the best player in the league, Hazard has been good and even when he hasn't hes showed in a pass or two why he's so good. Oscar has been impressive too seems to have adapted very quickly to the physicality of the EPL. Also want to give mention to Mikel has stepped up this season.

Lyncath: The triumviate of Oscar/Hazard/Mata strikes absolute terror into defenders. Hazard and Oscar have been phenomenal signings and they have clicked well with Juan Mata, who at the moment is easily our best player. Whatever goals our "Three Amigos" let slip Torres is there try pickup.

PloKoon13: Juan Mata, such vision on the ball, passing ability and influence in attack. I don't know that anyone in the league has played better than he has this season.


Zeta Orionis: Cech's continued his fine form. Cahill has been much better than Luiz but seems RDM prefers the hairy one. Hazard has light up the place with some amazing bits if play and Oscar is showing great potential. But the obvious answer is Mata. The little Juan has been out of this world.

Sals: Juan Mata is a very special player and after such a spectacular debut season in England there were a few worries that he would have second season syndrome but there has been no chance of that. He is the heartbeat of our team and we are far better with him than without him. Shoutout to Eden Hazard, settled very quickly into English football and certainly seems to be justifying the hype.

Any players who you have been disappointed with?

JoeyN: Luiz has been poor occasionally. As well as Ivanovic.

Bobbywoodhogan: Torres for obvious reasons, lack if commitment at times. Luiz in patches as I thought he'd matured.

Lyncath: Mikel was getting some flak at the start of the season but the main scapegoat at the moment is Torres, hands down. We even have a thread called "Groundhog's Day" which is essentially 20+ pages of Torres bashing.

PloKoon13: David Luiz, while still generally good, has been making a lot more silly mistakes than he did last season. It seemed like it might be something he was beginning to phase out of his game, but all the lapses in concentration and silly losses of possession are coming back to haunt us.


Zeta Orionis: Luiz. He has moments of quality but for a CB he is a massive liability. Ivanovic has also been poor at RB mostly this season, and Torres obviously.

Sals: Not going to point out any individuals but our defence has been a tad shaky this season and it is something that we will need to sort out if we are to keep up our title challenge.

Liverpool had to deal with the whole 'Luis Suarez racism affair' last year, and the club were criticised for how they handled the situation. How do you feel Chelsea have dealt with the John Terry saga, and can you understand why Liverpool fans are claiming double standards by the FA as Terry only received a four game ban and Suarez was banned for eight games?

JoeyN: The fact that JT was cleared by a court of law suggests the reason why he was only given a four match ban. I feel the Suarez incident was ridiculous anyhow. Calling someone negro is hardly racist.

Bobbywoodhogan: Well Suarez was done for multiple occasions whether we agree or not rules are rules. Personally on JT I don't get how a court of law finds you not guilty yet the FA does. Absolute joke!

Lyncath: Chelsea have done all that they can about the John Terry saga. Terry was cleared of his allegations in a crown court only for the FA to consider themselves above the law and find him guilty anyway. The actions of the FA have enraged Chelsea fans and the recent issue surrounding Mikel being racially abused by that w**ker Clattenberg and the FA's reluctance to pursue their own as much as they did John Terry has only enraged us further. Suarez doesn't do himself any favours in the media much like Terry but the difference is Terry is English and Suarez isn't... sorry but I think it's really that simple.

PloKoon13: Yes, although with the results of the actual court trial it may have been a little harder to tag Terry with a ban than Suarez. The FA already had to bend over backwards and break their own rules in order to get him anything at all.


Zeta Orionis: If Suarez had gone to court and been aquited, I doubt they would have given him 8 games. Terry was proven innocent by the court of law, but the trial by media had long since been concluded, and they had already stripped him of the England captaincy, so they couldn't appear to be wrong, a 4-game ban was their way of proving themselves "right".

Sals: The circumstances were different between the two. I understand the whole negrito thing and being lost in translation may have made things quite harsh on Suarez but he was charged with using racist language towards another player whilst JT was just charged with using racist language. Also the fact that JT had been cleared in a court of law means that the FA had to change their rules to get a ruling against JT. I felt Liverpool handled the situation horrendously and made the situation a lot worse, we have handled things far more tactfully.

I'd like to ask you about Liverpool if I may. Our new manager is Brendan Rodgers. What did you think about the appointment when it was made, and how do you think he's done so far?

JoeyN: Meh. I liked him a lot better at Swansea. Maybe he needs time. Liverpool are doing shocking at the moment but I'll retain my judgement until the end of the season.

Bobbywoodhogan: Good appointment, he needs time to get in his own players he didn't exactly inherit a squad that was suited to his style. I actually think you'll give him time.

Lyncath: I feel for Rodgers, he's been asked to build the Acropolis with a combination of Play-Do and LEGO. Liverpool need to spend and spend big in the January window or I fear for a relegation battle. If the owners want Rodgers to do a good job they need to fully back him.

PloKoon13: I was curious although didn't have great expectations of him. He did alright here, and did well carrying on Martinez's work at Swansea, but I don't feel like the cap fits here. Results-wise Liverpool seem just as inconsistent as in the last few seasons and I don't expect that to change any time soon. In light of that, I don't know that he'll necessarily end up with a fate any different to that of his immediate predecessors.


Zeta Orionis: He was okay when he was managing our youth team and did well at Swansea, but since going to Liverpool it's become apparent he is a bit of a David Brent character. Lots of buzz words and phrases he comes out with, very little meaning behind any of it. Also what kind of tosser has a massive picture of himself on his wall?!?

Sals: I have a lot of time for Rodgers, really respect what he did with Swansea and he was a coach at Chelsea prior to that. After Luís André de Pina Cabral e Villas-Boas's sacking he was one of the names I threw around as a potential replacement although I did think it was a bit early for him to take over at a big club. He has Liverpool playing some great football just really lacking that end product but that could well be down to your quite unbelievable lack of goalscorers in the team. Something that I'm sure will be rectified come January. I watched that Being Liverpool show and as cheesy as it was it shows that Brendan is a really classy guy.

Our record at Stamford Bridge in recent years is very good, we've won on our last three visits scoring five goals and only conceding one. Are you worried that we could make it four in a row?

JoeyN: Of course. I hate losing to Liverpool and I'm not shy in saying I dislike them with a passion. I feel Liverpool are weaker than in previous seasons, so I'm confident we can get a win.

Bobbywoodhogan: I am a little but I feel we will be too strong but you just don't know.

Lyncath: At the moment I cannot see a frankly mediocre Liverpool side standing a shadow of a chance against a new and energized Chelsea. By this time Lampard will be fully back, we'd have John Terry back, Juan Mata/Eden Hazard/Oscar will all be starting. I fear for you.

PloKoon13: Yes, the words 'smash' and 'grab' come to mind. Frankly we do still owe you a battering (although our last meaningful meeting was a decisive blue victory - the FA Cup Final), and I hope we can get our league form back on track.


Zeta Orionis: You will make it four, I have no doubt we're going to lose.

Sals: Your record against Chelsea home and away has been fantastic in recent seasons unfortunately, really don't see anything but a Chelsea win this time around but then again I said that last season as well so who knows.

Do any of our players worry you ahead of the game?

JoeyN: Suarez

Bobbywoodhogan: Suarez is very dangerous, also the height of Agger and Skrtel.

Lyncath: Suarez is in good form, he scored a cracker against Newcastle the other day! Gerrard has been known to give us a handful as well.

PloKoon13: Suarez, his pace and ability to operate between the lines is gonna be a pain in the arse. Might have to put him in my fantasy football team just to jinx him for the weekend. Also Brad Jones, if we can equate a run of playing poorly to constipation, then Jones has one almighty performance brewing. Quite often those tend to be against us, plus it would be just Torres' luck, right?


Zeta Orionis: Suarez is in good form, and Sterling could cause Cole/Ivanovic lots of problems. Other than that, not really.

Sals: Suarez, he is a class apart from the rest of your squad and someone that could cause our defence nightmares.

What side do you think Chelsea will put out on Sunday?

JoeyN:
Cech, Ivanovic, Terry, Cahill, Cole, Ramires, Mikel, Hazard, Oscar, Mata, Torres.

Bobbywoodhogan: Cech, A Cole, Terry, Luiz, Ivanovic, Mikel, Ramires, Oscar, Hazard, Mata & Torres.

Lyncath: Cech/Ivanovic/Cole/Terry/Cahill/Lampard/Mikel/Hazard/Oscar/Mata/Torres.

PloKoon13: This seems to be our first XI this season, I assume no one will be rested:

(4-2-3-1) Cech; Ivanovic - Luiz - Terry - Cole; Mikel - Ramires; Mata - Oscar - Hazard; Torres.


Zeta Orionis: Cech, Ivanovic, Terry, Luiz, Cole, Mikel, Ramires, Mata, Oscar, Hazard, Torres.

Sals: Our standard 11 these days I would expect: Cech, Ivanovic, Terry, Cahill, Cole, Mikel, Ramires, Mata, Oscar, Hazard, Torres.

Finally, care to make a prediction?

JoeyN: 3 - 1 Chelsea.

Bobbywoodhogan:  2-1 us, Suarez for you, Hazard and Torres for us.

Lyncath: I can't see us keeping a clean sheet but I certainly cannot see us losing, 4-1 to Chelsea.

PloKoon13: 1-1 , we'll probably clog up each other's midfield play so it'll be a battle of who can score more goals out of Glen Johnson and Ivanovic!


Zeta Orionis: 3-2 Liverpool

Sals: I will go for 3-1 Chelsea.

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