Spyn' Kop Chelsea v Liverpool 1.30pm 26 October 2008

Posted by Alan_X on October 22, 2008, 07:36:55 AM

Chelsea v Liverpool  1.30pm, 26 October 2008

Founded 1905
First Division/Premier League
Winners (3): 1954–55, 2004–05, 2005–06,
Runners-up (3): 2003–04, 2006–07, 2007–08
Second Division
Winners (2): 1983–84, 1988–89
Runners-up (5): 1906–07, 1911–12, 1929–30, 1962–63, 1976–77
FA Cup
Winners (4): 1970, 1997, 2000, 2007
Runners-up (4): 1915, 1967, 1994, 2002
League Cup
Winners (4): 1965, 1998, 2005, 2007
Runners-up (2): 1972, 2008
FA Charity Shield/Community Shield
Winners (3): 1955, 2000, 2005
Runners-up (4): 1970, 1997, 2006, 2007
Full Members Cup
Winners (2): 1986, 1990
UEFA Champions League
Runners-up (1): 2007–08
UEFA Cup Winners' Cup
Winners (2): 1971, 1998
European Super Cup
Winners (1): 1998
OK so we all know they ain't got no history but they have been making it since Abramovich bought the club in 2003. Winners of the league title twice in the last 5 years and runners-up when they haven't won it, it's hard to see them finishing outside the top two this year. With a new manager and some impressive signings they are probably the team to beat (we've already beaten Man United).

Over the last few years we have played them probably more than any other team: in Europe, the League and Cup competitions with Chelsea coming out on top in the League more often that not. Chelsea v Liverpool will never have anywhere near the level of intensity of a Liverpool v United game, certainly not until they have won a European Cup and another ten league titles, but any Chelsea game these days is bound to have something riding on it - a win on Sunday would take us clear at the top and put down a marker for the season.

We go into the game level on points on the back of a sequence of come-back wins but Chelsea's unbeaten home record (80+ games) suggests that this will be the hardest test of the season so far. We'll definitely need to eradicate the defensive mistakes that cost us against Wigan. Hopefully Torres will be back but if not let's hope Dirk Kuyt can keep his run going and Robbie can get off the mark.

This is my first Spyin' Kop and I think I sent out the questions a bit early, hence some of the replies but thanks to Chris Huggett of CFCnet & Tony Barrett for their responses.

*edit* I've added in some late responses from Lea Blue04 who posts on here... thanks Harry...
How has the season been shaping up so far?

Chris Only played one game so far, but i think we had a fairly successful pre season, and after the match against Portsmouth, it has me excited about the prospects for this season.

Tony Pretty good.  Even before a ball was kicked I was confident, LFS has an aura about him.

Lea Blue04 Very well. We're starting to play some really good football again, the passing and movement is much improved over the last couple of seasons. Great to see A Cole and Bosingwa pushing forward so much.

What are your expectations for this season?

Chris I think we'll win the Premier League this year, i haven't been this confident since we started our second season under Mourinho.

Tony Trophies, tho' which ones who can say.

Lea Blue04 Would be great to win the league again although we still need the Champions League to be taken more seriously outside of England. Would love to see us win all four trophies that we're entered into as it's never been done before.

What do you think of the new players?

Chris Both Deco and Bosingwa look like fantastic additions to the squad, but it's Bosingwa that excites me more than Deco. I really hope what we saw against Portsmouth is a sign of things to come from him. I feel Deco wasn't a need for our team considering the wealth of talent we have in that area of midfield, but is a very welcome addition.

Tony Great additions, adding something extra to the squad, which is important.  Still need a decent, consistent winger, so looking forward to Robinho.

Lea Blue04 Both Bosingwa and Deco have slotted straight into the side really well. Deco has added a new dimension that makes us look more creative from open play and he is inspiring some of the younger players to step up their game to a higher standard, although I'm sure that the Manager plays as big a part in that scenario too

Who do you think is your most important player(s)?

Chris It's a difficult decision to make, as there are many, but for me, Lampard would be my answer every time, hands down. Regardless of how others feel about him, he's the heartbeat of Chelsea, and his contribution to Chelsea over the years has been immense. Something like 110 goals in 350 games. Not many would agree with me, as we have bundles of talent in the centre of midfield, but i feel Chelsea would suffer without Lampard there.

Tony Cech.  We've great players all over the park, but he's the most missed.  Good as Carlo is he is a bit rusty.

Lea Blue04 That's a tough question as so many are integral to the way we play or are playing. Without a doubt Frank Lampard is one of the most important players over the past few seasons and his goals to games ratio is tremendous for a midfield player. This season so far I think that the role Jon Obi Mikel is playing is often overlooked. He has filled the void left by Claude Makalele extremely well but his distribution is better. I like Alonso at Liverpool as his quantity of passes and their accuracy is always very high but I think Mikel is eclipsing that at the moment - something which is not easy to do.

Your worst player(s)/biggest disappointments?.-Chris Biggest disappointment would be Shevchenko, quite an obvious one. 30m for a 30 year old player, that was never going to get any better. Although, i had high hopes for him when he arrived, i think most did, i thought we could at least get 2-3 good years out of him, but it never quite happened. I feel for him, as he doesn't stop trying, he puts lots of effort in and never complains. Model professional. Last season, could have made him, but he had anwful turn of luck. Whilst Drogba was out injured during the Christmas period, and then set to go to African Nations Cup, it was his perfect chance to right all the wrongs. He managed to get himself a few goals during this time, and started to find form. But then he got injured, Grant brought Anelka in, Sheva rarely played again that season. So, a big disappointment, but i have the utmost respect for the guy.

Tony For worst player I'd say Doug Rougvie/Veron.  Biggest disappointment - Tricky, as there are a few to choose from.  Probably Mutu, who looked the business and then just threw it away.  At least Sheva always tried.

Lea Blue04 Worst player last season had to be Malouda although he has improved a lot so far this time round. At least he is now showing an interest in playing for the club.

Do you have a particular memory of any previous meeting between our clubs?

Chris Any particular? Where to start? We've enjoyed a new rivalry over the past 4 years or so and played each other 20 times i make it since Rafa took over Liverpool. My favourite memory would have been Chelsea coming back from 2-0 behind at half-time against Liverpool to win the FA Cup Quarter-Final 4-2 in 1997. We then went on to win the competition. But the memory that sticks out for me, was at Stamford Bridge, last season, second leg of the Champs League Semi-Final. Finally managing to get one over Liverpool in the Champions League.

Tony Back in the late 70s, when you were top in Europe and we were rubbish, scoring 4 to beat you in the Cup and Clive Walker playing the game of his life.  That game probably got me hooked.

Lea Blue04 Lots! Some I would rather not recall. Worst one was the FA Cup I think 4th round in 85 or 86. You lot scored either side of half time to take a 0-2 lead. Speedie and Dixon were running Hansen and Lawrensen ragged for the remainder of the second half. Speedie got one back but we just couldn't get the equaliser. On that day the best team did lose... and the best at Stamford Bridge has to be the 97 Fa Cup match. 0-2 down at half time. Luca coming off the bench to complete the turnaround 4-2 win. The look on the Liverpool defenders after the fourth went in was priceless as was the stunned silence of your fans.

Say something that happened to you that day or a decision you disagreed with?

Chris I was sat in the Shed Lower, and all there was between me and the Liverpool fans was two rows of stewards and police. Lots of banter throughout the game, in particular one guy, who had been aiming abuse at me all game and vice versa. He came over to me at the end of the match, and shook my hand and said well done. This is the memory that sticks out the most for me, and i was really impressed by it.

Tony That's way too long ago.

Lea Blue04 Both were a long time ago - I probably got extremely drunk afterwards both times but for different reasons

Any young up and coming players in the squad that we might not know about?

Chris Whether you know him or not i wouldn't know. But Franco Di Santo. 19 year old Argentinian player. 6ft 4" i believe. Had a constructive pre-season, scoring twice, and played very well for our reserves last year, scoring 7 goals in 8 games i think.

Tony That is one hope I have of LFS, that he'll blood some youngsters (and not just in the last game of the season).  Di Santo or Sinclair, as we're a bit light up top.

Lea Blue04 Ricci Fernandes who is an attacking midfielder looks very exciting - very quick and agile. He'll maybe get a couple of outings later in the season as LFS seems happy to play some of the younger players. Also Scott Sinclair who is now in the first team squad looks a good prospect - not very big for a striker but very quick.

What sort of line-up will be put out against us?

Chris I'm not sure, i don't think Scolari will have his players as adventurous as they were against Pompey. I think against the bigger teams, he will play a team thats a little more cagey. 4-3-3 maybe. Don't tell Rafa that!

Tony Probably a cagey 4-3-3

Lea Blue04 I would expect to see a 4-3-2-1 flooding the midfield to start with switching to a more attacking formation in the second half. Never sure what Scolari is going to do but his preparation work for each match is very thorough. I would expect that he will tailor the team to suit what he expects Rafa to put out but keep a few surprises up his sleeve just in case. That was evident vs the Mancs in the second half where Anelka, J Cole and Kalou all had opportunities to win the game.

Do you have any favourite/best chant(s) and perhaps any that require an explanation?

Chris I hate to say it, but my favourite at the moment, would have to be, "Joooohhhhhnnnn Arne Riise, oooooooo, aaaaaaa, i wanna knoooooowwwwww how you scored that goal!" I don't think it requires explanation.

Tony The Blue Flag.  We need to take a leaf out of your book and add a few new songs to our repertoire, such as your Torres song.

Lea Blue04 Blue Flag and Chelsea Chelsea (to the tune of Amazing Grace) 'cos it tends to piss off the oppo fans - shame we don't seem to get it going at the Bridge much these days. We do need more songs.

Where do you expect Chelsea and Liverpool to finish in the Premier League?

Chris As mentioned earlier, i think Chelsea will go on to win the league this year. Liverpool, i think will take 3rd, and i bloody hope they do as well. I just can't see Arsenal improving on last year, i infact think they are going backwards.

Tony CFC - Top.  LFC - Third.

Lea Blue04 Chelsea top, Liverpool 2nd or 3rd. I suspect that you'll run out of steam around February again and concentrate on the CL

Which Liverpool player will you fear the most?

Chris Torres. The guy has got the lot! Pace, strength, good feet and a wicked shot. I think he's got a tough time on his hands this season. Defenders know what he's about now, but i see no reason why he can't go on to score that many goals again.

Tony Torres, obviously.  He's a different class.  And while I wouldn't say I fear Carragher he does have a very annoying habit of getting some part of his body in the way when we're about to score.

Lea Blue04 No question about it Torres but hopefully he's out. Babel looks better every time I see him too. Worst case would be that annoying ex Spurs player scoring and seeing his crap celebration in our stadium

Care to predict the score?

Chris Not often many goals when we play each other. 1-1.

Tony 2-1 to us, a Joe Cole deflection.

Lea Blue04 I think it will be tight, I don't think we've given you a good thumping at SB for a while and I doubt that will happen. I can see you ending our unbeaten home record if I'm honest. So I'm going to say 1-0 or 2-1 but I'm not sure which way round that will be

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