Chelsea V Cardiff preview

Well in just over 3 hours we kick off the next round of the FA Cup against Cardiff at the Bridge in the early kick off. With Arsenal, Liverp...

Well in just over 3 hours we kick off the next round of the FA Cup against Cardiff at the Bridge in the early kick off. With Arsenal, Liverpool and United all out of the competition we are clear favourites to win it again this season. Once more Carlo Ancelotti has named his side well ahead of kick off and its another indication of how seriously we are taking this competition. But Carlo has given some players a break.

As you know by now JT has been given some time off so he won't feature today. Ashley Cole has also been added to the injury list of Deco, Belletti, Bosingwa and Essien in the last few days and is out for a while. With no other injury concerns Carlo has decided to rest certain players for the game today. Petr Cech and Anelka are given complete rest. Branislav Ivanovic is moved to the bench along with Malouda.

The starting eleven is as follows:

Hilario in goal, defenders are Ferreira, Alex, Carvalho and Zhirkov. Midfielders Lampard, Mikel, Ballack, and strikers Sturridge, Joe Cole and Drogba.

Subs:  Turnbull, Bruma, Ivanovic, Malouda, Matic, Borini and Kalou.'

Ahead of the game Carlo said:

"It is a very important competition that they won last year, and we have a great opportunity to go forward, We know very well Cardiff will come to do their best, they have a good team, a lot of passion around them, so we have to pay attention and come back to win after the defeat against Everton. Totally different because in Italy the Italian Cup is not interesting. It is not interesting for anybody, the players, the fans, the stadiums are empty, it is different.' The FA Cup is a fantastic opportunity for all the teams to play their best, they are followed by a lot of passion around them and have fantastic strikers who scored a lot of goals in the Championship - we have to pay attention."

It's nice to see how important the FA Cup is to Chelsea and Carlo Ancelotti. With our defeat the other day fresh in our minds its an important opportunity to shake the cobwebs off and get that out of our system with a professional performance against a dangerous side today.

But all in all we have the quality and on paper should win this one comfortably. I am happy that he has brought Ballack back into the midfield next to Lampard and Mikel and those three will look to dictate the game. With Didier up front leading the line and Sturridge and Joe Cole supporting him then we should get the win. But hey, this is Chelsea and this is the FA Cup and I wouldn't be surprised if we make it difficult for ourselves!.

Chelsea to win 3-0 (maybe after a struggle) : Drogba, Lampard, Sturridge.


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