PREVIEW: Chelsea V Aston Villa - We HAVE to win!

After Wednesday nights victory at Fratton Park, Carlo Ancelotti was asked by the media if it means that Chelsea's bad period is now o...

Football - Chelsea

After Wednesday nights victory at Fratton Park, Carlo Ancelotti was asked by the media if it means that Chelsea's bad period is now over?. He responded by saying. "I hope the bad period for us is finished. We'll only know on Saturday if it is!" and for once I have to agree with him. We have to win and nothing else will do.

You can bet United and Arsenal will have one eye on the result from Stamford Bridge at 5pm tomorrow as with the fixtures that are taking place involving the three of us, this is the one where they will expect us to drop points.

After our poor second half display at Blackburn last weekend, I for one have questioned Ancelotti's tactical decisions. For me at times this season he has been found out as in-game changes have caused Chelsea problems and we looked like a side that had no answer to counteract them.

Portsmouth the other night was a different story. The switch to 4-3-3 (and it was, and not the 4-2-3-1 that had been reported) worked a treat. The players instantly looked comfortable in their familiar formation. We played some great flowing football and scored goals. I am hoping that we carry on in this vein tomorrow, but make no bones about it, Aston Villa will come to Chelsea looking to get a result.

In Martin O'Neill you know exactly what you are going to get. A hard working, disciplined side that will always play to their strengths. They get the ball wide and feed their big man in the box and look to feed off him all game. With Carvalho confirmed out for Chelsea it will be Alex alongside John Terry and he will have his hands full. Agbonlahor is a doubt so it could be Carew up front on his own with someone in behind. Of course Villa will have threats down both wings in Young and Downing so Zhirkov and Ferreira will need to be at their best.

In the big games like this one, 70% of the battle will be down to the midfield battle. Lampard looked comfortable and happy playing in the 4-3-3 and had more shots on goal and was more involved further forward than he has been for weeks. Deco (yes Deco!) played well and looked busy too. We have an added bonus of Michael Ballack being available after injury and he could come into the side in place of Deco. However, after his performance the other night its a toss up between the two.

James Milner is a doubt for Villa and if he doesn't make it, its a big blow for O'Neill. Sidwell could come into the side in his place. John Obi will retain his position in the holding role for Chelsea.

Now, for me once more it comes down to how we set up in the final third that can/will have a major impact in the game tomorrow. If we stick with the 4-3-3 then I hope that Joe Cole gets the nod in front of Anelka/Sturridge. With Malouda wide left (and how well did he play the other night) and Didier through the middle we are as bigger threat to any Premier League defence as anyone. With Richard Dunne being a doubt for Villa, Didier after his two goals in midweek, could be on for another massive game!.

No matter what the formation, no matter what side is selected tomorrow there is one fact that remains. Chelsea need to win. We need to keep focused and disciplined in defensive areas and make sure when we have possession of the ball we make it count.

Everyone is watching for the result at the Bridge tomorrow, all we can do is get out there and get the job done. You never know, those two might just slip up themselves.

Three points a must so COME ON YOU BLUE BOYS!




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