PREVIEW: Chelsea v Stoke - Playstation time?

So this afternoon at the Bridge I will take my seat in the West Stand wondering will we score another 6 or more today? That's no dis...

Aug. 14, 2010 - 06323333 date 14 08 2010 Copyright imago Didier Drogba of Chelsea Celebrates Scoring His Side s Second Goal Barclays Premier League Chelsea v West Bromwich Albion 14th August 2010 PUBLICATIONxNOTxINxUK Football men England Premier League 2010 2011 Action shot Vdig 2010 horizontal Highlight premiumd.

So this afternoon at the Bridge I will take my seat in the West Stand wondering will we score another 6 or more today?

That's no disrespect to Stoke who in my view are a good team and being honest I believe that Tony Pulis has done a remarkable job with his team ever since he came into the Premier League. For someone the majority of us didn't really know alot about he has done amazingly well in the League apart from the last time his side came to the Bridge and possibly again today.

Neutral fans will read this and think "Same old arogant Chelsea" but the fact of the matter is that we are not. I have gone on record to state that the first 6-0 win of the season was a surprise and we never expected that to happen after our awful preseason and last week the same again.
The thing is, and I have said this before, Chelsea haven't really started either game really well!. We have gradually got into each half so it has to be a worrying sign for anyone who faces Chelsea at the moment. Andy Gray on Sky, watching the game back from last week against Wigan, said at the time:
It's almost like Chelsea are sitting back and saying to Wigan show us what you've got, what you can do before they take their game to them!

After Carlo had urged caution ahead of last week's game it's almost like Andy Gray had it spot on in the first half.

Today however I see it as a different story. Carlo had said after the Wigan game that Chelsea winning 6-0 in their first two games was like "Playstation football" and sorry Stoke but its on the cards again today.

Last season at the Bridge against Stoke we scored seven as we hit top form that led us to Double Glory. The tactics are more or less the same, the players have already hit the ground running and I expect Chelsea to get our first half performance right today and as a result Stoke will have a difficult time of it at the Bridge.

Normally at the beginning of the season I would be happy for a 1-0 win which I believe looking back, I have said we would have accepted from the West Brom & Wigan games but today I really can't see it.

Stoke at their place are a very difficult side to play against. They are well organised, have an ariel threat and in Rory Delap are always a danger. They have suffered a blow with Kenwyne Jones being out for a while after recently signing and with news of Dave Kitson possibly off to Portsmouth Pulis will more than likely stick with just the one up front in Ricardo Fuller.

Stoke will look to support fuller with Etherington and Delap either side as part of a packed five man midfield but will have a job on today to contain Chelsea and the movement of our front five. If our front five get on the ball early and start to cause Stoke problems then the floodgates will open and it doesn't matter who we are up against.

Chelsea are on form, playing flowing football and scoring plenty of goals. 20 league goals in our last three Premier League games including (Wigan on the last day of last season). If we can just get our first half performance right today then we can be in for a treat from the boys today.

With another full weeks rest ahead of today the players will be raring to go and especially new boy Ramires who will be involved in some capacity today. He said at his press conference yesterday:
“Physical strength is the main part of English football, But I’m hard, too. I’m tough. I like that side to the game and I can stand up for myself. I’m a tackler, so I’m relishing that. Starting the league with two 6-0 wins, home and away, any team that comes up against us now is going to be terrified.”

Ramires has it spot on and it would come as no surprise to me today if Stoke sat back, had all 11 men behind the ball to start with to try and make life difficult for Chelsea today.

Carlo Ancelotti also spoke yesterday ahead of todays game and has called for a high tempo from Chelsea in the game. He said:
'We know Stoke very well, they are a difficult team because they use a lot of power and long balls to create difficulty, and we have to pay attention to set-pieces and maintain the same ability to play in this moment.

I think we have to play quickly, they defend well and we don't have a lot of space to play in front, so it is important to move without the ball and to play quickly in the midfield. We have to play football with intensity and stay concentrated on the set-pieces.

Ivanovic has a problem, Bosingwa started to train with the squad this week and is doing well, and Bruma is still recovering. Ramires is available to play and Sturridge is also available again."

So it looks as though Paulo Ferriera will come in for Ivanovic at right back today which poses a different threat for Stoke as Paulo will look to get forward as much as Ashley Cole more than Ivanovic, so Delap and Etherington will be busy tracking back today.

Today for me its all about how Stoke cope with Chelsea's front five, Drogba, Anelka, Malouda, Lampard & Essien. Depending on where the ball is, in addition to those five you will have Cole or Ferreira looking to get forward too so expect alot of the ball to be in the Stoke half today.

If we score early then its more or less game over for Stoke and once again I mean no disrespect to them, even they have to admit it will be heart in mouth time if we do. Then again, if we start as we have in the last two games then Chelsea's continued possession and pressure on Stoke defences will at some stage wear them down.

Sorry Stoke fans, I can only see a Chelsea win today. Would I take a bad performance and a 1-0 win of course!. Do I think that will happen today, no chance!.

With a week of training and no game, with Ramires now available and Bosingwa back in training improving competition for places, the current first team who although have already made a fantastic start to the season, need to up their game so expect a better 90 minute peformance from the Chels today.

I am going for a third 6-0 win on the spin!. Come on the Chels!

(Chelsea fans heading to the Bridge for the game today make sure if you fancy a bite to eat and a beer then head to the new

MASALA ZONE Fulham Broadway just up from Brogans towards Havanna's. Mention you have seen the ad on CHELSEADAFT!. The more the merrier and if we have enough people there stating CHELSEADAFT we can look for deals for fans on matchdays!)


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