Preston v Chelsea: Team named and preview

In a couple of hours we take on Preston in the next round of the FA CUP and with new man Darren Ferguson in charge it will be no easy game....

In a couple of hours we take on Preston in the next round of the FA CUP and with new man Darren Ferguson in charge it will be no easy game. Carlo Ancelotti has taken the unusual step of already naming the starting eleven for the game with no Ashley Cole (out through injury) and Joe Cole and Florent Malouda are rested.

The boys taking to the field confirmed are as follows:
Hilario, Ferreira, Alex, John Terry, Zhirkov, Belletti, Ballack, Lampard, Deco, Anelka and Sturridge.

On paper it looks a strong side and to me indicates a switch back to the 4-Diamond-2 formation that we started the season with. Its nice to see Hilario and Ferriera getting a game. Ferreira and Zhirkov will be expected to get up and down the wings today to feed the ball into the likes of Anelka and Sturridge. With those two up front we have amazing pace to burn and we need to ensure we play to their strengths. Anelka can be your link man as you all know but I prefer we play the ball into him ahead of him to run onto and the same with Sturridge.
Juliano Belletti will play the anchor man in midfield after a very impressive display and will look to feed Lampard and Ballack. Now for me someone who DOES need to show us what he is made of is Deco once again. For me the jury is out with him and at the moment he doesn't come close to a start in our first choice 11. If he can get on the ball and prove to be as effective by keeping it simple and looking to play his passes rather than his flicks and tricks, thats a start as far as I am concerned.

All in all we look solid today, have the quality and class to ease through to the next round, but remember this is the FA Cup and anything can happen. So we need a good start, an early goal and then enjoy ourselves.

I predict a 2-0 win. Anelka and Sturridge on the scoresheet. COME ON THE BLUE BOYS

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