Marseille v Chelsea - We need a win. Can Chelsea deliver?

Tonight Chelsea take to the pitch in what would have been a nothing game at the Velodrome after already winning the group and Marseille qu...

Carlo Ancelotti Manager Chelsea 2010/11 Chelsea V Olympique De Marseille (2-0) Group F 28/09/10 UEFA Champions League Photo Robin Parker Fotosports International Photo via Newscom

Tonight Chelsea take to the pitch in what would have been a nothing game at the Velodrome after already winning the group and Marseille qualifying in second place. The events of the last few weeks have changed the meaning of this game in a way none of us would have expected. Chelsea need a good performance and a win tonight to rekindle the fire in our bellies and to get back to winnings ways ahead of the most important part of our season.

Carlo Ancelotti could have rested key players tonight and you would have imagined he intended on doing so before our loss of form and the mini "crisis" I keep hearing being banded about by the media that Chelsea find themselves in.

It's simple, we haven't played anywhere near like we can apart from the Birmingham game and this is something that tonight's game gives Carlo and the players a chance to address and make a statement to the rest of the Europe and the Premier League.

Chelsea have the chance to be just the sixth side to win all their Champions League group matches in the history of the competition which in itself is something that cannot be underestimated. The importance of the win to everyone at Chelsea and us the fans means much much more and we will be looking for the boys to get the job done.

After an apparent Team Meeting this week to clear the air, address issues that needed to be brought up for discussion I am hoping we see Chelsea back to their fluid best tonight. Ashley Cole and Nico Anelka are missing so we will not be at full strength but with Kalou and Van Aanholt expected to fill the void, we still have a good enough side to get the job done.

There is no doubt that we all have eyes on Sunday and Spurs away as a much more important game and we are yet to see confirmation of the starting eleven from Carlo. Come 1900GMT tonight we all will see just how important tonight's game is to Chelsea and I expect (apart from Cole, Alex, Anelka and Lampard) a full strength side take to the pitch tonight.

I predict the following side:
Cech, Ferreira, Ivanovic, Terry, Van Aanholt, Essien, Mikel, Ramires, Kalou, Drogba and Malouda.

If it was me I would play Ferreira tonight instead of Bosingwa as at some stages in the game we will be under pressure from Marseille and defensively I think Ferreira is ahead of Bosingwa. Expect Ramires to come into midfield with Anelka missing and Malouda to be pushed further forward to influence the game higher up the pitch. That is where Malouda's strength is and we have missed him up there next to Drogba.

I could be wrong and maybe have one or two positions different from the managers thinking, but I really feel this is simply a game we have to win in order to get back on track. The fact that these players have travelled to the game says alot to me.

The bench will be the usual: Turnbull, Bosingwa, Bruma, McEachran, Mellis, Kakuta and Sturridge.

May 15, 2010 - Marseille, France - epa02158735 Marseille's supporters light flares while cheering their team at the Stade Velodrome in Marseille, France, 15 May 2010, during the last match of the League 1 season. Olympique Marseille has won the championship.

For me more than ever tonight I will be looking to see how we start the game as this will signal our intentions. We cannot underestimate Marseille, they are a strong and dangerous side and with their fans in full voice behind their side it could be a hostile atmosphere for the players to come to terms with. This is Chelsea and surely this will not affect our boys.

We need to start well, get on the ball and boss possession tonight early in the game. The longer Marseille are chasing the ball the better for us and the more tired they will become. This in turn will open up space for our players to exploit.

We must not sit back and defend for long periods of the game. If we do it can be a long night tonight. We need to impose our game on Marseille, force them back into their own half and put them on the back foot from the start.

That's not to say that Marseille will not have their own possession and cause Chelsea problems. We just need to make sure in defensive area's we keep our shape. With JT there organising we should be ok. Ivanovic needs to remain solid next to him.

Michael Essien Chelsea 2010/11 Chelsea V Olympique De Marseille (2-0) Group F 28/09/10 UEFA Champions League Photo Robin Parker Fotosports International Photo via Newscom

I am looking for more tonight from Essien. Everton was his first game back after missing out for three weeks and he looked a little rusty. We need our midfield three to impose themselves tonight and no one more so than Essien. We need him to be up and down the pitch, defending when required but also getting up and supporting our front line.

Chelsea v Spartak Moscow, Champions League Group F 3/11/2010  A Chelsea fan holds up a banner aimed at returning Cheklsea striker Didier Drogba Photo Marc Atkins Fotosports International Photo via Newscom

Most of the focus will be on DROGBA tonight. He makes an emotional return to the club he played for and is still held in high regard. He will want to put on a good performance and it could be the spark he needs to get himself going again. If Chelsea are to have any kind of success tonight we need Drogba back to his best asap. Marseille and Velodrome could just be the start.

Like I say though, whoever takes to the pitch has extreme pressure on their shoulders. With Spurs around the corner, with the side looking for a confidence boost and to get back to winning ways as soon as possible nothing else than a win will do.

We have to win and I think Essien, Malouda and Drogba will be immense for us tonight. So I am going for a Chelsea win by two Drogba goals!.



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