After what seems like an eternity this summer, Chelsea take on Stoke in about an hour and I really can't wait to get started. There wil...

After what seems like an eternity this summer, Chelsea take on Stoke in about an hour and I really can't wait to get started. There will be so much media attention on us and everyone is expecting us to fail. Reporters and "pundits" all over the country are looking at Chelsea wondering if we can really challenge United and hopefully today they will see signs that we can.

AVB is a breath of fresh air as far as I am concerned. The way he speaks of the game, his approach to every single opponent and his thorough preparation will be the difference to Chelsea this season.

So many times we saw Chelsea struggle to break teams down, to come up with a backup plan or a plan B and it was obvious. Under AVB, Chelsea will have a very different approach this season. Already in pre season Chelsea are working hard all over the pitch and that's what has impressed me so far.

AVB See's Barcelona as the benchmark. Chelsea under AVB look to have implemented the pressing aspect of the game. They are closing down the opposition as quickly as possible and in the oppositions half and expect to see that today.

The focus is on winning the ball back and moving it forward as quickly as possible. It will be interesting to see how Stoke cope with Chelsea's pressing approach today. We all know the threat they pose as a side and they cannot be underestimated.

Stoke have earned the right to be in this league first of all and then to stay in it. Tony Pullis has done an amazing job there and good luck to them. He will be looking to put one over us today so we have to make sure that we are strong in defensive positions.

Because of that, I can see Chelsea going with Alex and JT in the middle, Ivanovic on the right and Ashley Cole on the left. Purely and simply to cope with the aerial threat they pose.

If Chelsea are to win games we have to be set up defensively right. We need that man sitting in front of the back four to provide cover. At the same time going forward, expect the likes of Mikel/McEachran and Romeu when he comes in, to look to get the ball forward much quicker than we have seen before.

Our midfield looks OK at the moment. I expect to see Mikel, Lampard and Ramires start the game because we are away from home. Josh could feature depending on how the game goes but expect these three to start.

Up front will be the main focus of Sky's opening coverage and with Danny Sturridge banned for three games. I believe Fernando Torres WILL start down the middle, Malouda on the left and Didier Drogba playing just wide of Torres. Kalou and Anelka haven't done well enough to command a start and if Sturridge was able to play he would be starting without question.

Whoever starts the game for Chelsea will take to that pitch with a point to prove, hungry to get the win and to start AVB's tenure with a win.

If his preparation is anything to go by, and with our players knowing everything to expect from Stoke and how they can beat them, I expect Chelsea to win by two goals today.

If we had our way it would be Torres with both goals to shut the doubters up. I don't care who scores as long as we win.

There is a new found belief and confidence at Chelsea. They players are ready, the supporters are ready and AVB is ready to take us to the next level starting today.

Let's hope we can deliver.


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