Bordeaux vs CHELSEA: CL Preview

Group A
BORDEAUX vs CHELSEA

Kick-off  7.45pm  SSX

Seems like a very long time ago we were thumping Bordeaux 4-0 at Stamford Bridge and things aren’t anywhere near as comfortable for Chelsea in the Champions League. It’s now matchday five and with us just one point clear of our opponents and all four teams still able to qualify, Chelsea need another win to be certain.  

Whilst Chelsea lost to Roma in their last very forgettable night in Europe, Bordeaux’s back-to-back wins over Cluj have raised their chances of qualification. A win for us tonight and defeat for Roma would suit us nicely, although Bordeaux boss Laurent Blanc is clear there’s no chance of a repeat of our last meeting, saying “We were afraid, we completely messed up the match and we played like kids. We won’t do that again.”

Chelsea’s in-form Nicolas Anelka scored in our last game against Bordeaux and will no doubt be hoping to put Didier Drogba – who’s domestic suspension doesn’t affect his availability tonight – in the shade. Chelsea midfielder, Deco, however does miss out following his ridiculous sending off against Roma. Michael Ballack will no doubt be looking to put in his usual solid performance in Europe, although how Bordeaux’s least favourite player, Florent Malouda will respond to his unwelcome reception, we’ll have to wait and see.

 

KEY BATTLES

YOANN GOURCUFF vs JON OBI MIKEL

One of France’s most promising talents, Yoann Gourcuff provides plenty of creativity in the Bordeaux midfield. The 22 year old has scored twice in the Champions League so far this season and Jon Obi Mikel will need to be on his game to stifle the young Frenchman nicknamed ‘the new Zidane’.

Chelsea’s Jon Obi Mikel, who’s done an otherwise outstanding job in the Makelele role, unfortunately had a nightmare against Roma, so he’ll be looking to polish up his act tonight.

 

ALOU DIARRA vs FRANK LAMPARD

Defensive midfielder Alou Diarra never managed to break into the first-team during his time at Liverpool although is highly rated at Bordeaux. His job tonight will be to keep an in-form Frank Lampard in check. The blues midfielder will be without the services of his creative partner, Deco and with Michael Ballack still returning to fitness, we’ll need a decent performance from Lampard if our midfield are going to impress themselves on this game.

 

SOULEYMANE DIAWARA vs NICOLAS ANELKA

Former Charlton man Souleymane Diawara as a first-choice centre-back for Bordeaux faces the prospect of trying to contain an in-form Nicolas Anelka (and possibly the stronger although currently less prolific Didier Drogba). Anelka, who’s settled back into the Premier League nicely now, will be looking to impress himself on the Champions League with Chelsea. Oh and look out for the pink boots he’s threatened to wear!

Chelsea (from): Cech, Cudicini, Hilario, Ferreira, Bosingwa, Terry, Alex, Ivanovic, A Cole, Bridge, Lampard, Ballack, Obi, Kalou, Malouda, Drogba, Anelka, Stoch, J Cole.

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