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Luiz Felipe Scolari has Florent Malouda available to face Stoke on Saturday, with Didier Drogba and Ricardo Carvalho available for selection. Deco misses out.

The Portuguese playmaker has a problem in his calf which forced him to sit out the midweek win at Southend, but Carvalho, who was suffering a similar problem, should be fit to play.

Despite Joe Cole's knee injury, Scolari can welcome back French winger Malouda into the setup. He could be joined by some youthful faces.

'Carvalho is in good condition today, and Didier is an option for me and trained today. Deco is out for tomorrow for fitness. My choice is this or that tomorrow but only Deco misses the game. The other two are ready, Carvalho and Didier,' he began.

'I have Malouda for tomorrow and I don't know how long he will play, 45, 60, because he starts again. I have Kalou and young players, and this is the time I put young players in the squad, Miroslav Stoch and Gael Kakuta.

'If I have the opportunity to put them on the pitch I will. This is one thing the people don't see until now, I put many Academy players in the group - it is a time for the young players to show me they need more opportunities.'


The injury to Cole is yet to receive a final diagnosis, and Scolari hopes to have more information tomorrow.

'It's impossible for me to explain what has happened. The doctors after five o'clock today have something more to say to me about his injury. Maybe tomorrow we have some more things about his situation,' he said.

The Brazilian has overseen a happier training ground in the past couple of days since visiting Roots Hall, and insists there is no problem with his Ivorian striker, who was left out in favour of Nicolas Anelka on Wednesday.

'It is difficult for me because they are both very good players but one player is better than the other in circumstances and I put in the player I think is better for Chelsea,' he reasoned.

'[Didier is] training very well. I am happy with my players, all of my players, not only one or two. The reason is options. I pick this or that player. His reaction was normal as a player. My job is to choose 11 players.

'It is better because we won and it's easier to work but sometimes when you win one game we need to look at the game, what happened, what we did well and after this maybe the work is more hard.

'I like the spirit for our team, when we conceded one goal we tried to win all the time and didn't give permission for Southend to think they are better than us, and this is what we want in our team.'

The next challenge is Tony Pulis's battling side, renowned for their potency at set pieces, an area where we have hit the headlines for our recent vulnerability. The manager is intending to utilise a combination of zonal and man to man marking against the Potters.

Considering Stoke's threat, Scolari said:

'This team is more dangerous than all the teams in England, I think the world. If you look at the statistics until December, they scored 17 goals, and 11 by corners, free-kicks or throw-ins.

'Tomorrow is a very good test for us, change or still mistakes. We trained yesterday and today, thinking about our problems. We have some solutions we tried and are training better than the game against Southend, sure, but we need to look tomorrow.'

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I'm very happy to see Miroslav Stoch again, and very, very happy to see Gael Kakuta. Trust me guys, this 17 years old french is pure gold, a world class player in the making for sure. I doubt he will play (maybe if we are winning 3-0 or so), but seeing him with the squad is very good.
 

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ScLOLari is all talk.

I very much doubt either Youngster will start, or do more than play 20 minutes.

Also, I call a Draw or Loss here.

Rory Delap Throw-in -> Header

Their set pieces will rip us apart, their wall defending will keep us out.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Yes, obviously the kids won't start and maybe they even won't play a minute. But I have a great illusion about Gael Kakuta and the fact he is with the squad is very good.

The people who saw this french 17 years old playmaker/winger know his inmense quality and talent. He is really unbelievable for a boy with his age. In youtube there are a few videos about him, and they're very clear: future world class player (if he has his head in the Earth).
 

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More optimism from you Andy.......I still can't understand why you support Chelsea.

I know that there isn't much to be optimistic about but still.........enough with your constant negitivity, it's boring.:cecco:

We do need to watch out for Stokes set peices, hopfully we've done some work defending set peices this week and get away from the zone marking. and please Phil give Stoch or Gale a decent amount of minutes. I think either one of them would tear through Stoke.
 

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JESTER OF SORTS
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More optimism from you Andy.......I still can't understand why you support Chelsea.

I know that there isn't much to be optimistic about but still.........enough with your constant negitivity, it's boring.:cecco:
Uhhh, how many times was I actually dead wrong when I stated things such as this?

I said we'd draw Fulham, I said we'd draw Everton, I said we won't win Man United, I said we'd concede a Header goal against Southend. So what's the problem? I am realistic.

-Delap will cause us more problems than any other player thus far this season
-Youngsters won't start and most likely won't play
-Stoke will go for 0-0 and defend for 90 minutes knowing they just need throw ins

Realism bores you?
 

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Not good we are facing a team who's main strenght is set pieces...
 

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have some faith in the team Andy, playing man utd away is not like stoke at home...ok they r shitty form but it doesnt mean we give up on them...trust me players like john terry do care and are pissed off as much as u about whats happening, you saw how devestated he was in moscow so yes he cares...
 

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There are two changes to the side that started at Southend, Ricardo Carvalho back in place of Alex and Florent Malouda replacing injured James Beattie. :howler:

Nicolas Anelka continues in attack with Didier Drogba again left out. :googly:

Reserve team winger Miroslav Stoch is once more on the bench, as is Michael Mancienne.

Stoke make just one change. New £3.5 million signing James Beattie coming into attack with Dave Kitson making way. Unlike our away game in the Potteries, Rory Delap is fit to play.

Chelsea will line-up in a 4-3-3 formation as follows:

1 Petr Cech
17 José Bosingwa
6 Ricardo Carvalho
26 John Terry (c)
3 Ashley Cole
13 Michael Ballack
12 John Mikel Obi
8 Frank Lampard
21 Salomon Kalou
39 Nicolas Anelka
15 Florent Malouda

Substitutes: 23 Carlo Cudicini, 2 Branislav Ivanovic, 33 Alex, 42 Michael Mancienne, 35 Juliano Belletti, 43 Miroslav Stoch, 9 Franco Di Santo.
 

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no deco or drogba, only ballack now needs to be dropped to arrive at our best 11...
 

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Terry hurt in warm-up......Alex to fill in.
 

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Woo, this match is being shown on Rogers Cable, on Sportsnet.

No stream today. :party: Don't let me down, Chelsea!
yuppers!:)

I have Setanta here in Canada too and they actually started using Sports Net Soccer Central. Thought it was kinda interesting...:neutral:
 
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