Thereâ€™s yet another big game at White Hart Lane this Saturday as we entertain title favourites Chelsea in a 5:30 kick off. Weâ€™ve done that nice John Terry and his mates a couple of favours this week; losing to Pompey and then kicking the Arse up the arse will have shortened their double odds considerably.Â Chelsea doing the double. Blimey. A totally unfeasible prospect not that long ago. Next season itâ€™ll be fifty years since we won the league and twenty the cup. Not a comparison you want to dwell on for too long.
Still, as Harry says, and as Wednesday night proved, the gap between the Moneybags League clubs and the rest is closing. Another piece of evidence is our recent record against Chelsea at home. Weâ€™ve managed two wins and a 4-4 draw in the last three seasons and itâ€™ll be these results (especially the 1-0 win last season) that Redknapp and the players will draw confidence from as well as the lingering euphoria resulting from Rose and Baleâ€™s magnificent strikes against the gooners. By the time we kick off, the result of the Manchester derby will be known and could be a source of more motivation should Man United get a result at the Wastelands.Â
Whatever the source of inspiration weâ€™ll need lots of it if weâ€™re going to get anything from this game. Arsenal outnumbered us in midfield and Chelsea will probably do the same; Mikel, Lampard and Ballack will though provide a far more physical challenge and again, weâ€™ll desperately miss the presence of the suspended Palacios.Â Wednesday night was mostly a backs to the wall effort because of our inability to gain and keep possession in the middle. We improved in the second half and weâ€™ll hopefully play with more composure from the start this time around.
Itâ€™s not rocket science to work out that the main threat will come from Drogba and as a result it would be lovely to think that Ledley King was capable of turning out once more. It was only when he went off at Stamford Bridge earlier in the season and Corluka moved into the centre of defence that we really lost control. Itâ€™s unlikely though as heâ€™s a slave to his knee and if you believe reports itâ€™ll be as big as Darren Bentâ€™s beachball by now. Kranjcar is out for the season but there are stories that Aaron Lennon might be available for the bench and wouldnâ€™t that be nice.
At least Harry will be there, his case came to court today and he was told to expect â€œfurther directionsâ€ at the end of May so where heâ€™ll be watching the World Cup from might still be open to question but a least heâ€™ll have the domestic season out of the way.
Fatty Dowd will be the man in the middle. Weâ€™re unbeaten in the five games in which heâ€™s reffed us this season so thereâ€™s a good omen there.
Again weâ€™ll need big performances from our big players. But if Modric, Dawson, hopefully King, the increasingly influential Bale and the magnificent Octopus can turn it on again, then weâ€™ve every chance of this week doing Man United a favour for a change.
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