Date:Friday November 24 2006
As the big game on Sunday is looming, a real Blues fan agreed to have his say on the clash. Let's hear Merlin, editor of Vital Chelsea!
1. Are you worried by the news of Roman Abramovich's divorce?
No! I think you'll find his alleged affair with the young lady from Moscow has been widely reported in the wrong manner. His association appears to have been misunderstood. His marriage is his own business and I believe the press should leave them be to sort out their own affairs. If the worse came to the worse, half of his considerable fortune would be more than enough to prop up Chelsea Football Club.
2. Will Sunday's game play a vital role in deciding the title race, or will it be just another match?
As Jose has already indicated, the title race is a marathon. I doubt whether the fixture on Sunday will be that decisive. No doubt if we win, the media will go on about it being our year again whilst if you win, you'll be six points clear, and they'll be suggesting that the gap is too big for us to close. Both clubs still have a lot of fixtures left. Defeats are impossible to predict. Who'd have thought we'd have lost to Middlesbrough and Spurs already and that you'd have lost at Southend. Football, as Saint and Greavsie used to say, is a funny old game.
3. Do you think United will pose a real threat to your side?
Of course! Our defence isn't as strong as last year but going forward we're better. However, if you put up a tame performance similar to the one you produced at Stamford Bridge last season, your title pretensions will be all over.
4. Are there any United players who would be good enough for Chelsea's starting line-up?
I'd take Rooney because, under the right guidance, he could be one of the best in the world. I'd also take Ronaldo just to see if he'd shut up when he's sat on the bench all season. He's still public enemy number one, especially in SW6, after his latest outburst.
5. Both sides have lost their midweek Champions League games. Will it have any effect on the outcome of Sunday's game?
I don't think so. However, your defeat was more surprising than ours. We knew it would be tough but losing to Celtic, that must have seriously hurt!
6. What is United's greatest strength and biggest weakness?
Speed on the counter attack is your strongest strength. However, I'd be very >surprised if we left ourselves too vulnerable at the back in this game. I think it'll be a cagey affair. As for your weakness, I'd suggest a lack of strength in depth. If Ferdinand doesn't play then Drogba will have a field day.
7. What is Chelsea's greatest strength and biggest weakness?
Strength: the midfield is awesome, a real powerhouse of Lampard, Essien, Ballack and little Makelele. Weakness: if we get an injury please don't let it be in the heart of our defence, we have very little cover.
8. Finally, a prediction for the game?
I think it won't be the classic everyone is hoping for. Both teams will be careful and it could almost be chess like. However, I wouldn't be too surprised if a draw was the outcome, 1-1!
Date:Friday November 24 2006
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