from EPL to UCL

In my last post I wrote that the match against the Hammers would decide if Chelsea are seriously thinking of taking the Barclay's Premier League this season. Well I think we got the answer, loud and strong. It was a magnificent performance from the Blues. The match gave the answer to a lot of questions like "Can Lampard and Ballack play together?". And Grant says he's enjoying life at Stamford bridge again.

I liked this part of the post in Giles Smith's 'midweek view' in the official site. Here he talks about the Carling Cup defeat in Wembley last week

I haven't had the privilege of seeing one up close, but I can almost guarantee you that the word 'loser' appears nowhere on its engraved surface - nor indeed on the surface on any medal ever handed out to a team finishing second in a cup final at Wembley. It is, of course, a 'runners-up' medal, and doubtless it says as much, probably in capital letters.

If it makes sense to talk of 'losers' in this context, they were the teams who went out in the first round. Alternatively, they were the teams, like Arsenal and Liverpool, who insisted on fielding weakened teams in the competition, and therefore blew the doors off what will probably turn out to be their only serious, fan- and board-appeasing trophy opportunity this season.

That was an inspirational performance in Upton Park and what we fans would like to see is another champion-like performance, this time in a Champions League night. Chelsea's match against the Greek champions in Athens was nothing but boring, and so the team owe some beautiful football this time around. Should Arsenal's win in the San Siro be followed by victory for Chelsea tonight, the Blues could soon top the Uefa European club rankings for the first time ever. now thats something that could give you serious inspiration.

The team that Grant decides to field today would be interesting. The big question is whether Anelka and Drogba would play together and would Chelsea move to a 4-4-2 formation to accommodate them. My guess is that Chelsea would still go for a 4-3-3 formation because the only time we played a 4-4-2 this season Aston Villa scored four. And I also believe Anelka would start from bench. Drogba would be the man upfront.

One of the flank should certainly be Joe Cole's, courtesy his performances. The other I think would be Kalou's. It remains to be seen if Grant goes for Malouda or Wright-Phillips instead of Kalou. It would be difficult to guess if its Makalele or Essien in midfield holding role. The defense should pick themselves, maybe Belletti replacing Ferreira as the right fullback.

Meanwhile Olympiacos knows the blues will be in an attacking mood and expects to hold the tempo of the match early on. All they need is a scoring draw. But I'm sure Chelsea will have different ideas about this. Meanwhile Lampard won his red card appeal meaning he wont miss any domestic matches.

Guess at the team:
Belletti, Terry, Carvalho, A.Cole
Essien, Lampard, Ballack
J.Cole, Drogba, Kalou
subs:Cudicini, Malouda, Alex, Anelka, Makalele

Referee: Manuel Mejuto González

TV Timings: 0030(IST) TenSports

Scoreline prediction: 3-0