The Blues army will host Portsmouth today in the FA cup third round. We will be hoping to extend our unbeaten run against Portsmouth to 30 games in all competitions in over 51 years.
The last time we played Portsmouth was the final of the 2010 FA cup at the Wembley, where Didier’s free kick was the decider.
We will be expected to beat Portsmouth any day, but our recent unimpressive run and the injuries to some players might make Portsmouth believe they can win or force a replay.
I will want to believe that our poor run has ended with 2011, especially with the spirit shown at wolves on Monday when our players rallied round to give us the full 3 points following Wolves 85th minute equalizer. It was a typical Frank Lampard goal, following his typical run into the box.
Andre Villas-Boas might want to give our youngsters some playing time on Sunday, especially since some of the first team regulars are out injured and our African contingent (Drogba and Kalou) are already gone. Ivanovic and Mikel are still weeks away from full fitness, with Terry too not sure of making the game, Hutchinson may come into the central defence. Many would have expected Cahill to be ours by now, but the guy is still fighting for £100 000, more than thrice the £30 000 he is earning at Bolton. We can make do with Hutchinson for now but we definitely need to sign a centre back, Cahill or not
I will be glad to see Mceachran play the entire 90mins, because he is one player I believe should have been a regular by now if he can work on his fitness and physical strength. I initially thought he will benefit from a loan deal, but with our recent injuries and dip in form by players like Merielis and Lampard, I think Mceachran should be given a chance to fight for his place in our first 11.
Another player that I will be happy to see play today is Romelu Lukaku. With Drogba and Kalou heading for Nations cup, Lukaku will naturally get more playing time this January if we don’t sign a striker.
Portsmouth are in top spirit following their 2-0 win over Watford on Monday, though they are still placed 17th on the championship table.
My Chelsea Team: Cech; Betrand, Luiz, Hutchinson, Ferreira; Romeu, Mceachran, Ramires; Lukaku, Mata, Torres
Portsmouth’s last lineup: Henderson; Ben-Haim,Mokoena,Pearce, Mattock,Mullins,Norris, Huseklepp,Kitson,Futaks
My prediction: Anything short of a Chelsea win will be a shocker, so I think its going to be 3-1 in favour or the Blues.