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The Mail Bag

Starting 11?

Comments (8)

Big, big game tomorrow, and I simply cannot stop thinking of it. Sort of feel like a kid at christmas eve, just waiting for bed time.

So our first 11 is pretty much obvious, however talk of Rodwell starting has been growing over the last few days.

The back 5 is pretty obvious: Howard, Hibbert, Baines, Lescott, Yobo.

The only maybe in that one is Hibbert. Jacobsen has impressed in his few matches, but I expect Hibbo as he played at Fulham, and he has had a good season when fit.

Midfield of: Neville, Osman and Pienaar is certain.

However who partners Neville in the middle. Is it Rodwell, leaving a front 2 of Cahill and Fellaini, or Cahill with Saha up front and Fellaini supporting him.

Other unlikely but possible options would could be Gosling out wide, with Osman in the middle, and Cahill and Fellaini up top. This would previde with more creativity in the middle than Rodders can provide, but as I said, this is unlikely.

There is also the option of Vaughan, has Moyes been keeping him secret, taming the lion to shock Chelsea. Pretty sure they have prepared for him this week in training. Its a wild card option, however this is also unlikely. If the match enter extra time, with Alex tired (only just recoved from injury) it would be an excellent time to introduce someone like James Vaughan. I expect:


It's basically the safe option, talk of Rodders may be leaked to change Chelsea's focus (i.e. preparing for a Cahill/Fellaini attack), but I fully expect Saha to play. He lacks movement, fitness and speed, but this just might be a game that requires 1 good finish, and he's probably the best man placed to so.

Expect Rodders and Vaughan on as subs, with the possibility of Gosling.
Fran Mitchell, Liverpool     Posted 29/05/2009 at 14:24:12

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Alan Clarke
1   Posted 29/05/2009 at 18:57:45

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I’d be disappointed if he doesn’t start with saha
Mike Dawson
2   Posted 29/05/2009 at 19:14:35

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I’d play neville holdin MF, Rodwell and fellaini in the middle,ossy and pianaar wide and Cahill upfront...swapping Fellaini for Saha if that doesn’t work after an hour
Tom Bowers
3   Posted 29/05/2009 at 15:30:03

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It goes without saying that Chelski have more game winners than Everton but nonetheless 2 scoreless draws this season tells you something. They are playing better than they were but so are Everton. Defensively we can match them but it is crucial not to cough up the first goal. Neville should shackle Lampard or Essien but he can't do both and I am concerned about Everton's tackling ability from the likes of Fellaini and Osman. If Osman can be in the game mentally right from the start then we can win. Last week until he scored he was anonymous. Saha has been used sparingly and hopefully he and Timmie will be totally ready to capitilize on Pienaar's fine running.
Kieran Kinsella
4   Posted 29/05/2009 at 23:34:59

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I?d start with Cahill up front and Castillo in midfield because I think Castillo does of pretty good job of slowing things down and keeping possession in the middle which is what you need on a huge pitch like Wembley. I?d bring Saha on with 30 mins left because he seems to be better coming off the bench and if we start with him then it leaves us with nothing in reserve.
chris kennedy
5   Posted 30/05/2009 at 00:23:59

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For me tim and fellaini up top.. forget saha ..Jimmy V off the bench for the last 20 mins.... coyb
Wayne Smyth
6   Posted 30/05/2009 at 10:24:53

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Fellaini and Cahill up front to start and rough Chelski up, rodders in the middle.

Then, Saha on for last 20-30 mins when their ageing squad has wilted in the heat.

Our younger, fitter squad combined with the hot weather may well count in our favour.
Nick Entwistle
7   Posted 30/05/2009 at 11:45:53

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Ok, its down... £2 on Hibbert first goal 100/1.. heared it here first!
Diane Peck
8   Posted 30/05/2009 at 11:43:58

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In the papers, it looks like it's gonna be Saha up front on his own, with Fellaini and Cahill in midfield with Neville. Ossie on the right and Pienaar on the left doing the runs to feed Saha. Baines, Yobo, Lescott and Hibbo in defence and of course Big Timmy Howard in goal.

I agree that having Castillo on would benefit us, don't think Chelsea will know how to defend against him, but don't know who?d I?d take off for him.

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