By 1970’s Gooner
There are two major reasons behind Chelsea’s revival since Scholari was moved on.
The first is the arrival of Hiddink who has managed to breathe a new found enthusiasm among the players. The second is the reinstatement of Drogba as the main attacking man (rather than the more delicate Anelka) in a familiar 4 3 3 formation.
This formation needs a strong and dynamic man up front who will receive the ball, hold off defenders and lay it off to a team mate or even turn and go for goal himself.
Drogba’s resurgence is, to my mind, a very important reason behind Chelsea’s success recently.
It was Drogba that scored the first goal against Liverpool and it was Drogba that run into the area and laid on the assist for Lampard to score Chelsea’s third goal.
And in previous Arsenal Chelsea encounters it was Drogba that created the most damage (usually against the hapless Senderos).
When this player is on song then the whole of Chelsea functions well.
Mark this man out of the game and you have made headways towards subduing the opponents and thus improving the chances of victory.
Kolo Toure’s new found form in recent games has come at the right time. I would think that Wenger will instruct him rather than the slower Silvestre to mark Drogba.
And Kolo will need to use not only his pace but his strength and tenacity to thwart a player that will use his power to create openings for his team mates.
Chelsea’s formation for the game will probably be their familiar 4 3 3. But Arsenal’s is not that easily predictable. This is because Wenger has used both 4 4 2 (as in the second game against Villareal and against Wigan) and 4 4 1 1 in the first game against Villareal.
The decision will be based on where Fabregas will be deployed. Will he be in the hole behind Adebayor or back in his usual position in the central midfield areas.
The real question underlying this decision is whether Wenger wants to approach the game cautiously or not.
If caution is the order of the day then he may prefer to deploy Song and Denilson (or for me Diaby) in a more withdrawn protective role in front of the defence and play Fabregas in the hole behind Adebayor.
Apart for it’s defensive qualities this formation will also be more appropriate for a midfielder to pick Lampard’s runs into the penalty area.
This formation will probably keep Van Persie out and provide Wenger with a viable option from the bench if he needs to change the formation or add another forward in the mix late in the game.
It will also give Van Persie a rest as according to Wenger he would not want the player to play every three days especially with the Champion’s League Semi Finals coming up.
The downside to this formation is the possibility of Fabregas being man marked and thus starving Arsenal of the creativity that the little maestro can provide.
And don’t forget that Essien, who did a very good job on Gerrard at Anfield, will be patrolling the areas that Fabregas will be operating in.
If Wenger will be bold and go for the more adventurous option then he will play Fabregas and Song in central midfield.
Adebayor will be up front and Van Persie (or even Eduardo) just behind him.
Arshavin and Walcott (or Nasri) will be the wide men.
I personally like Fabregas where he belongs.
In the central midfield area where he can weave his magic and be able to create.
And Chelsea have been leaking goals recently so let’s attack them and play not only to our strengths but also to their weaknesses.
My formation will therefore be:
Eboue Toure Silvestre Gibbs (if fit)
Walcott Song Fabregas Arshavin
The other selection headache for Wenger will be in defence.
Sagna has already been ruled out. If Gibbs does not make it then Silvestre could be moved to the left and Song brought back to partner Toure.
I would prefer Diaby rather than Denilson, who has been of form recently, to be brought in to play along side Fabregas in central midfield.
Eboue Toure Song Silvestre
Walcott Diaby Fabregas Arshavin