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Chelsea preview and open thread

On the face of it, this game is not set up well for us.

Woeful on the road against a side who are generally impenitrable at Stamford Bridge, and who have been buoyed by the arrival of Guus Hiddink as they look to finish the season with some silverware.

Injury wise, we will be without the important midfield duo of Vincent Kompany and Nigel de Jong (along with Craig Bellamy), but given the lack of defensive options in midfield, this will see Mark Hughes adopt the same likely line-up as in midweek against Aalborg.

Both Chelsea and ourselves are amongst the top scorers in the league so far, and as Shaun Wright-Phillips states, we have been playing some excellent counter attacking and creative football in the past few games.

If anything therefore, by being forced to commit more in attack this could be where we can snatch an unlikely victory. It will be difficult however, but if we are to claw back some ground in the race for seventh (West Ham face West Brom on Monday) we do need to take something from at least one of our difficult looking away fixtures.

Game notes
  • Chelsea have won seven of eight against (including Robinho's debut earlier this season)
  • Chelsea have kept 15 clean sheets in 23 games against us
  • We have managed only one win and one clean sheet on our travels this season