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Scolari's Squad News


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Luiz Felipe Scolari has Florent Malouda available to face Stoke on Saturday, with Didier Drogba and Ricardo Carvalho available for selection. Deco misses out. The Portuguese playmaker has a problem in his calf which forced him to sit out the midweek win at Southend, but Carvalho, who was suffering a similar problem, should be fit to play.

Despite Joe Cole's knee injury, Scolari can welcome back French winger Malouda into the setup. He could be joined by some youthful faces.

'Carvalho is in good condition today, and Didier is an option for me and trained today. Deco is out for tomorrow for fitness. My choice is this or that tomorrow but only Deco misses the game. The other two are ready, Carvalho and Didier,' he began.

'I have Malouda for tomorrow and I don't know how long he will play, 45, 60, because he starts again. I have Kalou and young players, and this is the time I put young players in the squad, Miroslav Stoch and [Gael] Kakuta.

'If I have the opportunity to put them on the pitch I will. This is one thing the people don't see until now, I put many Academy players in the group - it is a time for the young players to show me they need more opportunities.'

The injury to Cole is yet to receive a final diagnosis, and Scolari hopes to have more information tomorrow.

'It's impossible for me to explain what has happened. The doctors after five o'clock today have something more to say to me about his injury. Maybe tomorrow we have some more things about his situation,' he said.

The Brazilian has overseen a happier training ground in the past couple of days since visiting Roots Hall, and insists there is no problem with his Ivorian striker, who was left out in favour of Nicolas Anelka on Wednesday.

'It is difficult for me because they are both very good players but one player is better than the other in circumstances and I put in the player I think is better for Chelsea,' he reasoned.

'[Didier is] training very well. I am happy with my players, all of my players, not only one or two. The reason is options. I pick this or that player. His reaction was normal as a player. My job is to choose 11 players.

'It is better because we won and it's easier to work but sometimes when you win one game we need to look at the game, what happened, what we did well and after this maybe the work is more hard.

'I like the spirit for our team, when we conceded one goal we tried to win all the time and didn't give permission for Southend to think they are better than us, and this is what we want in our team.'

The next challenge is Tony Pulis's battling side, renowned for their potency at set pieces, an area where we have hit the headlines for our recent vulnerability. The manager is intending to utilise a combination of zonal and man to man marking against the Potters.

Considering Stoke's threat, Scolari said:

'This team is more dangerous than all the teams in England, I think the world. If you look at the statistics until December, they scored 17 goals, and 11 by corners, free-kicks or throw-ins.

'Tomorrow is a very good test for us, change or still mistakes. We trained yesterday and today, thinking about our problems. We have some solutions we tried and are training better than the game against Southend, sure, but we need to look tomorrow.'

Away from Cobham and Stamford Bridge, Manchester City's pursuit of AC Milan's Kaka continues to dominate the sports news.

Scolari is more familiar than most with his countryman, and believes any possible move would not be borne out of money on the player's part.

'Kaka is one of the best in the world, inside and outside the pitch. He is a very good man and a fantastic player. If they have money to spend okay, I like because I am a professional in football.

'I only say that if they have money to spend he is a very good player. How much is normal to pay? I don't know.'

Source: Chelsea FC

There will be a minute's silence before Saturday's game as a mark of respect for former Chelsea goalkeeper Chic Thomson, who passed away earlier this month.

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'This team is more dangerous than all the teams in England, I think the world. If you look at the statistics until December, they scored 17 goals, and 11 by corners, free-kicks or throw-ins.

It doesn't sound good.

We are 100% gonna concede a goal if we give away a corner/free-kick.

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'I have Malouda for tomorrow and I don't know how long he will play, 45, 60, because he starts again. I have Kalou and young players, and this is the time I put young players in the squad, Miroslav Stoch and [Gael] Kakuta.

'If I have the opportunity to put them on the pitch I will. This is one thing the people don't see until now, I put many Academy players in the group - it is a time for the young players to show me they need more opportunities.'

Good to see Kakuta brought into the squad. And hopefully Scolari will come good on this promise, because Di Santo for one has shown that he needs more oppertunities.

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He will give them 10 mins at the most.

Also, he has mentioned that he is going to implement a mixture of Zonal and Man to Man marking.

Recipe for Disaster that is.!!!! We will have no one at the posts therefore.

Edited by warnie_666
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Well I think Stoch and Di Santo helped change the game. Stoch looked capable of putting in a decent cross, even if he does look like a dwarf, and Di Santo set up Belletti for the equaliser.

I really hope both start against Ipswich. It'd be a great opportunity for Di Santo to grab a deserved goal and for Stoch to show the first team what he can do, especially now we've only got two wingers to choose from anyway. We should also think about bringing back Sinclair (should never have loaned him out in the first place).

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