Tiki-Taka wrote:Over the years I have always had this notion that the pitch at Stamford Bridge was vastly smaller than that of the Camp Nou but:
the Camp Nou is 115 x 74 yards and Stamford Bridge is 113 x 73 yards.
With both pitches being practically the same in width, I hope Pep is brave enough to go 3-5-2/3-3-4 in order to stretch what will in no doubt be a stubborn Chelsea back line as wide as possible allowing channels to appear for our players to exploit. Little one-two plays especially on the wing, like how Cuenca won the penalty in the Levante game, will be our most powerful weapon I feel.
You don't need that kinda formation for stretching. Remember the 2nd leg from the Supercup against RM - put the wings extremely wide on a basic 4-3-3 formation and space for the mids will appear. It's not about bravery here. They will start normally and after 8-10 min(like they always do), they will see and know what they have to do against them and they will re-group perfectly.
I agree, although Mourinho played a high defensive line that night and gave it a go. Di Matteo would be foolish to attempt the same. I can't help but remember back to the game against Chelsea in 2009 where Barca only managed one shot on target and then the following year against Inter managed only 6 shots on target yet had 71% possession in both games. Pure frustration on both occasions. These games are gonna be Di Matteo's blueprints. He may also watch re-runs of Spain vs Switzerland and Spain vs Holland in order to fine tune his approach of stifling Barca. I would be surprised to to see anything other than 4-2-3-1 line-up to start with from Chelsea.
On the other hand, Pep has also learned from such matches and has since become obsessed with formulating an approach for such occasions and I hope he chooses to unleash it tomorrow night. Yes he will most likely start in a familiar 4-3-3 formation. Get a feel for what Chelsea are looking to do and then take it from there. As always, how high Dani Alves plays up the pitch will be a good barometer for how well Barca are doing in the game.
I think the bravery comes into play in Pep's selection more so than his approach. He often plays Keita in such games as some sort of misguided insurance policy. Some may think not playing such a player would be showing disrespect to a side with the pedigree of Chelsea but I think not. Keita is not needed to start with for this one. I for one am desperate to see Cesc's name on the team sheet along with all the other stars come Wednesday evening because anything other than a score draw would make it another one of those frustrating nights come the return leg. I hope to see this starting 11:
---- Masch -- Pique -- Puyol ----
Alves --------- Xavi --------- Pedro
-------- Cesc ------ Iniesta ------
-------------- Messi --------------