After the remarkable win against Barcelona, it’s time now to move on to another contest that awaits us. I know most of us, inclding the players, will still have their thoughts on the Barcelona win, but if we are to continue with our impressive form, we need to put aside our win against Barcelona for the moment and deliver today against Leyton Orient in the best possible manner.
Arsene Wenger, in his pre-match conference, said that we need to show commitment levels against Leyton similar to those shown against Barcelona if we are to go the distance in the FA Cup and all other competitions we are in. In the coming 8 days, starting from today, we will be playing three games in three different competitions which is a chance to show everyone that we are ready and focussed. And a win in all three games is really going to ensure it.
The bottom line is that we need to start with the right spirit and determination today and not take the opposition lightly.
For the starting eleven, Wenger has already said that he will rotate for this game, so hopefully those who start will get us a result.
In goal, I will keep Szczesny even though there is a strong possibility that Almunia will start this game. As for the centre backs, Squillaci for sure will start today and to partner him I will go with Djourou, if he is completely fit. Koscielny deserves a rest because I don’t remember the last time he wasn’t in the starting lineup. On the flanks, Clichy to be replaced by Gibbs and Eboue to keep his place.
In the middle of the park, Wilshere and Fabregas both need a day off. Rosicky and Denilson should come in for them. Song to keep his place for some added steel in the middle.
Upfront, Chamakh needs a start and he needs to deliver today after some not-so-good couple of months. Bendtner to start on the right and I will keep Nasri on the left, so that he can get some match fitness.
Probable starting XI: Szczesny, Eboue, Squillaci, Djourou, Gibbs, Song, Rosicky, Denilson, Bendtner, Chamakh, Nasri.
If you would remember the game against Wigan after the Chelsea win, we had started with a team similar to above and dropped points by drawing that game. I hope nothing like that happens today because, one, we need to avoid a replay, and two, we need to show the world that we are focused for every competition and ready to face any type of opponent.
Leyton Orient will no doubt try to give us a hard time, and considering it’s their home, they will be pumped up with the crowd behind them. However, if we play to our strengths and play like we have done recently, this game will be over by the hour mark and us through to the next round.
So enjoy the game and have a great day. We draw ever closer to the final at Wembley with a couple of hurdles on the way that need to be cleared without any damage to us.
Keep them crossed!!