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Rant Box/CL Preview: Chelsea v. Marseille

The what: Champions League, group stage – Chelsea v. Olympique de Marseille
The where: Stamford Bridge (42,450)
The when: September 28, 7:45pm local time (2:45pm EST)
The how: Fox Sports Net (check local listings)
The why: Because of consecutive defeats. And though advancement should be comfortable for the CFC in this group, a win Wednesday would put us that much closer to being able to rest key players - crucial with injuries mounting.
The referee: Frank De Bleeckere‎

Welcome back to the Bridge, young man.


The stat: Chelsea are in the midst of a 20-match home unbeaten run in the CL group stage. The last defeat, to Besiktas in October 2003.

l'OM —
Projected XI (4-3-3): Mandanda, Azpilicueta, Diawara, Heinze, Taiwo, Remy, Cheyrou, Gonzalez, Cisse, Ayew, Gignac.
Doubtful: N'Diaye (shoulder)
Injured: None
Suspended: None
Leading scorer: Ayew, Taiwo 3
Quote: "Returning to Stamford Bridge will give me great pleasure. Although the stadium itself is renovated and much bigger, the wonderful ambience which I experienced remains. English grounds always seemed full and at the Bridge there were always families in the stadium and a great match atmosphere. But Chelsea now have a very competitive European team with something like 20 internationals - a great compensation if you have injured or suspended players." -Former Blue and current Marseille manager Didier Deschamps

More quotage: “I’m so excited. I’ve been waiting so long for this opportunity to play at Stamford Bridge, so long for this opportunity to play against Chelsea and show them what I can do, and maybe at the end of the season if Ashley Cole is leaving, then they’ll be thinking of who can replace him and hopefully they’ll think of me.” -Fullback Taye Taiwo

Wants to play for the CFC

League Form:
Projected XI (4-3-3): Cech, Ferreira, Alex, Terry, Cole, Ramires, Mikel, Zhirkov, Kakuta, Anelka, Malouda.
Doubtful: None
Injured: Lampard (groin), Bosingwa (fitness), Benayoun (calf), Kalou (thigh)
Suspended: Drogba (2 of 2)
Leading scorer: Malouda 6
Quote: "Marseille will be a difficult one because if you look at the recent years the French teams have done well in the Champions League. Last year they had two teams in the last eight. It is big for Marseille, they were champions last year and were waiting a long time, so they will want a good start. They won't want to come to Stamford Bridge and lose 4-0 like Bordeaux did two years ago. I can tell you it will be difficult in both games. Over there it is a big atmosphere but we are used to that." -Florent Malouda


Cech, Ivanovic, Terry, Alex, Cole, Essien, Mikel, Zhirkov, Kakuta, Anelka, Malouda. Subs: Turnbull, Ramires, Ferreira, Stirridge, van Aanholt, Bruma, McEachran.
Mandanda, Kabore, Diawara, M'bia Etoundi, Heinze, Gonzalez, Cissé, Cheyrou, Remy, Gignac, Brandao. Subs: Andrade, Azpilicueta, Taiwo, Hilton, Abriel, Andre Ayew, Valbuena.


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