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HUGHTON'S NOTES

Posted on 10 March 2007  - 12:00

Chris Hughton's regular assessment of our forthcoming opponents - next up, the big FA Cup quarter-final at Chelsea on Sunday.

Chris Hughton's regular assessment of our forthcoming opponents - next up, the big FA Cup quarter-final at Chelsea on Sunday.

CHELSEA have chopped and changed a bit in terms of formation. Last season it was a 4-3-3, but most of this year they've gone with a diamond shape in midfield.

You know if Makelele plays, he will be in the holding role, with Ballack quite narrow alongside Lampard centrally and Robben providing the width. Of course, it will be Shevchenko and Drogba up front and we all know Drogba in particular is in fine form

Defensively, it's been Diarra at right-back, Cole left-back and in the middle, Carvalho and if he's fit, John Terry. I don't think there is any doubt that if Terry is fit to play after his head injury, he will play. He will certainly want to play. Without him, it's been Essien alongside Carvalho, so if Terry makes it, perhaps Essien will move back into midfield.

Looking at the midfield again, what's obvious to everyone is the quality available however they line-up from Ballack, Lampard, Makelele, Essien and Robben. You've also the likes of Wright-Phillips and Kalou involved recently. There is an abundance of talent in there.

One player they did miss was goalkeeper Cech and his return makes a difference, no doubt. If any team loses one of its best players, it makes a difference and Cech is a top, top keeper, arguably the best in the world.

It's a massive game, we're all excited by the prospect of going to Stamford Bridge, we're confident and we'll give it everything on Sunday.