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HUGHTON'S NOTES

Posted on 3 November 2006  - 12:00

Chris Hughton's regular assessment of our forthcoming opponents - next up, the big one against Chelsea at the Lane on Sunday.

Chris Hughton's regular assessment of our forthcoming opponents - next up, the big one against Chelsea at the Lane on Sunday.

REGARDLESS of the fact they played Barcelona in the Champions League on Tuesday night, I would expect Chelsea to approach Sunday's game at the Lane in exactly the same way they approach every game and you almost have to applaud the way they go about their business.

I looked at the team they started in their Carling Cup game at Blackburn and it was very strong. They have a strong squad and they utilise it, but at the same time they have no fear of players playing numerous games and as I said, you have to applaud them for that.

They have the advantage of two days over us having played on Tuesday night, so I don't think it will be too much of an issue for them in regards playing Champions League and Premiership.

They are desperate to win the league again. You can see the desire is there and with Manchester United having such a good start, that will drive Chelsea on as well.

If I look at the way they have played a number of games this season they've gone with a diamond formation in midfield, using Michael Ballack in a position where he can cause maximum damage against opposing teams, but they have so many quality players and so many options.

Robben might start on the right or Joe Cole might come back in, he's been out injured, Drogba is having a wonderful season, Shevchenko hasn't had the start but will explode at some stage - it's a wonderful test for us.

We've played well against Chelsea in the last couple of seasons and I think this is one that we need to get a result for ourselves and for the fans, they are desperate to win this one as well. We're all aware of how much this game means to everyone.