Behind Enemy Lines: Chelsea

Last updated : 12 October 2003 By Brian Cartlidge

Ahead of the re-arranged game at St. Andrew's we spoke with Chelsea fan, and editor of ChelseaMad, Richard Godden...

"Some might say that it is a good time to play Chelsea, with a whole host of our stars away on international duty. I, on the other hand, beg to differ.

Damien Duff was part of the Ireland side that failed to qualify for Euro 2004. On Tuesday, Birmingham will feel the backlash! Duff has been firing on all cylinders lately and, alongside Frank Lampard, has been our most creative player this season. Let’s just say I don’t envy your right back come Tuesday…

Duff was not part of the Chelsea side last season that won comfortably at Stamford Bridge but that also scored a victory at St Andrews which probably flattered us a little. Indeed, in that game at St Andrews, Gianfranco Zola scored whilst playing on one leg- that says it all!

And, whilst there’s no more Zola at Stamford Bridge, the blow has been softened somewhat with the Roman Revolution. Graeme Le Saux is also not there anymore to take all of the oppositions flak. But don’t worry- Claude Makelele seems to be getting underneath people’s skin!

It is definitely a game which I can see us winning but with Chelsea you just never know. I’ll go for a 2-1 victory though, with that extra bit of quality just pulling us through…

I can see Birmingham having a decent season this year and a lot of credit for that must go to Steve Bruce. His transfer policy has been fantastic in that he is signing players who have something to prove. Dugarry has been fantastic for you after becoming stale in France, David Dunn seems to be getting back to his best after a poor year at Blackburn and Mikael Forssell is showing Claudio Ranieri what he can do when given a decent run in the Premiership.

But I won’t wish you too much luck this season- my Dad’s a Villa fan and I don’t think he would take too kindly to that!"

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