Q&A With Chelsea

  • September 24, 2014 | By Chris Mann
  • URL Short URL: http://b-ac.es/a489c

Ahead of the 116th meeting between Chelsea and Bolton on Wednesday, we have got the views of a Blues supporter.

Bolton go into the game on the back of a 1-0 defeat at Wolverhampton Wanderers on Saturday, while Chelsea held Manchester City to a 1-1 draw at the Etihad Stadium 24 hours later.

In our latest edition of Q&A, we have been over to cfcnet.co.uk to get the views of Tom Minton (@tom_minton1) - a 21-year-old who attended his first game in 2007 and lists names such as Didier Drogba, Gianfranco Zola, Claude Makelele, Dan Petrescu and Frank Lampard among his favourite ever players.

Ahead of Wednesday's game, Tom shares his views on the destination of this season's Premier League trophy, why Gary Cahill has been a bargain signing and which players will have to impress if Bolton are to pull off a major cup upset at Stamford Bridge.

Q: Chelsea have started the campaign in fine form and, but for Frank Lampard's late strike against them on Sunday, would have five wins from five so far this season. With a gap already opening up on your rivals, do you see the Premier League trophy returning to Stamford Bridge this season?

A: Yes, I do. I admit, I was quite pessimistic over the arrival of Diego Costa, but he has shown that we finally have the striker to match the wealth of attacking talent behind him.

Thibaut Courtois has all the makings of a world-class goalkeeper, while still having the very capable Petr Cech and Mark Schwarzer on the books, and our back four - much like last season - looks very impressive.

Providing there are no major injuries, I can't see us not winning the league.

Q: Jose Mourinho was often dismissive of his side's title chances last season. However, he now looks to be building a squad not only capable of challenging on the domestic front, but also on the European scene. How would you rate the current squad, compared to the one he had in your title-winning season of 2005?

A: That's quite a tricky one. Back in 2005, I'd argue we had a bit more depth up front - with Hernan Crespo, Didier Drogba and, of course, your old boy Eidur Gudjohnsen as our main attackers. We also had the likes of Frank Lampard, Joe Cole and Arjen Robben chipping in with their share of goals.

However, I do think our defence is far stronger now than it was back then. Branislav Ivanovic and Cesar Azpilicueta are two hugely underrated players outside of Chelsea circles, and John Terry is just as good now as he was back then.

We've missed a Claude Makelele or Michael Essien-style player, but I think in bringing Nemanja Matic back to the club we've finally regained that steel and toughness we lacked. Of course, with Cesc Fabregas now playing for us we've added a rather stylish backbone to link everything together. Overall, I would say this season's bunch are better.

Q: Following in the footsteps of Eidur Gudjohnsen and Nicolas Anelka, in recent memory, Gary Cahill swapped Bolton for Chelsea in 2012. Wanderers fans always rated the England international highly, but how much has his game improved since he first joined the Blues?

A: I think he was pretty much the finished article when we bought him from you, but his decision making and his marshalling of the area has improved playing alongside someone like John Terry.

The £7million we paid for him has looked something of a bargain, as he's become a very important part of our side.

Q: With a number of first-team regulars set to be rested on Wednesday, the likes of Petr Cech, Didier Drogba and Loic Remy could all get a chance to impress. Which player is likely to be the biggest threat to Wanderers' slim chances of picking up a result?

A: Assuming he starts, I'd say Didier Drogba. He may have lost his legs somewhat, but you can never lose the goalscoring instinct he had. With the attacking talents we have behind him, I'd expect him to get plenty of chances and hopefully take them!

A more left-field choice is young Lewis Baker - an attack-minded midfielder who has looked very good indeed for our youth sides for some time now.

Should Mourinho rotate the squad to that extent, Baker may well get the nod and expect his range of passing and exquisite vision - not to mention his long-range shooting - to cause problems.

Q: On the other hand, a lot has changed since Bolton's relegation from the Premier League two years ago. Only a small minority of players remain at Macron Stadium - who do you see as a potential star if we are to cause a major upset?

A: I rated Lee Chung-Yong when you were still in the Premier League, but I know he's not quite been the same since your relegation which is a shame - as he looked to have that little bit of class.

Joe Mason has looked very good for you during his loan spells and is your top goalscorer this term, so obviously he will be your main threat.

Jermaine Beckford is two for two in the League Cup this season, so his form in the competition may be vital for you to stand any chance.

Q: Finally, can Bolton put an end to an 18-game winless run against Chelsea or will Mourinho's men pick up the result they are expected to - what is your score prediction?

A: I know the League Cup is home to some shock scorelines but we rarely fall foul to them, so it should be a routine win for us.

The score depends on just how much Mourinho will rotate, but the depth in the squad is as good as it has been for a good while and, with that in mind, I'm going for 4-0 Chelsea.

Burnden Aces would like to thank Tom for taking the time to answer our questions. You can read more from him on Twitter - @tom_minton1.

Sky Bet League One Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
11 Ipswich Town 20 27
12 Cheltenham Town 19 27
13 Bolton Wanderers 20 26
14 Accrington Stanley 19 24
15 Charlton Athletic 20 23
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