'A Chance To Show Who Is Boss'
MERLIN from Vital Chelsea drops by for a quick chat about tomorrow's impending West London derby.
1. This fixture was certainly on the radar of many QPR supporters when the list was released - while many will admit it may not hold the same importance for Chelsea fans, do you consider this just another match, or does this hold more significance for you?
Obviously it means something, it's the chance to show our neighbours who are the bosses when it comes to West London football. Naturally, we accept it means more to you than us, it's your chance to put one over on us, but we're confident we'll win and then we`ll move onto bigger and better things!
2. There have been many meetings down the years between Rangers and Chelsea - which was the most memorable for you?
This may surprise you, but the one I've chosen is when we got our backsides well and truly kicked. If I recall it was around Easter time and in the previous match, in days when teams didn't complain about playing twice in three days, we'd been beaten at home, 4-1, by West Ham.
We were in the hunt for the title and we thought we could get things back on track at Loftus Road. But things went from bad to worse with you lot thumping us 6-0.
Talk about being brought back down to earth, I didn't sleep for a week such was the disappointment!
3. Rangers will line-up with Shaun Wright-Phillips down the right flank, what is your opinion of the former Chelsea man?
I loved him and I hated him! At times he was a world-beater, able to skip past his man at will but on other times he'd slip the ball either side and then run straight into him.
He was so frustrating, although if pressed to name my best memory of Shaun it'd be the two goals he scored at West Ham one evening, both superb finishes.
4. Its been a rather understated start to the campaign as the Manchester clubs are in trail blazing form at the top - do you think the league is still within reach?
Of course! If City can get a draw at Old Trafford on Sunday and we beat you, we're right back in the mix. This title is a marathon, not a sprint, and we'll be there or thereabouts come next May!
5. Much has been made of the current ground situation at Stamford Bridge - what's your take?
Firstly, I should say I'm not against a move, it'd certainly be a wrench to leave after all these years, but we'd get over it. What I am against is the underhand way the board are going about it and the lack of discussion with the support. All this - 'we'll commit to staying inside a three mile radius before 2020' is just a smokescreen. What concerns us is after that, we could end up anywhere, including an industrial estate on the edge of the M25! Someone needs to tell our board - it's good to talk!
6. Early days for Andre Villas Boas, what have you made of his showing?
One word - superb!
The man is a bundle of positive energy and his tenure will see us continue as one of the top clubs in Europe!
7. Is there a QPR player in particular that holds a threat for you and conversely who is the one that Rangers fans will have to watch out for this weekend?
Juan Mata is our top-boy. The Spaniard has settled won quickly since his move and possesses a real box of tricks.
As for one to watch out for from your side, I`ll go for Shaun! He'll be keen to impress against his former club and who knows, he may just glide past his marker instead of running into them!
8. Finally, a prediction and your preferred line-up if you could?
I reckon Chelsea will win 3-1 and as for a preferred line-up, I'd go for (bearing in mind Torres and Essien are not available and Ramires is doubtful):-
Cech, Bosingwa, Ivanovic, Terry, Cole, Lampard, Meireles, Mikel (or Ramires), Mata, Drogba, Sturridge.