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col u

First XI
Jan 10, 2006
Davison v Cudicini: Experience and games (AD) vs. talent on the bench (CC). Will lack of games count against Cudicini? Can AD overcome (and atone for?) his FA Cup howler against Blackburn?

Verdict: draw

Duguid v Robben: Will Col******r's erstwhile club captain ever face a sterner test? Robben was electric against Everton - but Duguid asks for and gives no quarter. If it was a battle of will and commitment there'd only be one winner - but otherwise:

Verdict: Robben

Brown & Chilvers v Crespo: With Chelsea playing 4-3-3, the two U's centre-halves will have to be organised against the wily Argentine - and ready to help out their full-backs against the talented Chelsea wingers. Chilvers and Brown face success and adversity "and treat those foes just the same" - 90+ minutes of concentration and they can keep Crespo quiet.

Verdict: Brown & Chilvers: On top of their game I'd back Brown and Chilvers against most opponents.

White v Wright-Phillips: If JW thought he faced pace against Scunthorpe he'll be having nightmares about SWP. The Scunny winger was lots of pace and no end-product. The England winger won't make the same mistake. But JW's been in awesome form of late and if anyone can keep SWP out of the game, it's him.

Verdict: White

Watson v Essien: Class vs power. Finese vs graft. But don't underestimate the Ghanain as a two-footed lunger, he's got quality too - but he's also got a suspect temperament. If the U's midfield maestro can show him up he'll loose concentration. If not, KW could get steam-rollered.

Verdict: draw

Danns v Lampard: The one we're all looking forward to. Similar in styles, box-to-box and not shy of the odd goal. Lampard is arguably one of the best midfielders in the world, but Danns can be the U's heart-beat too. The performance of both will have a huge impact, but:

Verdict: Lampard

Halford v Gallas: Greg will face a stern test in the Frenchman, who won't be beaten in the air or for lack of pace - but if Greg drifts inside, Gallas could be thrown by his own natural preference to play in the middle, exposing space down that flank.

Verdict: draw

Yeates v Johnson: Johnson's demise from the England squad to Chelsea's 29th choice defender is well documented. He'll be eager not to be 'embarassed' - but is still prone to woeful mistakes and lack of concentration. Yeates has the armoury to make it a nightmare day for GJ.

Verdict: Yeates

Iwelumo & Garcia v Terry & Huth: And what a phsyical contest this will be! Iwelumo and Huth/Terry will battle all day long and, we hope, come out evens. Huth is ill-disciplined too and if Iwelumo's physical presence can irk him, that will help. Garcia could be the key. If he can drop off and draw one of the centre-backs with him, into the "hole", that space can be exploited by Iwelumo, Danns and Halford - supporting the attack.

Verdict: (a bruising) draw

Parkinson v Mourinho: Two master tacticians. Both partial to winning the odd award - though one has slightly bigger trophies/awards than the other.  Neither lack the vision or nous to change the game when needed and both will have prepared their sides perfectly.

Verdict: draw

RESULT: Chelsea 2 Col******r United 3