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As in real life, Chelsea is a very potent team in FIFA 09 – arguably the best football simulator up-to-date. The team was designed (along with many other teams in the award-winning EA Sports game) to reflect its style of play – excellent winger with Didier Droghba up front, supported by dangerous attacking midfielders – Lampard and Ballack. The key when playing against Chelsea is to use there offensive-minded fullbacks (Ashley Cole and Bosingwa) and score with quick play off the flanks.
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It is always advisable to play with your teams default formation – it probably suits your players the most. Opting for 3-back strategy is a VERY dangerous option against Chelsea, as their attacks will utilize the free flanks. 4-4-2 it probably the best option. If you want to shut down Chelsea offensive efforts – flat midfield should be used. If you want to attack through the middle – Diamond formation is a possibility.
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Chelsea is not a very dangerous team offensively. You still need to be worried about the wingers – Joe Cole, Deco and substitute Malouda are all dangerous – especially Cole, who has great long range shot ability. Besides that – watch out for Droghba headers, Ballack passes and Lampard long range shots. Essien will come forward many times to support the attackers – this is your chance for launching a counterattack, especially if full backs had also moved forward.
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There is one recipe to score against Chelsea – attacking via flanks. Center backs are relatively slow (can be used for counterattacks) but pretty strong and will win most challenges. But fullbacks are very offensive-minded – thus you can create an opportunity on the wing – but do not try to cross the ball (Terry and Ricardo Carvahlo are excellent headers) – look for a low pass instead.
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Offensive mentality can prove disastrous against Chelsea. Their wingers and striker Droghba are very quick and will cause you serious problems on quick breaks. You can use defensive mentality or a balanced one – both are good for controlling the tempo of the game.
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Defensively you need not to worry. The default disposition is quite fine. You can occasionally use Flat back along with Offside Trap – but not for too long as Droghba has good speed and technique to beat your defenders. Prevent Chelsea from building a long lasting attacks – or allow them just that and score on the break. Offensively, it is very important to open up the game using Wing play – empty areas can result in center backs movement to cover, creating opportunities in the penalty box.
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Chelsea is a tough opponent in FIFA 09 – but no more than that. Use flanks to score against them and defend stubbornly to prevent them from scoring – those are the keys to your success against Chelsea.