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Michael Taylor 13th Jan 2009 - 16:36

Blues must go back to their Roots

Luiz Felipe Scolari is starting to feel the pressure at Chelsea after a poor run of results, but a return to their early season form should comfortably see them past Southend in Wednesday's FA Cup third round replay.

Scolari created an immediate impression at the Blues following his summer arrival as his attacking style of football brought a host of emphatic results, especially in away games.

Middlesbrough (5-0) and Portsmouth (4-0) were the two heaviest casualties in the Blues start-of-season nine away game winning run, as Roman Abramovich's ambitions for a world-class, exciting brand of football finally looked to be coming to fruition.

However, just as Chelsea fans started to believe Premier League bragging rights would be coming back to Stamford Bridge everything turned on its head.

The Bridge, which under Mourinho and Grant had become a fortress for many years, became a hunting ground for visitors after Chelsea's record 86 Premier League game unbeaten streak was snapped by three successive losses.

Away form also began suffering with two consecutive draws followed up by the much talked about weekend drubbing at Old Trafford.

Now, Chelsea need to get back to basics and there is no better place to start than Roots Hall where they face minnows Southend in an FA Cup third round replay.

Steve Tilson's battlers performed a miracle as they snatched a last gasp equaliser in the original tie at Stamford Bridge but lightning is unlikely to strike twice for the League One-ers.

Chelsea are resounding 1/4 favourites to win the match (a draw is 9/2 and an unlikely Shrimpers win is 11/1), which they should do with ease, so the question is by how many?

Tilson knows organisation is the key to his team's survival and he got it spot on last time around but can his defence stop the likes of Anelka, Lampard, Drogba, Ballack, Deco...etc. once again?

After hearing those names it is not unreasonable to think Southend will find it tough, so the 14/1 about Chelsea winning 4-0 could prove tempting, while 4-1 at 20/1 could also provide interest.

A repeat of the 1-1 draw from the original tie is available at 12/1 but Chelsea really should have the tie sewn up without the need for extra time.

On the first scorer market Didier Drogba and Nicolas Anelka lead the way as expected, however with Scolari's striker rotation system still at large it is hard to pinpoint who will start up-front, therefore the 4/1 about Lampard or 9/1 about Ballack could be the better bets.

Elsewhere, Southend's hero at Chelsea, Peter Clarke, is a 25/1 shot to score first or 8/1 to repeat his feat at anytime during the match - an outside chance but it's the FA Cup and who knows?

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