Chelsea vs Napoli: Andre Villas-Boas Leaves Starting Lineup and Tactics in Hotel

Louis Hamwey@thecriterionmanAnalyst IIIFebruary 21, 2012

Just hours ahead of Chelsea’s showdown with Napoli in the first leg of the Champions League Round of 16, Andre Villas-Boas may have already made his first blunder.

Italian newspaper La Gazzetta has leaked out what seem to be the starting lineup and tactics Chelsea manager Villas-Boas will deploy in tonight’s match.

A hotel employee took a picture of the notes and made them available to the media, setting off a wave of speculation and intrigue ahead of the game.

The authenticity of the notes is still under question, however.

It could just be a sly move by the Portuguese boss. Perhaps it was nothing more than a decoy placed in the room, knowing that the Italians would leak it and inherently cause Napoli boss Walter Mazzarri to second-guess any plans he originally had.

As far-fetched as this idea may sound, it makes perfect sense when you see the lineup he has written down.

The injured pair of John Terry and Ashley Cole both look to miraculously be fit. Didier Drogba will again not start in favor of Daniel Sturridge. Ramires will be flanking him on the right in a wing role he is not accustomed to.

Perhaps the most head-scratching move of all is that Raul Meireles is starting—again!

So, it would not be completely unreasonable to assume that this is all a part of a master plan to play head games with his rival.

But if it isn’t, Chelsea fans will hang their heads even lower before the ball kicks off.