Authors Posts by Francesca Ceciarini

Francesca Ceciarini

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Matic

Chelsea midfielder Nemanja Matic is reportedly considering his future at Stamford Bridge following his poor showings this season. 

The Serbian is one of a number of Blues stars who are reportedly considering moves away, after a diabolical first half of the season saw many Chelsea players criticised for their lacklustre showings.

Matic himself was heavily criticised by former boss Jose Mourinho earlier this season, and was substituted early in the second half last week in the 3-3 draw against Everton.

The 27-year old has, according to teammates, already decided that a move away is the best option to correct his form but this may change based on who becomes the next permanent Chelsea boss.

Matic, who signed from Benfica in 2013, has also had competition from John Obi Mikel for his position in recent weeks.

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Primus (right) in action for England Under 19's against Portugal

Chelsea Ladies midfielder Atlanta Primus has joined WSL2 side Yeovil Ladies.

The England U19 midfielder has moved for an undisclosed fee, and will join her new teammates ahead of the Glovers’ SSE FA Women’s Cup tie against either Bradford City or Huddersfield Town on 7th February.

“I have been aware of Atlanta and her talent for a number of years and have watched her progress with great interest,” Yeovil boss Jamie Sherwood said.

“I initially tried to sign Atlanta on loan last season but to no avail, so to sign her permanently I feel is very exciting.”

Following the announcement, Primus said:

“I can’t wait to get started with the new season. 

“I’m certain that Yeovil will help grow and develop me to become a better player. I’m relishing the opportunity to play first team football and looking forward to helping the team push for promotion.

“I’m grateful for my time at Chelsea but now I’m excited to start a new chapter and looking forward to a new challenge.

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Wenger

Ahead of Chelsea’s game against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday (16:00 GMT KO), we take a look at the odds on offer.

All odds provided by SkyBET (SB), Ladbrokes (L) and Coral (C), correct as of 22nd January. 

 

Full-time score:

Arsenal win: SB – 21/20, L – EVENS, C – 21/20

Draw: SB – 5/2, L –12/5, C – 5/2

Chelsea win: SB – 5/2, L – 13/5, C – 14/5

 

First goalscorer:

Olivier Giroud: SB – 5/1, L – 9/2, C – 9/2

Alexis Sanchez: SB – 6/1, L – 11/2, C – 11/2

Mesut Ozil: SB – 8/1, L – 8/1, C – 8/1

Theo Walcott: SB – 6/1, L – 6/1, C – 6/1

Aaron Ramsey: SB – 8/1, L – 8/1, C – 15/2

No goalscorer: SB – 11/1, L – 8/1, C – 8/1

Eden Hazard: SB – 8/1, L – 8/1 C – 13/2

Oscar: SB – 9/1, L – 9/1, C – 7/1

Pedro: SB – 17/2, L – 10/1, C – 9/1

Diego Costa: SB – 6/1, L – 6/1, C – 5/1

Willian: SB – 10/1, L – 10/1, C – 10/1

 

Final Score:

Arsenal win:

1-0: SB – 7/1, L – 13/2, C – 13/2

2-0: SB – 9/1, L – 17/2, C – 9/1

2-1: SB – 15/2, L – 15/2, C – 15/2

3-0: SB – 16/1, L – 16/1, C – 18/1

3-1: SB – 14/1, L – 14/1, C – 16/1

Draw:

0-0: SB – 11/1, L – 9/1, C – 9/1

1-1: SB – 5/1, L – 11/2, C – 11/2

2-2: SB – 12/1, L – 12/1, C – 12/1

3-3: SB – 50/1, L – 50/1, C – 50/1

4-4: SB – 250/1, L – 225/1, C – 150/1

Chelsea win:

1-0: SB – 10/1, L – 9/1, C – 10/1

2-0: SB – 18/1, L – 18/1, C – 20/1

2-1: SB – 11/1, L – 11/1, C – 11/1

3-0: SB – 40/1, L – 40/1, C – 50/1

3-1: SB – 28/1, L – 28/1, C – 28/1

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Guus Hiddink is looking for his side to bounce back from two consecutive draws as Chelsea take on Arsenal at the Emirates on Sunday (16:00 GMT KO).

The Blues scrapped a point in a thrilling 3-3 draw last weekend, meaning both sides are now without a win in two games.

The Gunners currently sit top of the table on goal difference, having lost just four of their 22 games all season in the league.

Earlier this season at Stamford Bridge, Chelsea won a feisty encounter 2-0 thanks to second-half goals from Kurt Zouma and an own goal from Calum Chambers, although Gabriel and Santi Carzola were both dismissed by referee Mike Dean. Chelsea striker Diego Costa was retrospectively banned after an incident involving Laurent Koscielny.

 

Last six games:

Arsenal: LWWWDD (includes one FA Cup game).

Chelsea: DDWWDD (includes one FA Cup game).

 

Team News:

– Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil are both fit to play.

– However, Francis Coquelin is still out.

– Eden Hazard may feature following his return to training after a groin injury.

– Diego Costa is expected to be fit despite suffering a bruised shin against Everton.

 

Statistics:

– Chelsea are unbeaten in eight league meetings since Arsenal won 5-3 in October 2011 (W5, D3).

– Three out of the last four PL meetings have ended as 0-0 draws.

– Arsene Wenger’s side are unbeaten at home in the last nine games.

– Mesut Ozil has grabbed a league-high 16 assists this season – but has failed to score or assist in seven games against Chelsea.

– Guus Hiddink’s side are on the longest current unbeaten run in the Premier League (W2, D4).

– However, if Chelsea fail to win they will set a new record for fewest points by a reigning champion after 23 Premier League matches.

 

Starting XI last time out in the Premier League:

Arsenal (away vs. Stoke, drew 0-0): Cech, Bellerin, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal, Flamini, Ramsey, Campbell, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Walcott, Giroud.

Chelsea (home vs. Everton, drew 3-3): Courtois, Ivanovic, Zouma, Terry, Azpilicueta, Matic, Willian, Mikel, Fabregas, Pedro, Costa.

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PETR CECH
Cech left Chelsea last summer after eleven years and many trohpies

Guus Hiddink revealed in his pre Arsenal press conference that Chelsea legend Petr Cech paid a visit to Cobham, the Blues training ground, a couple of days ago.

The goalkeeper was not trying to get a new deal by his former club or to destabilise them before Sunday’s clash at the Emirates Stadium.

He had just to go to Cobham to collect his new gloves that his technical sponsor, Adidas, sent by mistake to Chelsea’s training ground instead that to the Arsenal one in St. Albans:

“Petr [Cech] showed up here yesterday afternoon or the other afternoon and it was nice, we had a chat.

“Almost everyone was gone. We tried to hide them, also we tried to make them slippery but he discovered that,” joked Hiddink.

“They were sent here and we gave them back. That’s the story.

 

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Chelsea just announced that vice-captain Branislav Ivanovic extended his contract until summer 2017.

The club policy is to renew the over 30 contracts year-by-year, Ivanovic is almost 32 and in the last months many rumours were linking him to Italian clubs like Inter or Ac Milan, after the end of Chelsea’s adventure next summer.

But the Blues and the defender reached an agreement recently, and Ivanovic claims to be really satisfied about it:

“I am very happy to stay with Chelsea for another season. After eight years here this is my home and there is no other place I would rather play football.

“I have enjoyed so much success since moving to the club and I am determined to help the team achieve more in the last months of this season and next year as well.”

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Chelsea boss Guus Hiddink © Francesca Ceciarini

Guus Hiddink press conference ahead of Arsenal clash at the Emirates ( 22 January 2016):

“Hazard was in the team this week, he worked well with the physios, yesterday and today he full trained with the group, so he’s available”

“Diego Costa was in the training yesterday and today so he will be available as well”

“I don’t think so much in the past, this is a huge game and like every game in England it will be intense”

“Being unbeaten since I arrived doesn’t mean that in some days we have to be unconsistent”

“We don’t talk too much about our position in the table, but if you see the statistics is true that we are closer to relegation spots than Champions League spots: we don’t have to look down, but up”

“Arsenal is doing very well in the league, Chelsea are down under, in this moment is reality”

“I said last week that the more open the window is, the more my mouth will be shut”

“In football if you don’t defend well, not just in the back but also up front, then you are caught. If you don’t work also in the midfield or forward, then come the problems”

“We practice corners and other things, but sometimes we look like paralised, so we don’t have to repeat mistakes”

“Arsenal got a very good selection of players in their squad, not just the top players, so also if they had many injuries I am not surprised of their position in the league”

“I’m convinced that the team will give everything on Sunday to get a result, but of course it will be a little different than in the past”

“On Diego: first of all a player must bring the quality, and sometimes they need a little help to do that”

“Ivanovic is very important for Chelsea, he is one of the charachters of this team, he’s become a key member of this team and squad. He can play very well also as a central defender, not only right full-back.

“Petr [Cech] showed up here yesterday afternoon or the other afternoon [to collect his new gloves that Adidas sent to Chelsea training ground by mistake] and it was nice, we had a chat.

“Almost everyone was gone. We tried to hide them, also we tried to make them slippery but he discovered that. They were sent here and we gave them back. That’s the story.

“I don’t see much relation between this game and Man United game: we are not super concerned about the table, but we look the reality.We are not panicking about that, we want to get a result every game”

“Christian Atsu needs to play and I adviced him to go to play, because he needs to play”

 

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A Brazilian journalist has said that Chelsea’s move for Alexandre Pato is not as close as originally reported, and that no formal offer has been made. 

Several British publications claimed that the Blues were close to signing Pato, but Paulo Vinícius Coelho has claimed that a deal isn’t close, having spoken to the 26-year old’s agent, Gilmar Veloz.

In an interview with Coelho, Veloz said:

We are working to have an offer. It still hasn’t come to Corinthians.”

Veloz also said that the January window is “very limited”, thus making a deal for his client particularly difficult.

Coelho also asked the agent to name the possible detsinations for Pato, and Veloz stated: “Chelsea, Liverpool, Sporting, and Benfica. The four have a chance.”

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DIEGO COSTA
Diego Costa was a key-player for Chelsea in the last season © Francesca Ceciarini

Atletico Madrid chief executive Andrea Berta has flown into London to discuss deals for Chelsea pair Diego Costa and Pedro.

Madrid are said to be keen on bringing Costa back to the Vincente Calderon, with the Spaniard having struggled to recreate the form he showed last season.

However, his form has rapidly improved since the appointment of Guus Hiddink as manager.

Pedro too has thus far failed to live up to his £21 million price tag which Chelsea paid for him last summer.

It is believed Chelsea are willing to sell the Spaniard should a buyer be found.

Spanish publication Fichajes has claimed that Berta is looking to negotiate a swap deal, with Atletico attacker Jackson Martinez going to Chelsea having also struggled to find form since his move from Porto last year.

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cech
Petr Cech can leave Chelsea after eleven years this summer

Former Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech has said that recovering from his head injury sustained in 2006 was the toughest challenge of his career. 

The Czech suffered a fractured skull in a game away to Reading, as Steven Hunt’s knee collided with Cech’s head as both players chased a through ball.

The 33-year old, who moved to London rivals Arsenal last summer, was out for three months with what was described by doctors as a “life-threatening” injury.

However, speaking to Arsenal Player, Cech has said that the injury was a huge challenge, with the shotstopper still having to wear his protective helmet:

“There were a lot of people saying it was probably the end and that I would not play again,” he said.

“You get so many people telling you that you should take time, you should take the whole year off and build up slowly to get back; I wanted to get back playing as this is what I enjoy the most and it was a challenge to prove to everyone that I don’t need a whole year.

“It was a massive challenge for me because there were days when you just feel like it will never happen, it’s not going well, you don’t feel well and you think, ‘OK, what am I going to do.’

“But then you had days where all the positive things came back and I was really happy with the way I did it. I enjoyed the rest of the season when I came back because it was kind of a bonus.

“Nobody expected me to play so I really enjoyed that because I played with less pressure as I was appreciating the fact that I was back.”

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