Authors Posts by Francesca Ceciarini

Francesca Ceciarini


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Antonio Conte is pleased his tactical changes in the defense worked well yesterday: the Italian manager played with a 3-4-3, with the three back that experimented a new way to play that Conte already used while being in charge at Juventus and as Italy’s coach:

“It can be a big change in the tactical aspect. More than the system, what’s important is the principles, then you can change.

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Chelsea manager Antonio Conte commented the brilliant win over Hull City and seemed enthusiastic his team is beginning to respond to the hard work done in training during the week:

Today we finished with a clean sheet and in this period it is not normal for us after conceding three goals and two goals, so it is very important for the confidence.

“It was a big change in the tactical aspect but we feel we must find the right solution to be more compact.

“We must trust in the world we are doing and it is important to understand we must play this way.”

The Italian coach spoke also about Diego Costa super form:

“It is fantastic for us that he has now got six goals but I think that Diego has the opportunity to score in every game.

“It’s important for him not only to score but he is working for the team and for me at the moment this is the most important thing.

“After two defeats it is never easy so I am pleased with the commitment and attitude of the players. We are working very hard and we see that is is the right way.

“We know we have to improve a lot but if we want to improve there is only one way, to work. All the players worked together very well and when they work together it is easier.”

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CHELSEA - Courtois, Azpilicueta, Alonso, Cahill (c), David Luiz, Kante, Matic, Moses, Willian, Hazard, Diego Costa. 

Subs: Begovic, Ivanovic, Chalobah, Fabregas, Oscar, Pedro, Batshuayi.

Manager: Antonio Conte

HULL CITY -Marshall, Robertson, Davies, Snodgrass, Mason, Clucas, Henriksenn, Livermore, Meyler, Diomandé, Mbokani

Subs: E. Jakupovic, Maguire, Weir, Maloney, Huddlestone, Hernández, Keane

Manager: Mike Phelan

Venue: KC Stadium

Kick-Off: 2pm BST


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Chelsea boss Antonio Conte backed Gary Cahill, that was recently picked on by Chelsea fans for some mistakes that led to opponents’ goals:

“When we lose, we lose together,” the Italian coach pointed out.

“Not just because of one mistake. There was a single mistake, but we had 80 minutes to recover the situation. And, in 80 minutes, we didn’t recover it,” Conte said when asked whether it had been difficult to lift Cahill’s spirits this week.

“A single mistake can happen during a game. I hope we can improve also on this aspect, but I don’t like to single out players for individual mistakes. 

“We lose and we win together. We must understand this. If someone makes a mistake, together we must help him and solve the situation. 

“Against Arsenal we had 80 minutes to solve the situation and repair the mistake. Cahill is a good player, a great defender and a great player. I trust him and he plays tomorrow.”

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Hull City

– Ahmed Elmohamady serves a one-game ban following his dismissal last week so James Weir could start at right-back.



– John Terry still out for ankle injury

– John Obi Mikel misses the game for a small muscular injury

– Ivanovic can be dropped after his poor performance against Arsenal, with Azpilicueta moved to the right back and Alonso starting as a left back


Predicted Line-Ups

HULL CITY ( 4-5-1): Marshall; Weir, Livermore, Davies, Robertson; Hudderstone, Mayler, Mason, Snodgrass, Henriksen; Abel Hernandez.


CHELSEA ( 4-2-3-1): Courtois; Azpilicueta, David Luiz, Cahill, Marcos Alonso; Matic, Kante; Oscar, Hazard, Willian; Diego Costa.


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Chelsea visit the KC Stadium on Saturday with Antonio Conte’s side having also enjoyed a miserable September in the league, failing to win any of their three matches and getting thumped 3-0 by Arsenal last weekend.

“I wouldn’t say it’s a good time to face Chelsea,” Phelan said.

“It’s the time to face them because the calendar says that. We are serious about what we want to do, where we want to go. It’s another game at home and we want to perform and make sure we give them a good game.

“It is important to pick up points in every game. We tried to do that against Arsenal, against Liverpool, but that wasn’t to be. We didn’t come out of it very well as far asconceding goals, but we have an opportunity with 11 men on Saturday. Hopefully we can stay with that and be competitive.”

“I don’t think there’s any such thing as a free hit,” said Phelan, ahead of hosting Chelsea .

“In order to get better and improve, you have to accept the challenges that are there. Nobody wants to lose a football match but we all know somebody has to lose for someone to win. It’s the way you lose that’s important.

“I’ve stressed that to the players. I keep mentioning this word ‘competitive’ and I think we are getting to that point now where the players understand how we want to play and what we’re about. We have to show our own identity in certain situations and gather some momentum.

“We had a good victory in the cup, which is never easy to get a result at Stoke, but then didn’t do so well at Liverpool.

“We were very close against Manchester United, losing with the last kick of the game, and we were extremely good against Leicester and Swansea. We need to regain that little bit of momentum as quickly as we can. Hopefully, that will be this weekend but if not, we’ll prepare for the next one.”

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Kick-off: Saturday 3pm

Venue: KCom Stadium

Chelsea will travel to the KC stadium on Saturday, at the back of consecutive defeats to Premier League rivals Liverpool and Arsenal.

It has been a turbulent September for Antonio Conte, whose side made a flying start to the season but ended up with just 1 point after their September fixtures, the absence of captain John terry and defensive errors compounded their struggles but they will be looking to return to winning ways at Hull inorder to gain grounds on title rivals.

Hull on the other hand have struggled since making a surprising good start to the season and were at the receiving end of a 5-1 drubbing from Liverpool.

Chelsea will go into the game with confidence, haven’t not loosed to Hull in the Premier League, winning six times and drawing twice.

John terry is still expected to be absent after another setback as well as Kurt Zouma who’s still on his way back from injury and Mikel who’s out with a muscular problem,these are the only notable absentees for Chelsea.


Chelsea XI

(Gk) Courtois, Ivanovic, Cahill, David Luiz, Azpillicueta, Kante, Matic, Fabregas, Willian, Hazard, Diego Costa

Hull XI

(Gk) Marshal, Weir, Livermore, Davies, Robertson, Mason, Huddleston, Meyler, Snodgrass, Hernandez, Henriksen


Antonio Conte speaking ahead of the game: “It is never good when you lose, but I think also in these two games we saw and learnt a lot of important things. We must work very hard to recover.”

‘We finished 10th last season – when you finish 10th it means you have problems. Now we are trying to solve this situation, but we haven’t got a magic wand.”

“We faced two teams who were very strong and for me, these two teams are now at the top. We have a lot to improve, but this is the hope we must have.’I see the present and the opportunity to improve, it’s not easy. But we know this.”

Mike Phelan speaking ahead of the game:

“You win, you lose and you draw, you have to take the good and the bad, but you have to beprogressive and I think we will be because I’ve seen signs of that.”

“I’m sure Chelsea will come here in a good mood because they are a top class team. I don’t see why they won’t be challenging for the title this season, there will be a few teams in that category as we’ve experienced in the last two weeks.”

“They’re very strong physically and mentally. A lot of questions have been asked about them in the last couple of weeks and strong teams will respond to that.”

“We can only do our own job and our own game plan. We have to try and execute that well and cause them issues to make them change their approach to the game. We have to be in the game to get something out of it and our players are more than capable of that.”

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Chelsea trio Cesc Fabregas, Pedro and Cezar Azpillicueta have been left out of Julen Lopetegui’s side for their World Cup qualifiers against Italy and Albania.

Fabregas, has struggled to break into Antonio Conte’s plans at Chelsea this season, was not included in Lopetegui’s maiden squad in August.
His Chelsea team-mate Azpilicueta, was named in the side but has been dropped for Spain’s latest round of fixtures.

Speaking on Fabregas, Lopetegui said: “Fabregas has played a little bit more at Chelsea. We like Cesc, but we have to choose. There are a lot of players and we can’t call them all. I hope he can play more minutes”.

However Costa is the only player of the Spanish Contingent that made the Spain full squad.

Spain squad in full:

Goalkeepers: Pepe Reina (Napoli), David De Gea (Manchester United), Sergio Rico (Sevilla)

Defenders: Nacho (Real Madrid), Jordi Alba (Barcelona), Dani Carvajal (Real Madrid), Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid), Gerard Pique (Barcelona),  Javi Martinez (Bayern Munich), Sergi Roberto (Barcelona)

Midfielders: Koke (Atletico Madrid), Saul Níguez (Atletico Madrid), David Silva (Manchester City), SergioBusquets (Barcelona), Thiago Alcantara (Bayern Munich), Andres Iniesta (Barcelona), Isco (Real Madrid)

Forward: Nolito (Manchester City),  Jose Callejon (Napoli), Lucas Vazquez (Real Madrid), Vitolo (Sevilla), Diego Costa (Chelsea), Alvaro Morata (Real Madrid)

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Ruben Loftus -Cheek has revealed he looked up to Frank Lampard as his idol and inspiration while coming through the ranks at Chelsea.

Lampard who’s Chelsea’s all time goalscorer is adored by the fans and players alike and it’s no difference for the young Blue.

“Growing up in the youth team, the player I looked up to most was Frank Lampard,” he said.

“He was in the same position and he was a goalscoring midfielder. I looked at his game and I tried to replicate how he scores his goals.”

Loftus-Cheek was instrumental for England’s U21 team at the Toulon tournament and also scored in the final as they won the tournament and the 20 year old is looking forward to representing his country as a full international.

“It’s great being part of a group of players that are so talented and around the same age as me,” he added.

“I think the future of England is looking quite bright at the moment. You look around the Premier League teams and there’s a lot of young talent.

“We have to push those young players. Sometimes it’s hard to get game time as a young player but we have to push and hopefully we can play for England in the future.”

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Ex Arsenal striker Ian Wright believes N’golo Kante is still struggling to find his feet at Chelsea after his excellent performances for Leicester in their title winning season.

The France international initially made an impressive start to his 2016-17 Premier League.

But Kante couldn’t prevent Chelsea losing back to back games to Liverpool and Arsenal and Ian Wright believes Kante struggled in both games and insists it’s different for Kante playing for Leicester and Chelsea.

“Now Kante is in a team like Chelsea and we are starting to see little chinks,” Wright toldThe Sun Goals podcast.

“He was far too tight on Ozil for Arsenal’s third goal. He didn’t see the danger. That is something you couldn’t accuse him of last season.

“He is still finding his feet there. But there are worrying signs. Playing for Leicester and playing for Chelsea are two different things. Now we’re expecting performances from Kante. It’s the dreaded second album.”


Today Chelsea defeated Arsenal 3-0 in a friendly game; before the game Marcos Alonso had spoken to the club official website about the Blues pre-season and the training...