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arsenal

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Chelsea will face Burnley on Sunday in the Premier League and this will be an important game for Maurizio Sarri‘s side who want to be in the title race until the end of the season.

Blues defender Gary Cahill is aware of the difficulties of this match:

It (the battle for the Premier League) is certainly going to be tight this season. As far as the Burnley game goes, these are the matches you need to win if you are going to compete at the top”. Cahill told the Evening Standard. “This is a very difficult game – going away to Burnley. Everyone knows that. These are the fixtures you have to churn out the victories in. That is how I have seen it over the years and this season will be no different”.

Moreover, the season is still very long and Chelsea have now one more rival, according to Gary Cahill: “Arsenal are on an incredible run of form at the minute. When they lost at our place (in August) and already points off the top, people were writing them off”. the defender went on. “All of a sudden they have been in unbelievable form. That’s what can happen. We did it the last time we won the League after losing at Arsenal and at home to Liverpool. Then we won 13 games in a row, which is why people should wait till the new year.”

In any case Chelsea are now in a good position and they can compete to win the Premier League: “I think if you are in a good position after Christmas and coming into January, you feel like you have a chance,” Cahill said. “There are loads of games to play until then, a lot can happen. It’s just a matter of going from one weekend to the next and building a momentum.  It’s great when you go back into training after getting three points. It’s the same going into training today after winning in the Europa League (against BATE Borisov) last night. It’s much better than going in after a loss. That’s why I say momentum is key and we have that right now.”

 

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Chelsea star Eden Hazard has revealed his solo against Liverpool in the Carabao Cup clash last night “is on the top of the list” so far, along with the one he scored against Arsenal at Stamford Bridge in February 2017.

He told Chelsea TV after the game: “I have scored some goals like that! Not all the time. It is on the top of the list, top three.

I remember around two years ago, the one against Arsenal at Stamford Bridge. That one was nice.

This one also is one of the best, especially when you score against a big team and win the game. That’s the most important thing.”

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Here are the results of Europa League draw held in Monaco today.

As usual, teams from the same football federation cannot play each other until last 16.

 

Group A

Bayer Leverkusen

Ludogorets

FC Zürich

AEK Larnaca

 

Group B

Salzburg

Celtic Glasgow

RB Leipzig

Rosenborg

 

Group C

Zenit

Kobenhavn

Girondins de Bordeaux

SK Slavia Praha

 

 

Group D

Anderlecht

Fenerbahce

GNK Dinamo

Spartak Trnava

 

Group E 

Arsenal

Sporting Club Portugal

Qarabag

Vorskla

 

Group F

Olympiacos

AC Milan

Real Betis

F91 Dudelange

 

Group G

Villareal

Rapid Wien

Spartak Moscow

Rangers Glasgow

 

Group H

Lazio

Olympique de Marseille

Eintracht Frankfurt

Apollon Limassol

 

Group I

Besiktas

Genk

Malmö

Sarpsborg 08 FF

 

Group J

Sevilla

Krasnodar

Standard Liege

Akhisarspor

 

Group K

Dynamo Kyiv

FC Astana

Stade Rennais

FK Jablonec

 

Group L

Chelsea 

Paok

Bate Borisov

Vidi FC

 

These were the pots:

 

POT 1: Sevilla (ESP), Arsenal (ENG), Chelsea (ENG), Zenit (RUS), Bayer Leverkusen (GER), Dynamo Kiev (UKR), Besiktas (TUR), Salzburg (AUT), Olympiacos (GRE), Villarreal (ESP), Anderlecht (BEL), Lazio (ITA)

POT 2: Sporting CP (POR), Ludogorets (BUL), Kobenhavn (DEN), Marseille (FRA), Celtic (SCO), PAOK (GRE), AC Milan (ITA), Genk (BEL), Fenerbahce (TUR), Krasnodar (RUS), Astana (KAZ), Rapid Vienna (AUT)

POT 3: Real Betis (ESP), BATE Borisov (BLR),Qarabag (AZE),Dinamo Zagreb (CRO),RB Leipzig (GER), Eintracht Frankfurt (GER), Malmo (SWE), Spartak Moscow (RUS), Standard Liege (BEL), Zurich (SUI), Bordeaux (FRA), Rennes (FRA)

POT 4: Apollon (CYP), Rosenborg (NOR), Vorskla Poltava (UKR), Slavia Praha (CZE), Akhisar Belediyespor (TUR), Jablonec (CZE), AEK Larnaca (CYP), Vidi (HUN), Rangers (SCO), Dudelange (LUX), Spartak Trnava (SVK), Sarpsborg (NOR)

 

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Chelsea are still Premier League leaders courtesy of their a third win in a row against Newcastle United at St.James’ Park. Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur and Watford are walking the same path of Blues, level on points at the top of the table.

LIVERPOOL 1-0 BRIGHTON (Mo Salah 23′)

WATFORD 2-1 CRYSTAL PALACE (Pereyra 53′ Holebas 71′ Zaha 78′) 

MANCHESTER UNITED 0-3 TOTTENHAM HOTSPURS (Kane 50′ Lucas Moura 52′ 84′)

A goal from former Chelsea star Mo Salah secured a narrow victory over Brighton Hove&Albion. The Hornets broke a long-term record as they had never won three consecutive Premier League games in a start to the season. Spurs trashed Manchester United at Old Trafford, which means José Mourinho is currently 6 points behind Chelsea.

In the middle of the table we find Arsenal as Unai Emery’s men cruised to a convincing win against London rivals West Ham United, despite the Hammers broke the deadlock earlier in the first half. Aleksandr Mitrovic scored for Fulham as the Cottagers really can start enjoying their return to English top-flight division with a much-needed 4-2 win at home.

Maurizio Sarri will face Bournemouth on Saturday. The Cherries are currently level on points with Man City following their 2-2 against Everton (Richarlison was shown a red card and sent off for an attempted headbutt. The Citizens failed to get a win too, as Wolverhampton deservedly sealed a vital point at the Molineux.

 

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Mateo Kovacic hopes that he will be able to kick on at Chelsea following his season-long loan move from Real Madrid

The Croatia international moved to Stamford Bridge in this summer transfer window thanks to the deal that brought  Thibaut Courtois to Santiago Bernabéu for around £35million.

Kovacic did not feature regularly with the European champions as they have the likes of Luka Modric, Toni Kroos and Casemiro starting ahead of him: this caused frustration and disillusion to him.

The former Inter player impressed in his debut against Arsenal and hopes to have gained the trust of Blues boss Maurizio Sarri:

“It was important that after three years of inconsistency in playing time in Madrid I’ve got into a team that wants me and a coach who wants and trusts me. That’s how Chelsea happened,” Kovacic told sports channel Sport Klub.

“That’s what I really need now and I want to keep it that way,” he stressed.

“He’s known me for a long time and that’s what matters in my opinion. The squad is phenomenal with many great players,  that is why is wasn’t so hard to adapt quickly.

“The tempo is higher and there is more space, but it is not hard to adapt when you are surrounded by great players.”

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Chelsea players celebrating a goal this season

The Premier League is back and so are football punditry programs.

Speaking about which top teams could miss next Champions League qualification English football legends Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher agreed both Arsenal and Chelsea will miss the top four at the end of this campaign.

The pair was asked to make some predictions about the current season and they both believe Manchester City will lift the Champions trophy again.

Despite Manchester United‘s struggles in this start of the season the former Red Devils and Liverpool defenders are sure Jose Mourinho’s side will find his form again so to qualify for next Champions League.

However, they disagree on who will end the year as top scorer: Neville expects Sergio Aguero, who bagged a hat-trick against Huddersfield at the weekend, to end the year at the top of the pile, while Carragher sees Harry Kane banging in the most goals.

The duo made predictions for a young player to keep an eye on, with Neville expecting a big season from City midfielder Phil Foden and Carragher hoping to see a lot from Fulham’s teenage sensation Ryan Sessegnon.

And finally, they each predicted a player to watch: both went for a Liverpool star, with Neville viewing Brazilian goalkeeper Alisson Becker as a great signing from Jurgen Klopp and Carragher thinking the same of Naby Keita.

As you can see, Chelsea and his players were heavily snubbed by both of them.

 

 

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Speaking after his 30-minute appearance for Chelsea in last Saturday 3-2 win over Arsenal, Blues midfielder Mateo Kovacic told Sport Klub TV:

“I am happy because of victory, the most important is that team played good.

“I feel fine, I miss rhythm but I just joined the team. I am working fine and improving. It was important for me after three years without continuity of play in Madrid, to find a team and coach that want me, and that happened in Chelsea.

 “The club who wanted me and the coach that believes in me. That is what I need. Sarri knows me for a long time and I watched a lot of his matches. He loves to play, the team is great, with a lot of big players. I don’t expect it to be hard for me to adapt.”

Kovacic finished last season’s La Liga campaign with Real Madrid with an 88% dribble success rate, the best of any player to have attempted at least 30 dribbles.

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Arsenal manager Unai Emery has laughed off rumours of a rift with Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri after appearing to snub him in the immediate aftermath of Saturday’s Premier League derby.

The Spaniard headed straight down the dressing room tunnel following the Gunners’ 3-2 defeat at Stamford Bridge, having seen his side concede a late goal.

Emery has revealed that he instead waited for Sarri in the dressing-room area, though, as the Italian coach was busy celebrating with supporters behind his dugout.

Asked about the lack of a handshake at full time, Emery told reporters:

“I waited for him in the dressing room to give him my hand.”

Emery is without a point from his first two Premier League matches, having a 2-0 to Manchester City last weekend.

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He has been on the transfer market rumours for at least two years, but Eden Hazard reveals he won’t move from Stamford Bridge at the moment as he is happy at Chelsea:

“I’m fine here. We’ll see what happens in a year or two,” he told RMC Sport.

“Leave this year? I will not leave. Everybody knows what I said after the World Cup, but I’m happy here.”

The Premier League and Football League voted to shut the transfer window before the start of the English top-flight season, which kicked off on 10 August.

However, the change did not affect most of the European clubs expect Italian ones, as the transfer window there closed last Friday, who can still sign players – including Premier League ones – until their respective deadlines later in the month:

“The transfer window in England is over. Clubs cannot sign players,” said Hazard.

“It would be a little odd if they sell me now while they can’t recruit a replacement.”

Hazard, who has won five major trophies since joining Chelsea in summer 2012, added he could see that “the fans still love me” from the reception he received during the Blues’ 3-2 win over Arsenal yesterday.

The winger still has two years to run on the five-year contract he signed with the Blues back in February 2015.

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Speaking after the 3-2 win against Arsenal in his first Premier League derby Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri explained why he didn’t start Eden Hazard against the Gunners.

The Italian coach preferred Willian instead:

“It’s clear. He is a great player,” Sarri started when asked about Hazard.

“But I think that, at this moment, he’s not able to play for 90 minutes, so I thought it was better to give him 25-30 minutes when the intensity of the match has come down.

“But I think, I hope, that in one week, maximum two weeks, he’ll be able to play the whole game.”

 

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