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CFC

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Chelsea manager Antonio Conte believes his side ‘have to pay great attention’ against Brighton tomorrow evening.

“They played a very good game against us at Stamford Bridge, especially in the first half” Conte reckons.

“They are a really good team with a really good coach. We must pay great attention because we are playing a game in only two days at 12.30 and many players played at 120 minutes and the penalties. We must be focused and tomorrow the game won’t be easy and we must be ready”.

About Alvaro Morata: “It is another problem and in this moment it is a big problem. Morata didn’t play long against Norwich and he was resting for Brighton. I have to change the plan, sometimes you have to change the plan if there is a red card or injury”. 

 

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Brighton & Howe Albion  manager Chris Hughton said his team had more chances to earn some points tomorrow vs Chelsea than they had when the two sides met at Stamford Bridge recently.

It will be a difficult game and anyone playing against one of the top six teams wouldn’t say any different. Hughton said. “Irrespective of their current situation, these are the challenges you have to look forward to. We knew we’d more likely get points at home than on the road – we’ve had some difficulties on the road and this is now our next opportunity. When you’re playing a top side, you have to take it for what it is now and look at the quality they have – not their form or absentees because our approach would still not be any different. We must focus on who they have available rather than who they don’t. They won the title last season, so all our preparations have to be on the quality they have. There isn’t a game we go into where we don’t think we can get a result – we performed well in the first half on Boxing Day and limited their chances. They scored early in the second half and raised their game, but we will go into Saturday on home soil in exactly the same way we always do here – to try and get a result. Whatever system we play it’s about responsibility and performance on the day, whoever takes to the field. It will all be about trying to stop their qualities and also put in a performance ourselves where we can get something from the game at a good level.”

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Chelsea travel to Brighton as tomorrow the Blues will face the Seagulls in the Premier League at the AMEX ArenA. Alvaro Morata and Pedro are both suspended after being shown a red card agains Norwich, while also Cesc Fabregas and Gary Cahill ruled out for the clash.

Conte said: “I think Ross is in a good physical condition. Yesterday he played 70 minutes. Tomorrow he is in the squad and comes with us. I don’t know if during the game I decide to give him the chance to play or wait, or if the game doesn’t ask this type of situation. He has to work with us in our idea. Now he is in the squad”.

“Cahill and Fabregas also, they are out. I need to check on a couple of other situations”.

When asked to provide further comments on Alvaro Morata’s display against Norwich, Conte added: “For sure in the Norwich game the player knows very well his mistake. There was frustration in the first yellow card. You must learn to control himself, because the second yellow card was for dissent. I agree with the player for the first yellow card, but not with him on the second yellow”. 

“The striker this situation can happen. For Alvaro this is the first season he is playing a full season and that it might be the first season he is having these problems. You can score, the most important thing is to work hard for the team. Before if you stay on the bench you don’t have this type of situation. He has to move on, we trust him”.

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Chelsea manager Antonio Conte was asked if the board is looking for a replacement in attack as some reports suggested a potential move for Andy Carroll, Edin Dzeko and Peter Crouch.

The italian manager said: “In this moment I can talk about Morata and Batshuayi. It is not right to talk about the characteristics of other players. I have always said that I am happy to work with my players and improve them. Every striker has their own characteristics. Morata and Batshuayi, I am happy to work with my players and I don’t want to talk about other players. It is not right” 

“My answer is the same. I am not interested in this conversation. To be respectful for my players and other players of other clubs. This is period is a transfer market, if something happens you are the first media to know the news”.

“As you know very well that it is not right to talk about players on other teams. There is a transfer period and if something happens then you might be the one to know first”.

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Chelsea loanee Ruben Loftus-Cheek has suffered an ankle injury which could keep him out of Crystal Palace’s squad for several months, as Roy Hodgson recently confirmed: “The injury is more severe than we first thought it would be” the manager said.

“It is to do with the tendons at the back of his ankle. It has not responded to the conservative treatment of rest that he has been having. The treatment has to continue along this conservative line and then in a matter of a few weeks’ time we will assess it again. If it is still not working by that time it will be five or six weeks since he last played against Arsenal. If it goes beyond that we will be into a situation where people will have to look at it in and see if we need a stronger intervention.”

“It may [need surgery on injured ankle]. His treatment is being handled by doctors at the two clubs. They are liaising and making the decisions. We obviously misled you initially by saying all he needed was to miss a couple games and rest from training and he would be fine. That is what we honestly believed. But it has turned out not to be the case”.

“We do not know how long it would take after the surgery to get him fit again. I would be disappointed, surgery or no surgery, if he is not playing before the end of the season. We certainly want him to be and I would presume Chelsea would want him to be because they would like to have a player who is going to be selected for England. But there is nothing we can do about it. The only way he can make himself available for Crystal Palace or England is to be fit. At the moment that is not the case and he is not fit.”

Loftus-Cheek, who joined the Eagles on a season-long loan from Chelsea, made 16 Premier League appearances scoring once so far, before suffering a “severe injury”. He has not played since December 28th.

 

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Chelsea are keen to land both striker Edin Dzeko and full-back Emerson Palmieri to Stamford Bridge, and look set to place a €50m bid, in which could be included also unsettled star Michy Batshuayi.

AS Roma reportedly want a fee in the region of €65m, anyway talks are still ongoing as Chelsea manager Antonio Conte is willing to bolster his squad before the Deadline Day.

Dzeko scored 50 goals in 130 appearances with Manchester City from 2011 to 2015.

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Speaking to Calciomercato.com Emerson Palmieri‘s agent Fernando Garcia confirms Chelsea and As Roma are trying to reach a deal for the player’s move to Stamford Bridge in this January transfer window.

“There is still nothing certain, we are in the period of discussions and evaluations”. Garcia said. “Of course yes [Chelsea are interested], absolutely.
Now the two clubs are talking, we’ll see if they are successful.”

A major factor could also be the fact that Emerson Palmieri would love to play under Chelsea’s manager Antonio Conte:  “Obviously yes, it would be a dream”. Garcia confirmed. “Conte is a top coach, one of the best and most successful coaches in the world.”

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Willy Caballero yesterday night made a crucial save on Nelson Oliveira’s penalty and this was crucial for Chelsea to progress to Fa Cup‘s fourth round with the Blues who will face Newcastle.

Speaking to Chelsea official website, today Chelsea’s goalkeeper said he is happy with the outcome of the game vs Norwich City and with his performance.

It was an important save because we went through to the next round,” Caballero said. “As the game was finishing we conceded in the 94th minute, which was unfair because we played very well and created many chances to score the second goal. I had the opportunity to help the team with the penalty so I’m happy. I don’t like to go to a penalty shoot-out. I’ve had good experiences in them but I would prefer to win a game in 90 minutes or extra-time because it’s a different feeling. If you lose on penalties it’s a massive frustration.”

Caballero then, also had his say on Var: We need time to adapt to the new technology instrument because for players, supporters and the people who watch the game, it’s important to learn about it. It’s important for all the players to learn all of the rules and understand how the VAR works. It’s so difficult to be a referee at this level, only a few can do it. The work the referee does is so hard and they have my respect when they make a decision.”

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Eden Hazard, who was crucial as he scored the decisive penalty in Chelsea clash against Norwich City at Stamford Bridge, believes the Premier League champions did not perform as they usually did during the season so far.

“We had chances to kill off the game – Hazard told BBC sport  but the FA Cup is always not easy. The first game away was a bad game and also today it was not our best game of the season, but we gave everything at the end of the game when it was nine versus 11″.

“We showed great character after the draw at the end of time so we are happy, but also sad that we lost two players. But we are ready for the next step.”

“Today is a replay and with a replay you have to win the game, with extra-time and penalties it’s not easy, we got two red cards which is the bad thing for today but at least we go through and we are ready for Brighton at the weekend.

 Chelsea face Newcastle United in the next Premier League game, as the Belgian star underlined: “We can focus on the league and also be ready for the next round against Newcastle” he said.

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