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CFC

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Chelsea manager Antonio Conte spoke ahead of his side’s clash against Manchester City at Stamford Bridge.

Here’s what the Italian manager had to say about the incoming game against Pep Guardiola’s men: “I don’t know who will be available for the next game but we have another day to check a couple of situations and make the best decision for the starting XI.”

“I think the training sessions are always the same, if you win lose or draw it does not change our philosophy. We did the same things this week,

“This period is crucial not only for us but also for other teams which are fighting for the title or in the relegation zone. We have to continue in the same way preparing in the right way every game”.

“I am pleased for my players – Conte added – I’m always seeing great commitment, we didn’t deserve to lose the game against Crystal Palace but football is wonderful also for these results”.

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According to the German newspaper Bild, Chelsea is interested in the 22 year old Hoffenheim player Jeremy Toljan.

The youngster’s contract will run out in June 2018 and The Blues have already scouted Toljan not only during his Under 21s games with Germany vs England and Portugal, but also when he has played with Hoffenheim in Bundesliga.

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Diego Costa has scored just two goals in the last seven games with Chelsea and some fans are becoming concerned about the Spanish striker’s form.

Among these people, also former Blues defender Jason Cundy: “If we’re honest” – Cundy explained on Chelsea Tv – “Costa isn’t on it at the moment. He’s not at where we saw him two months ago. People will speculate about the move to China. Impossible to say if it’s had a big effect but all we can do is speculate about what’s happened.”

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Chelsea fans can now vote on Chelsea official website for the Blues goal of the month for March.

Supporters can choose between Eden Hazard goal vs West Ham; N’Golo Kante‘s strike vs Manchester United in Fa Cup; Willian goal vs Stoke City; and youngster Callum Hudson-Odoi goal vs West Ham in an Under-18s game.

All the fans who will vote through Chelsea’s official website, have the chance to win a signed Willian shirt.

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Barcelona have entered talks to appoint Antonio Conte as new manager next year, according to Italian Sky Sport journalist Fabio Caressa.

It is understood that also Inter Milan are keen on the current Chelsea manager as they offered Conte a lucrative deal (esteemed around €13m-per-year deal) to lure the Italian manager from Stamford Bridge.

Conte has put the pen to paper on a three-year-deal with the Blues and could reportedly consider even a contract extension which would see the Italian manager at Chelsea until June 2021, according to several reports.

As a result, Conte’s future at Stamford Bridge is still unclear.

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Chelsea sent scouts to watch Atalanta full-back Andrea Conti, according to reports in England.

The 23-year-old scored a stunning bicycle kick goal against Genoa yesterday and Antonio Conte is said to be a huge fan of the Italian right-back.

Conti’s ownership is currently esteemed around £13m following his great performances with 28 games and 5 goals this campaign.

Chelsea are considering to place a summer bid as Conte wants to strengthen the squad in defense, according to La Gazzetta dello Sport.

It is understood that Blues’ scouts are monitoring also Hoffenheim left-back Jeremy Toljan as it won’t be easy to sign Conti: in fact, also Inter, Napoli and Sevilla are keen on him.

 

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Thierry Henry believes Chelsea can sew title race before the end of April despite a difficult calendar ahead.

The Blues will host Manchester City on Wednesday night and will then visit Bournemouth and Manchester United before a short trip to Wembley to face Spurs in FA Cup semifinals.

On 25 April the game at home against Southampton and in the last day of the month they will travel to Liverpool for a clash against Everton:

If I were at the top of the Premier League, like Chelsea, and I see that Tottenham are getting points, I’d be getting a tiny bit more worried when I play City and United,” the Arsenal legend told Sky Sports.

“I think those three games [against City, Bournemouth and United] are crucial

“If they still manage to have five, six points [advantage] before the semi-final of the FA Cup, I think it will be done.

“But Tottenham needs to be around the corner for that. And I think City missed an opportunity [against Arsenal].”

 

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Garth Crooks claimed that Crystal Palace duo Wilfried Zaha and Christian Benteke gave a serious headache to Chelsea defenders on Saturday afternoon.

The defence was one of the strong points of Blues under Antonio Conte, but Gary Cahill, David Luiz and Cesar Azpilicueta were seriously on stress against the Eagles the other day.

“The former Liverpool striker led the line for Crystal Palace beautifully against Chelsea and gave David Luiz and Gary Cahill a torrid time in every department,” Crooks wrote in his Team of the Week article for BBC Sports.

“If he wasn’t challenging them in the air and putting them under pressure he was heading away corners in his own penalty area. 

“However, it was his partnership with Wilfried Zaha that really excited me. These two boys were responsible for Chelsea’s demise with great link play and two sensational goals.”

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Chelsea star Diego Costa stressed the importance of winning a crucial game like the one of tomorrow night against Manchester City, that wouldn’t mean just three fundamental points in the title race, but it could mean also to kick a direct rival out of the chase for the title:

“After a loss at home and with a rival closing the gap the importance of the game only grows,” the Spanish striker claimed after the defeat against Crystal Palace.

“We know this game against Manchester City will be a six-point affair since if we win the game they will be out of the title race while we keep the advantage. It also depends on the match between Tottenham and Swansea. In any case, we will do our best.

“We hope that the next game the ball will go in, and that we do a better job at handling these counter-attacking plays so we do not suffer from early goals again, and thus avoid what happened against Palace.”

 

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Former Manchester United star Gary Neville told SkySports that ‘Arsenal are a better club’ than Chelsea speaking after the Gunners’ clash against Manchester City at Emirates Stadium.

“This is a better club than Chelsea, – Neville said – Why wouldn’t players come and play here? Look at this stadium, it’s unbelievable”.

“Chelsea are a fantastic club but you’ve got to say, even Chelsea fans wouldn’t argue that Arsenal are a bigger club than them”.

“Arsenal are a bigger club than Chelsea. – Neville added – They are, it’s a fact”.

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