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Chelsea will face Watford at the Vicarage Road in their second Premier League game under Antonio Conte‘s management today.

TEAM NEWS

Watford

Watford manager Walter Mazzarri had to face Ben Watson‘s red card in his Premier League opener against Southampton and will have to make some decision given that also Hornets‘ new signing Isaac Success won’t be fit for the game due to a leg muscle injury.

Troy Deeney alongside Odion Ighalo will likely play together as they did in their first game of the season.

Southampton Watford

Also Brice Dja Djédjé is not expected to make his debut at Vicarage Road could be left out of the starting lineup to face Chelsea.

Chelsea

Chelsea have the majority of their squad available for this fixture with Cesc Fabregas who is expected to be left out of the Blues’ starting XI again. N’Golo Kante and Nemanja Matic will likely play in the midfield besides Hazard, Oscar and Willian.

The lineup will reportedly be the same of the Premier League opener against West Ham.

Chelsea oscar

Defender Kurt Zouma and midfielder Marco Van Ginkel are still recovering from injuries and are not expected to be selected in the squad for the game, alongside with Nigeria international John Obi Mikel, who is currently playing with his national team at the Olympic Games in Brazil and won’t be able to feature today.

PREDICTED LINEUPS

Chelsea: Courtois, Azpilicueta, Terry, Cahill, Ivanovic, Kante, Hazard, Matic, Oscar, Willian, Costa

Watford: Gomes; Cathcart, Prodl, Britos; Amrabat, Guedioura, Behrami, Capoue, Holebas; Deeney, Ighalo

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Juan Cuadrado’s agent, Aleassandro Lucci, is set to meet up with Chelsea and Juventus to discuss a potential move to the Serie A side this week, according to reports.

Both sides are said to be eager to enter talks for the winger on Monday, according to Italian Sky Sport.

The Bianconeri are trying to bring the Colombian international back for another loan spell despite Blues manager Antonio Conte is said to be a great admirer of the 28-year-old and recently admitted: “He will come back very soon and train and play with us. He’s a Chelsea player and he’ll stay with us,” 

“It’s not an easy situation, – Lucci told SportItalia – However, I’ll fly to London to try and unblock it.”

 

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Chelsea striker Diego Costa had been heavily linked with a return to his former side Atletico Madrid this summer and Los Colchoneros‘ head coach Diego Pablo Simeone has confirmed their interest in the 27-year-old.

Kevin Gameiro joined Atletico Madrid from Sevilla on a £28m move plus add-ons and Simeone admitted Spanish TV channel Movistar+: “He was our second choice,” 

“We were always very clear with Gameiro, always. When I spoke to him over the phone…Yes, the club worked on the possibility that Diego Costa would come back, but then those possibilities didn’t progress.”

“I told him that we’d sought the position of being able to count on Costa but that out of the alternatives I’d given the club, I bet on him entirely and that we wanted him to be the forward to join us this season.”

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Juventus CEO Giuseppe Marotta has revealed Chelsea winger Juan Manuel Cuadrado is edging closer to moving back to the Serie A side, where he spent last season on loan featuring 40 times under Massimiliano Allegri.

“Cuadrado is a player welcomed for various reasons – he told La Gazzetta dello Sport With us, he behaved well, our experience with him was extremely positive. It’s a question that will be resolved in the next couple of days max”.

“For now, he’s at Chelsea. If the club is open to it, well, we’ll start talking. A loan? I’d say yes, we’ll see.”

His agent Alessandro Lucci is reportedly traveling to London in order to seal an agreement with the Blues on a season-long £3.5m loan with an option to buy.

Anyway, new Chelsea manager Antonio Conte is said to be a huge fan of the 28-year-old and claimed last week: “He will come back very soon and train and play with us. He’s a Chelsea player and he’ll stay with us,” 

 

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According to the Croatian side’s manager, Zlatko Kranjcar, Chelsea have agreed a deal to sign Dinamo Zagreb goalkeeper Eduardo dos Reis Carvalho, known as simply Eduardo.

Kranjcar was asked whether the Portuguese international was leaving the club and he told Croatian news outlet 24 Sata that he believes that to be case and wishes him all the luck in the world.

“I think so. Eduardo has been given an amazing opportunity to leave for a big club like Chelsea.

“With his arrival we gained security in our team. During my time at the club he has defended his goal very well. Even impressively. But the situation is that he is leaving. May he have all the good luck at the big club.”

Antonio Conte‘s Chelsea are a little short of experienced goalkeepers at the club, with only Asmir Begovic to back up number one keeper Thibaut Courtois. An injury to either of those and the Blues could be in trouble for the rest of the season.

So, with the deal for Eduardo being all but complete, it’s great news for everyone involved with the London club.

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Chelsea captain and centre-back John Terry spoke to Sky Sports after their 2-1 victory over West Ham United on Monday night.

He insisted that they have relied heavily on Eden Hazard in the past few season and although he is a world class player, he can’t do it all by himself.

Last season Hazard‘s form dipped dramatically and it showed in the results for Chelsea and their overall finish in the Premier League.

“He’s up there with the very best in the world for me.

“We relied on him too much last season and he can’t do it all on his own even though he almost does.

“He’s a world-class player and we’re very lucky to have him.”

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According to The Times, Conte has studied Hazard‘s performances from his poor campaign last year and he has identified what it was that caused Hazard to lose his confidence.

It took Hazard until April to open up his goal scoring tally and compared to the season before, that wasn’t good enough.

Conte believes that Hazard was tackled or pushed off the ball too easily and insists he needs to add some strength to his game in order to keep possession.

So, the Italian manager has ordered him to spend extra time in the gym lifting to weights in an attempt to get him back to his very best for the Blues in the season ahead.

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Crystal Palace are lining up a move to land Chelsea striker Loic Remy to Selhurst Park, according to the London Evening Standard.

The 29-year-old has struggled to break into Antonio Conte‘s starting XI during the whole pre-season tour in Austria and United States, then he is expected to be willing to move away from Stamford Bridge.

The France international might be offered to Everton in Romelu Lukaku‘s deal, but the Toffees seem to be more focused on Manchester City star Wilfried Bony.

Former QPR and Olympique Marseille player has been heavily linked also with a move to Olympique Lyon, but the Eagles are reportedly leading the race to sign him.

 

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Chelsea top target Riyad Mahrez has put the pen to paper on a new four-year contract extension with Leicester City, the Claudio Ranieri‘s side have just announced the deal.

SkySports believes there’s no buy-out clause included in his new contract.

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Chelsea forward Diego Costa is never too far away from the media with things that happen on the pitch, good and bad.

On Monday night he was booked by referee Anthony Taylor for dissent in the opening 20 minutes of the game. Later, he made a late tackle on West Ham United keeper Adrian, which people could argue was a second bookable offence. Taylor did show some leniency towards the striker and he then went on to score the winner in the dying embers of the game.

The Spanish international has spoken to ESPN Brazil about how he feels he is targeted by the referees in the English Premier League and is treated completely different than other players.

“I am aware of [the new dissent law] now. The second time I went to talk to him, he showed me [the yellow card]. I even found it a bit weird, but then I understood. I went to apologise at half-time and that’s it.

“But I’ll be honest, I am targeted here, by the referees, the people… if I do something, it’s totally different than if any other players do. It needs to be seen, that people targeted me.

“It’s something I have to deal with and I ask God that these things don’t disturb me and don’t take the sequence of the games from me, which happens sometimes and gives me suspensions.”

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