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chelsea

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Ahead of the game today against Manchester United, Chelsea boss Guus Hiddink has been speaking to the Chelsea club website about the players that could potentially be involved.

Chelsea played MK Dons in the FA cup last week and it gave Hiddink a good opportunity to look at the younger players in the squad.

When asked about the youngsters Hiddink replied “the demands are very high.”

“We have some players knocking on the door, every now and then they play and they experience the difficulty of making the next step.

“I hope and I think the club will give them more chances but it’s also to do with the demands of the league, so it’s tricky.”

Guus Hiddink also gave his thoughts on playing Namanja Matic and John Obi Mikel together in front of the back four.

“We need a good balance and we have very creative players up front and in our midfield, so we need a balance and it is not just a screening two.

“Of course Mikel is more close to our central defenders and recovering a lot of balls, with short and sometimes longer passing, but Matic is a little bit different, a little bit more of an attacking player and as he has shown in the previous games, he is allowed to go and support the attack more advanced than Mikel is.”

Guus Hiddink, during his time as the Holland manager he had Daley Blind‘s father working under him, this gave him many opportunities to see Daley Blind perform and has a good idea on what the player is capable of.

“I know the player and of course he’s not the quickest but he’s tactically very keen.

“He has to adapt himself to the pace of the games because now he is in the Premier League. There are not many moments with a relative pause in the game and that’s what he must get used to.”

 

 

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Chelsea vs Manchester United is always a tough contest. Here's a comparison of some of the key players in today's game.

Chelsea play Manchester United later today at 16.00. A rivalry that has grown in the Premier League era Chelsea vs United has always been a hot contest, however, more often than not Chelsea have come out on top – Manchester United have lost more often (16 times) to Chelsea than any other opponent in the Premier League era. United have not won against Chelsea in their last six Premier League match-ups, and only won at Stamford Bridge once in the last 13 times played there. With four red cards in the last five games between the teams there are some significant rivalries in the squads:

The goal scorers: Wayne Rooney vs Diego Costa

Both are strong, both are physical, both score goals. Rooney vs Costa is a rivalry to watch. Both have been criticised for their behaviour and aggression on the pitch at times, which has led to unnecessary bookings. The players also have remarkably similar statistics this season. Rooney has played 20 games, taken 52 shots, scored 7 goals, and made 3 assists. Costa has played 20 games, taken 47 shots, scored 8 goals, and made 3 assists.

The battle for control: Cesc Fàbregas vs Marouane Fellaini

The battle for midfield control is also an interesting match-up and if it was last season the edge would definitely be with Chelsea. Fàbregas is considered one of the best midfielders of his generation. He is a playmaker in midfield, using his technique, ball control, vision, and passing ability to dictate the tempo of his team’s play. Fellaini, on the other hand has for a long time struggled to establish himself and his position in the United squad. Both 28-year-olds have not been preforming to their best this season and the stats are revealing for this match-up: Fàbregas has played 23 games this season, scoring 1 goal, providing three assists and having 23 shots; Fellaini has played 14 games this season, scoring 1 goal, providing zero assists and having 19 shots.

The Keepers: David De Gea vs Thibaut Courtois

Both word class goalkeepers the winner of today’s game is sure to be decided by who performs better in goal.  Both played at Atletico Madrid for a number of years in their careers, and both have been successful for their national sides. Courtois has had a rough season this year suffering a red card in his first Premier League game of the season, followed by a leg injury that kept him out the squad for three months. However, despite this bad luck the Belgian has managed to keep 4 clean sheets in 13 games and make 35 saves. De Gea’s stats are also impressive keeping 9 clean sheets in 20 games and making over 50 saves. At the end of the day football is about scoring goals and with these men as keepers it won’t be easy for either team.

Both Chelsea and United have disappointed this season, however, that will not make today’s game any less intense. Kick-off is 4pm today at Stamford Bridge.

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Hiddink

Interim Chelsea manager has admitted that he has been lined up to follow former Chelsea player, Ramires, in moving to the Chinese Super League. Luiz Felipe Scolari and former Chelsea defender Dan Petrescu also manage in China which indicates that China are trying to create a football revolution.

Hiddink said “I had some possibilities to go there in the recent past,” He did not feel the need to expand on the comment.

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Kakuta was able to impress the Europa Legaue champions this season.

Former Chelsea midfielder Gael Kakuta has moved to Chinese club Hebei China Fortune from Sevilla for a fee believed to be in the region of £4.6m. Kakuta left Chelsea for Sevilla in the summer after failing to make his mark at the club.

He spent time on loan at 6 different teams and follows former Chelsea player Ramires in moving to China.

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Eden Hazard © Francesca Ceciarini

Chelsea midfielder Eden Hazard has revealed that he sent former Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho a “message to say I was sorry he had gone”. After being the Premier League’s best player last season, Hazard struggled to find the same sort of form this campaign. This was partly due to constant injuries and the team generally not performing as well.

But Hazard told The Guardian “I sent him the message to say I was sorry he had gone and… well… just that I was sorry.

We’d enjoyed all that success together last season, but this time round we hadn’t. I felt a little bit guilty because I’d been Player of the Year. I’d been one of the most decisive players, and this year I’d performed less well.

I hadn’t been at the same level. So I sent that text to José and he came back to me, wishing me all the best for the future.”

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Watford striker Troy Deeney has labelled his teammate Juan Carlos Paredes “pathetic” after the latter’s scrap with Diego Costa against Chelsea on Wednesday night.

Costa was once again the centre of attention as he sparred with several Hornets’ players, before being booked by referee Mike Dean after his altercation with Paredes.

The Spaniard appeared to be punched by Paredes, only for the Ecuadorian to go down after a brief skirmish with the Blues striker.

Speaking to talkSPORT, Deeney has said that Paredes, who was also shown a yellow card, is “an idiot” for rolling on the floor:

“The way I grew up playing football, people would probably get a kick for rolling around and doing it the other way. I just thought it was a bit pathetic,” Deeney said.

“My only question to the referee was if Costa is going to get another talking to, what was the point in talking to him the first time?

“He agreed with it, gave a yellow card and booked our guy, too. When he booked our guy I can’t say anything because if you roll around like an idiot that is what you get.

“I am going to try and protect my man as much as I can but he didn’t help himself, let’s put it that way.”

Paredes spent his early years playing in the Ecuadorian Serie A, before moving to Vicarage Road in the summer of 2014, and Deeney believes that the difference in culture may be to blame:

“Look at me: I am a big guy so when I go down, normally it hurts. I don’t throw myself on the floor,” Deeney added.

“I am just brought up old-school and I don’t get why would you go down.

“It is different. I don’t think if I go down, roll around and hold my face people are going to think I am cool, they are going to think you look more of an idiot, to be honest

“I’ll have a chat with him but he is not from England, he is not brought up the way I am brought up, whereas the way he is used to playing, that is normal.”

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LOUIS VAN GAAL MANCHESTER UNITED

Ahead of Chelsea’s game against Manchester United at Stamford Bridge on Sunday, we take a look at the odds on offer.

All odds provided by SkyBET (SB), Ladbrokes (L) and Coral (C), correct as of 5th February.

 

Full-time score:

Chelsea win: SB – 21/20, L – 11/10, C – 21/20

Draw: SB – 9/4, L –21/10, C – 9/4

Manchester United win: SB – 14/5, L – 14/5, C – 3/1

 

First goalscorer:

Eden Hazard: SB – 13/2, L – 7/1 C – 7/1

Oscar: SB – 13/2, L – 13/2, C – 6/1

Pedro: SB – 13/2, L – 8/1, C – 8/1

Diego Costa: SB – 4/1, L – 9/2, C – 4/1

Willian: SB – 15/2, L – 8/1, C – 10/1

No goalscorer: SB – 7/1, L – 7/1, C – 7/1

Wayne Rooney: SB – 13/2, L – 7/1, C – 7/1

Anthony Martial: SB – 17/2, L – 9/1, C – 7/1

Memphis Depay: SB – 10/1, L – 11/1, C – 8/1

Juan Mata: SB – 11/1, L – 11/1, C – 12/1

Jesse Lingard: SB – 12/1, L – 12/1, C – 9/1

 

Final Score:

Chelsea win:

1-0: SB – 5/1, L – 5/1, C – 5/1

2-0: SB – 15/2, L – 8/1, C – 8/1

2-1: SB – 8/1, L – 8/1, C – 17/2

3-0: SB – 16/1, L – 18/1, C – 18/1

3-1: SB – 18/1, L – 18/1, C – 18/1

Draw:

0-0: SB – 7/1, L – 13/2, C – 13/2

1-1: SB – 9/2, L – 5/1, C – 11/2

2-2: SB – 16/1, L – 16/1, C – 16/1

3-3: SB – 80/1, L – 80/1, C – 80/1

4-4: SB – 250/1, L – 325/1, C – 200/1

Manchester United win:

1-0: SB – 8/1, L – 8/1, C – 15/2

2-0: SB – 16/1, L – 18/1, C – 16/1

2-1: SB – 12/1, L – 12/1, C – 12/1

3-0: SB – 50/1, L – 50/1, C – 45/1

3-1: SB – 40/1, L – 33/1, C – 33/1

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Guus Hiddink is looking for his side to get back to winning ways as Chelsea take on Manchester United at Stamford Bridge on Sunday (16:00 GMT KO).

The Blues could only force a 0-0 draw at Watford on Wednesday night as a brilliant save from Heurelho Gomes right at the death meant that Chelsea could only move up to 13th in table.

United currently sit in fifth, five points behind fourth-placed Arsenal, after suffering an extremely up and down season thus far. However, a comprehensive 3-0 win over Stoke on Tuesday night has done much to ease the pressure on under-fire boss Louis van Gaal.

Earlier this season at Old Trafford, Chelsea drew 0-0 with the Reds in an end-to-end encounter, during which both goalkeepers were worked but neither side could force a winner.

 

Last six games:

Chelsea: WDDWWD (includes two FA Cup game).

Manchester United: WDWLWW (includes one FA Cup game).

 

Team News:

– Eden Hazard could start after returning to the bench against Watford on Wednesday.

– Pedro is a doubt after picking up a groin problem.

– Loic Remy and Radamel Falcao are still both injured.

– New signings A;exandre Pato and Matt Miazga both lack match fitness.

– The Reds are still without Marcos Rojo, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Antonio Valencia, Phil Jones and Luke Shaw.

 

Statistics:

– Chelsea are unbeaten in their last nine league and cup games against Manchester United (W5, D4).

– United have won just one Premier League game at Stamford Bridge since 2002.

– There have been four red cards shown in the last five Premier League games meetings at Stamford Bridge.

– Guus Hiddink’s side are unbeaten in eight league games (W3, D5) – the longest streak in the top flight.

– Defeat would leave Manchester United with their lowest points tally (40 points) at this stage of a Premier League season.

– Wayne Rooney has been involved in eight of the Red Devils’ last 10 league goals, scoring five goals and registering three assists.

Starting XI last time out in the Premier League:

Chelsea (away vs. Watford, drew 0-0): Courtois, Ivanovic, Zouma, Terry, Azpilicueta, Matic, Willian, Mikel, Fabregas, Oscar, Costa.

Manchester United (home vs. Stoke, won 3-0): de Gea, Darmian, Smalling, Blind, Borthwick-Jackson, Fellaini, Carrick, Lingard, Mata, Martial, Rooney.

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OSCAR
Brazilian midfielder Oscar © Francesca Ceciarini

Chelsea reportedly turned down a £57.5 million bid from Chinese Super League side Jiangsu Suning for midfielder Oscar. 

The Blues sold fellow Brazilian Ramires to Suning earlier in January for £25 million, which at the time broke the Chinese transfer record. However, that record was then broken twice again in the same month.

Should the bid for Oscar have been accepted, he would have broken the record for a fourth time inside a month.

Oscar, along with several other key Chelsea players, have been linked with moves away from Stamford Bridge in recent months, although the failure of this bid seems to suggest that Guus Hiddink is keen to hold on to his key players.

 

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Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has ruled out trying to sign Chelsea captain John Terry, but has said that the defender still possesses huge quality. 

Terry announced last Sunday that he would be leaving Stamford Bridge at the end of the season, having made his professional debut for the club in 1998.

It is believed that the former England captain will continue his career in the MLS, having stated that he will not represent another English side.

Wenger has also reiterated that he won’t be trying to sign the 34-year old, despite Terry being linked to several Premier League clubs:

No [he won’t sign] because he is at the end of his career and he has spent his career at Chelsea.

“If he wants to play longer, I am sure he will play for Chelsea.”

The Frenchman has also said that Terry is a leader of men on the pitch, and that it takes a certain talent to stay at the top for the length of time that he has:

“He was not only a great player, he certainly still is, but he was also a great coach on the pitch,” Wenger said.  

“I saw him here once at London Colney playing with the Under-21’s and the way he coached the team as a player was absolutely marvellous.

“He was a real leader and he had a great career as well, let’s not forget that. That’s never a coincidence. The guys who last such a long time have something special.”

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