Tags Posts tagged with "Everton"

Everton

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Antonio Conte admitted he is not sure he will be able to keep some Chelsea stars at Stamford Bridge next summer.

Rumours were suggesting that Eden Hazard was targeted by Real Madrid and a move to the Blancos was possible for the Belgian forward, and Conte revealed the club will have the last say on this matter:

“It is impossible for me to take this responsibility. Not only for Eden but for every single player, it is the club that has the final decision. I can tell my opinion about this situation but the club has the final word, and it is right this.

“My opinion about Eden is that he is a great player and he has great talent and in this season he has improved a lot, not only on the pitch but also he is becoming mentally strong and at this level it is very important to try to have this step, because this step brings the best players in the world. I think Eden is starting to do this step.

“This season I am seeing a player with good maturity and a player who wants to be decisive during a game.”

Anyway, the Italian coach admitted Chelsea and him would love Hazard to stay:

“I don’t think this idea is the mind of the club because we have to improve the team, to reinforce the team, but you know in football there is also the will of the player but also I think Eden is very happy to be at Chelsea and stay and work with us. I can say this but for the future I do not have a crystal ball.

“The fans love him and there a lot of positive things that bring him to stay here and try to reach the best with this club, because the target for this club is to try to win in every competition you have to play.”

Speaking about tomorrow’s game against Everton and title race, he said:

“In this league we have to fight to the end. I know our fixtures and the difficulty for the games we have to face. For this reason, I am sure we have to fight to the end to win this title and who wins this title it will be by one or two points but not a lot.”

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Chelsea manager Antonio Conte was also asked about the title race, with Tottenham still 4 points behind the Blues with only 5 games left.

“I think that, in this league, two teams are having a great season. – Conte claimed – Yes, I think this because Chelsea are having a great season, but also Tottenham are having a great season. Two good teams, two teams who are showing we deserve to fight for the title until the end”.

“It’s important to arrive at the end of the season fighting for something important after a lot of work.

“For us, it’s a great achievement to fight for the title and the FA Cup final, because we are in the final. But also we must praise Tottenham because they are playing very well and having a great season in the same way llike Chelsea.”

Everton clash could represent a turning point in Premier League title race. “I repeat: we’ve worked a lot to arrive at this point fighting for the title – Conte added – For this reason, we want to reach our target with all our strength. We have to do our job with the right pressure but, at the same time, to enjoy this moment.”

When asked whether it will be an advantage to play before Tottenham next week, Conte said: “No, no. I think it’s not an advantage. For sure at the end of the season I think that when you have two teams in the race, in contention for the title, you must have a good balance to try to put the fixtures in the same hour, on the same days, and don’t give advantage to one team or another”.

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Who would Chelsea manager Antonio Conte rather have in his team: Diego Costa or Everton star Romelu Lukaku?

“As I said before, for me my players are the best in the world. I don’t change my players with other players.” Conte said.

The Belgium international has been heavily linked with a comeback to Stamford Bridge at the end of current season, with Diego Costa reportedly heading to Chinese Super League on a mammoth move.

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Chelsea have ended 11 games without a clean sheet and manager Antonio Conte expressed his disappointment speaking at press conference ahead of Everton clash.

“I don’t like, but it’s important to know that I don’t like it. – Conte said – Sometimes the stats are not true, above all for possession: you can have good possession and lose the game, but about the clean sheets, I think it’s an important stat”.

“It’s 11 games tha we are not able to keep a clean sheet and, for this reason, it’s important to improve, to work on the situations we’re conceding the goals”.

At the same time, the Italian manager confirmed he’s not concerned about this situation: “No, I’m not concerned about this – Conte said – But we are working to improve”.

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When asked about Tottenham’s campaign so far, Chelsea manager Antonio Conte said: “After a lot of work we are fighting for the FA Cup and Premier League, but we must praise Tottenham as they are playing a great season like Chelsea”

“We’ll try to reach this target with all our strength trying to enjoy this moment. I hope to stay here in the future and I want to win with my players, with the club and the fans: all together”.

About Romelu Lukaku, who has been linked with a move to Chelsea next summer: “I think Lukaku is a really good player who’s scoring a lot of goals this season, but not only this season, and we must pay attention”.

“But is always the same work, we try every time to find the best solution to stop the opponents, about single players and about the team” Conte added.

About Everton squad he ended: “They have a lot of good players, good technique, good finishing”.

 

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Chelsea manager Antonio Conte spoke ahead of the Blues’ trip to Goodison Park, where they’ll face Everton.

“Everton are a strong team with great players in their squad, good quality with a good manager. A physical team, also. This game could be tough for many different reasons” he said.

“It will be a very tough game for us, for sure, but at the end of the season, every game becomes tough for many different reasons”.

Everton won 8th games in a row at Goodison Park and are still unbeaten in eight games at home.

“We all know Everton are a strong team, when they play at home they’re stronger. It’s very important to look at ourselves, prepare very well and arrive to play this game with great physical condition, good organisation, to know our tasks defensively and offensively.”

Champions League qualification is getting closer for Chelsea, as the Blues would confirm their participation to the competition with a draw or win: “I think we are very close to reach a very important target for the fans and players [the Champions League] – Conte said – When we started this season, our first target was to play in the Champions League next season but, for sure now, we stay in a position to try also to win the league”.

“In this league when your team is able to reach this target is a good achievement, don’t forget that only 4 teams can play the Champions League every year. Obviously, with six teams between Chelsea, Tottenham, City, Arsenal, United, Liverpool, two strong teams won’t play next season in the Champions League.”

Then Conte gave an injury update ahead of Everton clash: “All my players are available, they’re in good fitness” he said.

 

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It will be an important weekend for the Premier League title race: Chelsea will play Everton at Goodison Park, while Tottenham will face Arsenal in the North London derby.

Antonio Conte‘s side don’t have to make a mistake and underestimate their opponents, but, according to Nigel Winterburn the pressure will be all on the Spurs.

“You look at Chelsea it’s this weekend against Everton away and West Brom away where they can drop points – Winterburn told Sky Sports Look at their home games, I can’t see them dropping points. The pressure is on Tottenham. Everyone is expecting them to win and Arsenal will look to spoil that.”

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Chelsea players celebrating Diego Costa's goal against Everton back in November © Francesca Ceciarini

Writing for BetVictor former Ballon d’Or winner Michael Owen picked his two key players for Everton v Chelsea:

“This should be a cracking game with Everton looking to exorcise their 5-0 loss to the Champions-elect at the Bridge earlier in the season,” the ex Liverpool, Real Madrid and Man United forward wrote.

“Only Liverpool have won at Goodison in the PL so far this season and it is their home form, eight successive wins, which has seen Everton challenge for a top-six spot.

Diego Costa has a good record against Everton and he was back to his best against Southampton midweek.

“Reports suggest Romelu Lukaku is earmarked as a replacement for Costa should he leave the Bridge for China in the summer and the outcome of the game could revolve around the two inform strikers.”

A footnotte added: “Michael’s recommendation: Diego Costa to score at anytime at Evens.”

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Eden Hazard against Everton last season © Francesca Ceciarini

Sky Sports pundit Paul Merson reckons Chelsea can obtain a win at Goodison Park this Sunday in a clash against Everton that that to many people seem the last tough obstacle between the Blues and the Premier League title:

Everton are a weird team,” the ex Arsenal player wrote his column for the TV network.

“They get to a certain stage, you think they’re set to kick on for a top four or top-five place, and they just melt away.

“A few weeks ago they were flying, went to Middlesbrough and drew 0-0. Then they were flying again and got well beaten by Tottenham. And then they were flying again, go to West Ham and draw 0-0.

“They have not taken that next step and I worry for them. It will be a competitive game but Chelsea should have too much.”

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Everton midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin warns Chelsea ahead of this Sunday’s clash at Goodison Park.

The game away with the Toffees seems the last really tough match the Blues will have to face in this title race with Spurs, but the ex Southampton and Manchester United player sends Conte’s players a message.

Everton lost 5-0 at Stamford Bridge back in November, in which was probably the best Chelsea display during this season, even if the French midfielder was still a Red Devils player at that time:

“It will be in the back of people’s minds that they want to have revenge for that loss.

“But the only thing we can focus on now is our performance on Sunday.

“We need to make sure that we don’t let them breathe and exploit the qualities that they have because they have so much quality all over the park.

“It is up to us to be hard to beat and to be on them every minute and not them have any space.”

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