Tags Posts tagged with "Everton"

Everton

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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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Everton manager Ronald Koeman is aware of the difference between Everton and Premier League leaders Chelsea, with also Tottenham Hotspur included.

Speaking about his side’s chances to reach Arsenal and Manchester United until the end of season, Koeman said: “We know they are not teams like Tottenham and Chelsea who don’t lose any games. No, they are different”.

“They have one or two more games to play than us but they have difficult fixtures, – Koeman continued – “Manchester United are still in the Europa League and this weekend Arsenal have the semi-final of the FA Cup”.

 

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Burnley manager Sean Dyche claimed today that Clarets’ highly-rated defender Michael Keane will only be sold if the price is right.

He said: “Absolutely, we’re in a great position, if that came around. We’re in a stronger position now, that’s where the club has changed”.

It is understood that Chelsea, Everton and Manchester United are all keen on the 24-year-old centre-back, who is impressing at the Turf Moor this season so far.

“It would have to be appropriate for all parties, and all parties are in the loop. – Dyche added - There’s no story, when everyone reads it, they’ll all say ‘that’s exactly what we’ve been told”.

“I’m open and honest with the players. We’ll look at it and speak to the relevant people– if it doesn’t fit, crack on.”

“I actually got told via a TV screen apparently that he will be leaving, that was news to me as a manager. The reality is that nothing’s changed,” Dyche added.

“If there was interest from other clubs, it would only be something that we control. We’re a different animal than what we were a few years ago, we’re in a very strong situation now – the club financially, the way the business side is run”.

“We can make those decisions when it’s appropriate to do so. We’re certainly not under any consideration of our players leaving at this moment in time”.

Then Burnley manager Sean Dyche ended: “It didn’t need someone through the TV to tell me apparently he will be leaving, I don’t know where that came from. A source, apparently. I’m always a good source, as manager. I’m pretty reliable as well.” 

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There are four Chelsea players in the PFA Team of the Year that was announced this morning.

Gary Cahill, David Luiz, Eden Hazard and N’Golo Kante all made it in the Premier League top evelen.

A deserved prize for their outstanding season.

The full team:

Goalkeeper: David De Gea ( Manchester United)

Defenders: Kyle Walker ( Spurs) Gary Cahill ( Chelsea) David Luiz ( Chelsea) Danny Rose ( Spurs)

Midfielders: Sadio Mane ( Liverpool) N’Golo Kante ( Chelsea) Dele Alli ( Spurs) Eden Hazard ( Chelsea)

Forwards: Harry Kane ( Spurs) Romelu Lukaku ( Everton)

 

PFA-Team-of-the-Year-2017

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Everton manager Ronald Koeman has confirmed that striker Romelu Lukaku won’t extend his deal at Goodison Park on Thursday.

 

“He told me he won’t sign a new contract, – Koeman told a press conference – No, I don’t know where Lukaku wants to go, maybe I wait for the call from Drogba to tell me where he wants to go.”

The Belgian international, who has scored 23 times in Premier League so far, is said to be closing in on a mammoth move to Chelsea. 

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Chelsea legend Didier Drogba backs a Romelu Lukaku‘s return to Stamford Bridge.

The former Ivorian striker believes the Everton star could be “great” for his club:

“If he comes to Chelsea it will be great for the club,” said Drogba.

“He knows the house already and I think he wants to prove he can be successful here, he didn’t get the chance to do it.”

Lukaku spent three years at Chelsea earlier in his career before he followed a season on loan with the Blues by moving to Everton on a permanent deal for £28m back in summer 2014: now the Toffees are asking a £80m fee to let him go.

“He wants to be the best. He’s really working hard to become the best.

“I am always challenging him. When he scores one goal, I expect him to score two. We have a very good relationship.

“I think he’s my little brother. He’s a really good guy. He’s a very good player, but also a great man.

“I know him very well and I know what he’s planning.”

But when asked by Sky Sports whether he would reveal Lukaku’s intentions, Drogba replied: “No.”

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