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Rafa Benitez guided Chelsea for six months and he won the Europa League with the Blues. Tomorrow the Spanish manager will be back for the first team as an opponent at Stamford Bridge and, despite some fans don’t like him for his connections with Liverpool, he expects a good reception from the majority of the public.

“I think the fans will be fine,” – Benitez said –  “The normal fans who you can find on the streets were ok with me. But the rivalry between Chelsea and Liverpool changed things and the perceptions of some people. The majority realised I was doing a professional job. Roman Abramovich wanted to qualify for the Champions League and we finished third. We did that and we won the Europa League in the mean time. I think the fans will be happy with that. It was really positive. I have a lot of friends there, the staff was really good and the fans were fine. I tried to take the positives out of things and those are that they realised we did our job until the end and more and we achieved what they wanted which is fine.”

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Nemanja Matic will be back at Stamford Bridge next Sunday: the former Chelsea midfielder move to Manchester United in a £ 35m move last summer and now he is one of the most missed players in West London while he settled really well at Old Trafford, becoming immediately a key-man for José Mourinho’s side.

The Serbian midfielder was important in the last two title campaigns ( 2015 and 2017) for Chelsea as well and, speaking ahead of next Sunday’s clash, he hopes Blues supporters would “respect” his achievements but stresses that he would not be bothered by a frosty reception:

“When I played there I always gave 100 percent and we won two titles together. I’m sure they respect that, but if not I don’t really care.

“I spent a good time there, three-and-a-half years, which is a long time, and of course it’s going to be something special for me to play again in that stadium.

“But now I’m on the opposite side, I have to be professional and do the best for my team. I don’t have to prove to them anything. I just have to prove something to my new club.”

Matic said knowing how much José Mourinho had wanted him brought a “big responsibility” but declined the comment on Chelsea’s transfer strategy.

“I cannot say. The only thing I can say is that I am happy to be part of this club. I’m happy to working with Mourinho. That’s all I can say.”

Chelsea are fourth in the table after losing two of their last four games, but United have not won at Stamford Bridge since 2012.

“It’s always important to win, especially when you’re going to play big games like Sunday, so we want to take all the points,” Matic said.

“But we know we must respect them — they are a good team, they’re champions, and it’s going to be a hard game for us, but we also have our own qualities.

“It’s going to be a big game, it’s difficult to say what’s going to happen before it, but we will try to do our best and take points.”

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Antonio Conte and Chelsea fans have an amazing relationship, this is no mystery.

Speaking to the club official website ahead of Everton clash in the Carabao Cup, the Italian boss praised them and thanked them for their support, even in a not positive moment like the one that Chelsea are going through right now:

“I think my relationship with the fans is incredible. They always support me, from my first game against West Ham, they prepared a big Italian flag in the stands. I think the feeling with the fans is incredible and I feel pressure to repay this. They call my name, and me and my players want to give great satisfaction to our fans because they deserve this.

“I trust in my work, I give all myself in my work and I feel the pressure to give satisfaction to my players, our fans and the club, because I ask a lot of myself.”

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Chelsea will close tomorrow their Asian tour after playing vs Inter Milan.

Midfielder N’Golo Kante is enjoying this pre-season experience, who he is living for the first time with The Blues.

“We met a lot of Chelsea fans and they give us a lot of love,” – Kante told Chelsea official website – “It’s good for us to see all the support from the fans here and we have to try to give a good image of our team to give a little back to them. “It’s my first time in Singapore and when I discovered this country, it is very beautiful and the people are nice and I’m very happy to spend one week here.”

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According to rumours Celtic are ready to present an offer for Charly Musonda and it seems the Belgian youngster is willing to leave Stamford Bridge to sign a contract with the Scotthis champions.

Blues fans are not happy for the possible exit of another young talent and they have expressed their anger on Twitter and other social networks.

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Conte celebrates at the end of the FA Cup semifinal against Spurs © Francesca Ceciarini

Antonio Conte was beaming in front of Goodison Park away end after the final whistle.

Blues legend Frank Lampard says it’s great to see a manager like that.

Chelsea fans have seen this from Conte all season: passion and a feeling of togetherness.

“The players seem to want to play for him. I know he works them hard on the training field, which can be very repetitive.

“Sometimes it’s hard to keep players interested. But Conte has found the perfect balance.

“You can’t help but respond when you have a manager like that.”

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Chelsea captain and legend John Terry expressed his feelings after announcing he will leave the club after 22 years with a letter to the fans posted on his Instagram account.

The Blues skipper stressed the unconditional love for Chelsea and his fans, claiming he hopes to come back in the future with another role and highlighting this was the toughest decision of his life.

The complete message:

IMG_6096 IMG_6097

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Chelsea star Diego Costa admits he pushed for Atletico Madrid return last summer but he was forced to stay at Stamford Bridge since the Rojiblancos didn’t wait for him.

“Atletico knows I have a special feeling for the team, I lived the best moment of my career there. El Cholo [Diego Simeone] knows it wasn’t impossible for me to come back to Atletico,” Costa told to Spanish media El Larguero.

“The relationship with Conte didn’t start well because when he arrived I told him I wanted to go to Atletico. Chelsea’s fans love me a lot, even more than in Atletico, figure that!

“When Atletico had to wait for me they didn’t, there was still a month to go in the transfer market.

“I’ve done everything to come back to Atletico Madrid but I wouldn’t fight the same to return. When Atletico didn’t wait for me, I had to go to Conte with the tail between my legs.”

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Former Spurs and West Ham boss Harry Redknapp didn’t like the attitude of Chelsea fans toward their former manager Jose’ Mourinho.

The Blues supporters insulted and called “Judas” the Portuguese coach during the FA Cup game against Manchester United last Monday and Mourinho showed them three fingers, a way to remind them he won three leagues with the Stamford Bridge outfit.

When asked about this in the post-match press conference, Jose’ said:

“I am Manchester United manager and I have to defend my club, but I would like to remind Chelsea fans that until a coach will win 4 Premier League titles with them, Judas will be their number 1.”

Harry Redknapp explained that Chelsea fans behaviour was not fair:

“I didn’t like to see Chelsea fans giving their former manager so much stick either,” the English coach told Evening Standard.

“But this is the world we live in now, that’s how the game is.

“You go back somewhere and people give you grief.

“How can they give him stick after the job he did there?

“I didn’t blame him for reminding them how many titles he won in two spells by flicking three fingers.”

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