Tags Posts tagged with "pre-match"

pre-match

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Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp claims to be positive before Chelsea clash despite his team´s bad run in the last week: in just seven days the Reds lost three important games at home, the first one in the Premier League with Swansea – that was sitting bottom of the table before that match- then they lost to Southampton in the second leg of the EFL Cup semifinal, losing the chance to face Manchester United at Wembley in one month, and last Saturday they were knocked out from FA Cup by Wolverhampton ( that now will face Chelsea in fifth round),

“It’s an interesting sign of life that it can change in one month,” he said ahead of the visit of Antonio Conte’s table-toppers.

“But, of course my job here is really to put out the emotion when I judge situations.

“After a bad game, I cannot say ‘now we have to get rid of him and change everything’.

“In this moment we need, especially, as a team, to have faith, belief and all that stuff—that’s the main thing in the job: to stay calm and make the right decisions.

“We lost a few games we should have won and I think a lot of people think in this moment it could be difficult for Liverpool, and it is difficult, no doubt about this, but possible.

“The last week we have lost three home games and that feels less than average, although three different competitions is better than all in one competition.

“It’s all about point of view and how you want to see it. If you only take these three games and say ‘everything is rubbish’, I cannot change it.

“But for us it’s important that we build on the good things.

“I really think we should try everything to make the best of the base we created until now.

“Stay positive. There is no reason for anything else. Absolutely not. It will help a lot against Chelsea.”

Klopp also admitted to have a couple of injury concerns for this game:

“Ejaria got a knock in the first half [against Wolves]. At half-time he got treatment [and he said] it was good. Now he’s out for a while. [The syndesmosis] is a ligament between the shin bone and the [ankle]. It’s really painful.”

“Clyne made two running sessions to see if he could cope with the pain. I saw him yesterday and the thumb was very up, so that’s good”.

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Liverpool star Sadio Mane skipped all January games since he was involved in Africa Cup of Nations with his national team, Senegal, but Reds manager Jurgen Klopp is confident he can take part in the crucial clash against Chelsea tomorrow night:

“It’s all good so far, but of course he will be in tomorrow morning and then we have to make a decision,” the German coach said speaking ahead of Chelsea match.

“In this moment, I have no idea – I have to look into his eyes and see whatever is possible with him and then make a decision.”

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Tomorrow night’s clash at Anfield comes in very strage moment of the season, since it will be played in the last hours of this January transfer window.

Branislav Ivanovic and Asmir Begovic are in negotiation with other teams and have a chance to leave Chelsea before Liverpool’s match asked if they will be selected for the game against Reds,  Conte replied:

“Until now yes, after the training session I will decide for this.”

Asked if Ivanovic already took a decision on his future, he said:

“I spoke to him about this decision, he’s in talkings with other clubs but until now we don’t know anything and we have to wait.

“He gave a lot to Chelsea, we have to see if he’s able to play for many years, at those levels, if you are not playing a lot you can decide to make the decision to go for another team.

“When you start the season and you start to train with a group of players, you create a bond, so you are sorry to see them go, the same was for Oscar and Mikel, so we have to prepare for the situation.”

When asked about Begovic’s situation, Conte replied:

“Until now I haven’t news about Asmir, he wants to go to play every game, but he knows our situation really well, if we are able to find a good replacement he goes, otherwise he stays with us to fight with the team, to fight in the title race.

“I’ve been in football for many years and I am used to this kind of situations for players and managers, if I can help my players to be happy I am glad, but I have also to be sure the situation don’t penalise the team.

Asked how it feels to play such an important game during the last hours of the transfer window, Conte said:

“Tomorrow at 11 pm this transfer window shuts down, it’s very strange that it finishes after our game, it’s very strange.

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Chelsea are going to face a tough game at Anfield tomorrow night, and this clash against Liverpool comes in a very strage moment of the season, since it will be played in the last hours of this January transfer window.

Branislav Ivanovic and Asmir Begovic are in negotiation with other teams and have a chance to leave the Blues before tomorrow night, asked if they will be selected for the Anfield clash, Conte replied:

“Until now yes, after the training session I will decide for this.”

Asked if Ivanovic already took a decision on his future, he said:

‘I spoke to him about this decision, he’s in talkings with other clubs but until now we don’t know anything and we have to wait.

“He gave a lot to Chelsea, we have to see if he’s able to play for many years, at those levels, if you are not playing a lot you can decide to make the decision to go for another team.

“When you start the season and you start to train with a group of players, you create a bond, so you are sorry to see them go, the same was for Oscar and Mikel, so we have to prepare for the situation.”

When asked about Begovic’s situation, Conte replied:

“Until now I haven’t news about Asmir, he wants to go to play every game, but he knows our situation really well, if we are able to find a good replacement he goes, otherwise he stays with us to fight with the team, to fight in the title race.

“I’ve been in football for many years and I am used to this kind of situations for players and managers, if I can help my players to be happy I am glad, but I have also to be sure the situation don’t penalise the team.

Asked how it feels to play such an important game during the last hours of the transfer window, Conte said:

“Tomorrow at 11 pm this transfer window shuts down, it’s very strange that it finishes after our game, it’s very strange.

“This week we face two great opponents, tomorrow it will be tough, because they [Liverpool] come from three defeats, they are a really good team, for sure they will be fighting in the title race and for a place in Champions League. Tomorrow’s result is important, but the league doens’t end after these two games.

Chelsea lost two games in a row back in September, with Liverpool and Arsenal, but after those defeats Conte was able to find the key and the Blues won 13 games in a row, becoming the undisputed Premier League leaders:

“I think we are a different team from the September’s game, not Liverpool, we improved a lot. We became a team after the match with them and Arsenal, we improved our confidence and identity a lot. It’s incredible because it’s not easy to have that kind of defeats and then become a team like the one we became.

Liverpool had a terrible week, with three defeats in a row at Anfield: the first one against the team that was sitting in the bottom of the table, Swansea, then they couldn’t reach EFL Cup Final due to their defeat with Southampton in the semifinal second leg and, eventually, they were knocked out from the FA Cup by Wolverhampton – a Championship side- on Saturday afternoon.

A very tough week, that will give the Reds lots of will of redemption:

“It’s very difficult to explain their latest results,” the Italian manager said.

“It’s a really tough test against a tough team, for me they are a good team, with a good coach, they will fight for the title.

“Is their title race over if they lose? After this game there are 15 games, so there are a lot of points, for sure it would be a hard hit mentally [if they lose].  There are 45 points after this game, so this [match] doesn’t decide the season.

Arsenal’s derby is next game after Anfield, two really difficult clashes in four days that can influence Chelsea season a lot:

“I hope to keep the same position after these two games, tomorrow it’s important for us to get continuity and get a good result, it’s important for us to have continuity and get three points, for sure it’s not easy.”

Asked if Chelsea have to prove something against top teams, since they collected three defeats with Liverpool, Arsenal and Tottenham, Antonio said:

“It’s always important to win this kind of games because when you face a top level team it’s important to win also for the confidence, the difficulty is high when you face this kind of opponents.

“I guess that against Spurs the game was balanced, we didn’t approach it with a defensive tactica, I want to make the team more adapt to this kind of game, Liverpool and Chelsea have both to give 110% to win this kind of game.

“Also Liverpool have an identity, they play with 433 there are teams that prefer to change their system but I think when you change too much you can lose your identity, when you adopt a system, you find more time to improve your system, you can find solutions every day.

“Injuries? Until now no, after the training session I can reply to this question.”

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Antonio Conte spoke to Sky Sports minutes before Spurs derby kick-off, this is what the Blues boss said:

“This will be a tough game, for sure, but I hope we can continue our wins run, it’s important to do a good performance here.

“The record? No, it’s important to win to continue our run and 3 points that would be really important for our table. 

“Of course 13 wins in a row is a great achievement for us and we want to continue but we also know that Tottenham are a really strong team.

“Looking at the players in Tottenham line-up I think they could play with a 3-4-3 like us, but we will see on the pitch which will be their real tactical system.”

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Manchester United striker and new wonderkid Marcus Rashford spoke ahead of the Red Devils visit to Stamford Bridge, explaining which tactic his team will play to try to stop Chelsea:

“You never know how the game is going to be until you get out there but I think it’s important we get into the game and start fast,” Rashford told MUTV.

“That’s what we did against Liverpool – we got into their faces and showed we weren’t going to be pushed around, and we need to go there with a similar attitude. The bigger the games are, the better for us.

“We have to try to keep them quiet and give ourselves the freedom to play as well, but it’s a difficult thing to do, especially away from home, so we have to have the same mentality and mindset as we did at Anfield.

“In these games, it’s a lot to do with one-v-ones and, if you get the better of your opponent, maybe you get the better of the game; that could be the situation on Sunday, so I think we have to work hard individually and collectively to get a result.”

Speaking about Chelsea, Rashford said:

“They have a very strong squad. They’ve been a bit up and down but the manager has got them in a good shape and structure, and I think they’ve got a good plan of where they want to be.

“I think they’re in a similar situation as us. But if we can go there, produce a good team performance and hopefully get the three points, that will give us a good boost and could set us up for the rest of the season.”

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JOSE MOURINHO
José Mourinho© Francesca Ceciarini

Chelsea legend José Mourinho spoke about his relationship with Chelsea fans ahead his return to Stamford Bridge and he feels it has always been wonderful.

First of all, the current Manchester United boss doesn’t think he will have a negative recepetion:

“I don’t expect a negative reaction, even going with a United badge and going to fight for points. There is no reason for a bad reaction. If they give me a good reception, I don’t know. I’m not their manager anymore. I represent a rival club.

“It doesn’t matter their reaction. I’ll be grateful always. We started so many happy moments, historical moments for the club. When people talked about me being sacked, they always sung my name. I could walk home from  games and never had a bad word said to me.

“We share some unbelievable moments. So many happy and historical moments. What I keep is the bad moments where they stick with me.

“I’m not their manager anymore. I’m defending a rival club. It doesn’t matter their reaction but I will be grateful always,’ reflected the Manchester United boss.

“When the game starts, I’m going to forget it, the fans will forget it. They’ll focus on the match.”

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Manchester United star Jesse Lingard scored a stunning goal in last season clash at Stamford Bridge and recalled that game with MUTV before Sunday’s game against Chelsea:

I enjoyed it last time when I was there and it was nice to be on the scoresheet,” he claimed.

We drew (1-1) though so hopefully we can get the win this time.

“Goals and assists are especially key for me this season and I was able to get one of each (against Fenerbahce) so I need to kick on now.

“I think our confidence is very high now. We know it’s going to be a tough game against Chelsea but we are mentally prepared for that. We have the confidence now to go on and win every game.”

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Chelsea manager José Mourinho thanks the fans for their support during the game against Porto © Francesca Ceciarini

When José Mourinho returned to Stamford Bridge as a rival for the first time in 2010 as Inter manager he claimed before the game to have a “lucky record” in that stadium that was his home until three years before, and he was right: Inter won 1-0 with an Eto’o’s goal, going ahead in the Champions League on a 3-1 aggregate, to eventually win it.

Now six years has gone by and many things have changed, and when José Mourinho was asked today about that comment he made in March 2010 he said:

“When I played there with Inter, before that, I never lost a match at Stamford Bridge because I had that home record.

“Now I have lost a few matches at the Bridge, so I cannot use the same words.”

Mourinho, who signed for Manchester United in May after being sacked five months before by Chelsea, added:

“I knew that, working in England and staying in the Premier League, sooner or later, I had to play against Chelsea and I had to go to Stamford Bridge.

“The computer has decided that is to be now. And here we go.”

 

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Chelsea boss Antonio Conte explained which kind of game he does expect against Manchestet United:

I watched the game against Liverpool. A very tough game between two good teams. I think they’ll fight for the title until the end, for this championship. Sure, it was a tactical game, this one, because we saw two teams very close who paid great attention, above all when they were without the ball.

“Yes, I think also on Sunday it will be a tactical game. Usually, when two great teams face each other like Manchester United and Chelsea, it’s important to prepare the tactical and technical aspects. To prepare offensive and defensive situations. But sure, I think it can be a tactical game.”

Asked about how he can you use that to Chelsea’s advantage he said:

But I don’t think we have an advantage. The only advantage we have is that we play at home with our fans. They are very important for us. On Sunday, I think our fans must have a very important role to support us during the game. This is the advantage Chelsea can have on Sunday.”

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