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Premier League

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Guus Hiddink might give a chance to Bertrand Traore, Remy and Pato for the two upcoming games in the Premier League.

Diego Costa might rest to arrive at the top form and without any risk of injury to the important PSG clash next week so the manager is keen to give Bertrand Traore and Pato a chance against Norwich and Stoke.

Hiddink was impressed by Traore’s performances in the last month – he scored also two goals- when he was called on the pitch and the Brazilian is every day closer to match fitness:

Pato is able to play part of the game now,Hiddink revealed.

“But once more I underlined that we consider the chance for the young guys. We see tomorrow if he will be on the bench.

“Pato is eager to play, the other strikers are ok, Diego [Costa] of course is the number one, I am happy with Traore progression, I look also to this, he and Remy are in the position to compete.

“In the near future we see what we can do with him, that’s why we got him on loan, at the moment the other strikers are bit ahead in this moment, I like fair competiton.”

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Chelsea manager Guus Hiddink © Francesca Ceciarini

Guus Hiddink press conference ahead of Norwich clash in Premier League

SOUTHAMPTON - “We had a very good win in a difficult stadium, everybody’s performances improved in the last couple of weeks, of course now we have a tight schedule but we have to go on.”

TARGETS – “When I started in december we were close to the relegation zone, 1 point, and the first objective was to get out of this as soon as possible I think the team did well and in a short time we did it, of course Chelsea must have bigger targets.”

CHAMPIONS LEAGUE qualification – “The fourth spot is difficult, but of course we would like to go where Chelsea belong.”

NEXT MANAGER – “I expressed my view other times, I said that the club can have my opinion, whenever things are done the club can be transparent. Clear for everyone.”

CALMNESS – “As long as calmness not translated setting back a bit. You have to go with stability forwards and see what can be done in the future, to get this club where he belongs, and it belongs in the top of England, that’s obvious”.

TITLE RACE - “I hope it will be nice, but It will not be nice, Chelsea should be involved in other way  around as these clubs are in May.  For Chelsea ideal situation to have it other way around. Realistically we will be part of it in May.”

STABILITY – “You have to go with stability, you have to get this club where he belongs.”

BABA RAHMAN - “We have slightly talked to him, you could see he realised he did a big mistake by the way he pulled his shirt on his face after Southampton goal, at half time he was sitting in the dressing room and he was very down, that’s why we made a change. He has to recover, you cannot always wait, he did some decent games recently but of course defensively he has to improve.”

PATO - “Pato is eager to play, the other strikers are ok, Diego of course is the number one, I am happy with Traore progression, I look also to this, he and Remy are in the position to compete.

“Pato is able to play part of the game now, but once more I underlined that we consider the chance for the young guys. We see tomorrow if he will be on the bench.

“In the near future we see what we can do with him, that’s why we got him on loan, at the moment the other strikers are bit ahead in this moment, I like fair competion.”

PEDRO INJURY – “Pedro yesterday was here for treatment, normally this kind of injury are not resolved in a few days, but I have to speak to the medical staff to know better.”

BUSY SCHEDULE - “We look to our busy schedule now and this means we have to have a serious approach with Norwich and Stoke, but we have to be careful with some players.”

FALCAO – “Falcao is now touching the grass in treatment, we see how he will progress.”

DIEGO COSTA – “Having next week’s game with PSG in mind is possible that Diego Costa may rest in the next games, yes.”

TITLE RACE – “There was a beautiful last minute escape from Leicester against Norwich, all games are very tight, and when you win like this you have a boost to go ahead.”

ATTITUDE – “I am happy with the attitude of the players in training and also in the games.

Possible EUROPA LEAGUE next year – “I think if you can compete in the EL and you have a big squad, you can give opportunities to the youngsters.”

TERRY – “John is touching the pitch, he’s running, so we see how he reacts to treatment by the end of the week. With this kind of injuries you must be very careful because you can easily have a setback.”

VAN GAAL falling – “I also have had judo able to do so as well, but no, I wouldn’t do it.”

IVANOVIC - “Ivanovic is doing very well as a central defender, with Cahill they are doing very well, they defense strongly, plus Ivanovic is one of the top headers in the league, in his career made a lot of goals like this.”

BIG SQUAD - “Mainly I am happy to have choice problems in the matchdays, it’s always good for a manager to have a lot of players to pick from the squad.”

RUBEN LOFTUS-CHEEK – “We always do analysis on how he has to progress, we are working specifically with him to see how he can improve, I think he will have his minutes in the upcoming games.”

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“We have a tight schedule, Norwich on Tuesday and then Stoke and PSG. Surprisingly the Everton game was put on a Saturday instead of a Sunday”; these have been Guus Hiddink releases after the match against Southampton at Saint Mary Stadium.

After the next two Premier League games facing Norwich and Stoke, the Blues are going to play the paramount match against Paris Saint Germain on 9th of March at Stamford Bridge; on the 13rd they would have played another League super match against Liverpool, but it has been postponed. The odd fact is that on saturday 12nd – one day before the postponed one – has been arranged the FA Cup Quarter Final against Everton.

“Normally – continued then Guus – we should have played Liverpool on the Sunday. I don’t know who has decided that, all of a sudden, the Liverpool… It was astonishing that people could change the kick-off time”.

A strange and certainly debatable decision, but now Blues have to bite the bullet getting ready for the storm of tasks.

Given that Pedro, John Terry, Kurt Zouma, Radamel Falcao and Alexandre Pato should be out for more than just a game, better not to dwell on it too much and carry on.

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Chelsea legend Frankie Lampard spoke to the Mail on Sunday and revealed that he wondering if today’s the Blues got some real leaders in the dressing room:

I do worry about where the real personalities of the team are,” he claimed.

“To be a big team, you have to have big personalities.

“I don’t want to sound like I am harking back to the days of me and John (Terry) and Ashley Cole and Petr Cech and Didier Drogba but I do see a team now where John is the last mainstay of that identity.

“Maybe Chelsea are looking for a more beautiful way now. The club has been trying to push it down that route with the players they have recruited over the last four or five years.

“The problem is if you fall in the middle, somewhere between tough and beautiful. It’s nice football at times but it’s not that nice and it’s not really winning games. It’s not beautiful, beautiful stuff.

“They need to buy two or three big players. Because being 11th in the Premier League is ridiculous for Chelsea.”

Last season Lampard played for Manchester City prior to his move to current club New York City, so he gives his opinion also on Citizens’ next manager, Pep Guardiola:

They will be a huge force under Guardiola. I think, yes, Man City can push on in a massive way. He’s an innovator.

There are two geniuses: Jose Mourinho and him. What a great rivalry that will be if Jose goes to Old Trafford.”

Speaking about his future he said:

“I don’t know yet whether this will be my last year as a player – but whether it is or not, I don’t want to go out with a whimper.”

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Chelsea obtained a very important victory today at St. Mary’s stadium.

The Blues were able to beat Southampton with a winner scored by captain Branislav Ivanovic at 90′.

Southampton led the game until minute 75′ with Shane Long scoring in the end of the first half, then Cesc Fabregas equalised with fifteen minutes to go and, at the end, Ivanovic scored the winner at the last minute.

The game didn’t start well for Chelsea, that lost Pedro after only 5′ for an hamstring injury.

The Spaniard was replaced by Oscar and the match went on with Southampton going close to score at minute 17 with Charlie Austin after Oriol Romeu stole the ball to a careless Willian.

The English striker missed the goal for inches at minute 33′ after his shot was slightly wide.

Anyway S’oton didn’t have to wait too much for glory, as Shane Long took advantage of a Baba awful mistake at minute 42: he tries to head a pass across for a team-mate, but winded up playing Long through on goal, who could beat Courtois with a composed chip at the far post.

The first part of the game ended with Chelsea having not shot once at goal and the Saints leading 1-0 with merit.

The left-back was promptly substituted by Kenedy in the beginning of the second half.

Southampton seemed in control of the game but five minutes into the second half Eden Hazard almost scored with a shot that was not even half meter over the bar.

After three minutes is Diego Costa to miss the goal in the same way after a brilliant playing by Willian and Hazard, who assisted the striker.

Chelsea seem more determined in this second half and the game became a little nervous, with three yellow cards in a couple of minutes ( Diego Costa 63′, Bertrand 64′ and Clasie 65′) and Ivanovic risking a penalty on Charlie Austin at minute 71′.

At minute 75′ Chelsea equalise with a bizarre goal: Cesc Fabregas put a cross into the box from the left and the ball bounces just in front of Foster, that is surprised and don’t have the time to intervene.

Southampton now want to try to win the game and conceed dangerous spaces to Chelsea and at the end the Blues get their reward when Branislav Ivanovic, the captain, scores with a super header on a corner one minute before 90′.

It’s one of the most important goals of the season that give Hiddink‘s boys a crucial win: now Chelsea are 11th in the table, just five point behind the Europa League zone.

 

Southampton – Forster, Soares, V.Dijk, Fonte, Targett ( Ward-Prowse 89′), Bertrand, Romeu, Clasie, Davies, Austin ( Manè 79′) , Long ( Pellè 69′)

Unused Subs – Stekelenburg, Martina, Tadic, Yoshida.

Manager – Ronald Koeman

 

Chelsea – Courtois, Azpilicueta, Cahill, Ivanovic, Baba ( Kenedy 46′) , Mikel, Fabregas, Willian, Hazard ( Matic 90′) , Pedro ( Oscar 7′), Costa.

Unused Subs – Begovic,, Remy, Loftus-Cheek, Traore.

Manager – Guus Hiddink

Scorers: Shane Long 42′, Cesc Fabregas 75′, Branislav Ivanovic 89′

Yellow Cards: Davis 19′, Diego Costa 63′, Bertrand 64′, Clasie 65′

 

Referee – Martin Atkinson

Venue – St. Mary’s Stadium

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Southampton – Forster, Soares, V.Dijk, Fonte, Targett, Bertrand, Romeu, Clasie, Davies, Austin, Long.

Subs – Stekelenburg, Martina, Mane, Ward-Prowse, Pelle, Tadic, Yoshida.

Manager – Ronald Koeman

 

Chelsea – Courtois, Azpilicueta, Cahill, Ivanovic, Baba, Mikel, Fabregas, Willian, Hazard, Pedro, Costa.

Subs – Begovic, Oscar, Matic, Remy, Loftus-Cheek, Kenedy, Traore.

Manager – Guus Hiddink

 

Referee – Martin Atkinson

Venue – St. Mary’s Stadium

Kick off – 15:00 GMT

 

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Before heading to Southampton for today’s Premier League clash, Chelsea manager Guus Hiddink focused on the manager’s role and what the coach has to do or not to be successful:

“I hope the way I deal with groups and top teams, they [his players who move into management] get something they can use in their career.

“That is what I did as a young player. I always looked to my coaches and I even made a kind of diary when I was a young professional and made notes of what I liked and what I didn’t like from my managers at that time.

“I wrote a lot and the most things I learned from managers is things you should not do.

“You have to deal with 23 people in the squad, you have to deal with the staff, you have to deal with the medics, the commercial side. You must manage all the people.

“Talking generally, sometimes managers can be rude to staff which is something I do not like, I respect them all very much. Sometimes I have experience of managers get rid of their frustration which we all have when we lose by having a go at other people who are different in the hierarchy.

Hiddink spoke also about Ronald Koeman, who was his players at PSV about thirty years ago:

“We had a beautiful time. If you see the records from 1986 to 1989 at PSV, we had championships, cups and the European Cup. There is not a lot of arguing when you have those successes.’

Hiddink has also worked with Koeman’s brother and assistant at Southampton Erwin, who was once an assistant to the current Chelsea boss at PSV.

“They have made a stable team at Southampton.

“There was a little setback a few months ago but they maintained their calm and restored confidence. They have more than one player who can be decisive. [Graziano] Pellè does it but they have more.

Hiddink also reveals he would have no concerns about the results for the rest of the season should Chelsea announce the identity of a new manager become known before it ends.

“If you see the example of Man City, they made it very clear Pep Guardiola is coming and there were questions about whether Manuel Pellegrini is losing authority.

“When the players have their respect for the manager although he must make tough decisions over whether they play or not, if he is fair in his treatment face to face then there is no loss of respect. It is an example now with Pellegrini because if there were any trouble with loss of authority then you would have seen a bad performance in Kiev this week.

“The players [at Chelsea] I sense now all desperately like to play. I have to make the decision who to play. I don’t like it, I do it, but they can never complain I play tricks behind their backs so I think and hope that we maintain a respectful relationship.”

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Ahead of Chelsea’s game against Southampton at St. Mary’s on Saturday (15:00 GMT KO), we take a look at the odds on offer.

All odds provided by SkyBET (SB), Ladbrokes (L) and Coral (C), correct as of 26th February.

Southampton win: SB – 7/4, L – 9/5, C – 7/4

Draw: SB – 23/10, L –11/5, C – 23/10

Chelsea win: SB – 8/5, L – 7/4, C – 8/5

 

First goalscorer:

Graziano Pelle: SB – 11/2, L – 11/2, C – 11/2

Shane Long: SB – 6/1 L – 6/1, C – 6/1

Charlie Austin: SB – 11/2, L – 11/2, C – 11/2

Dusan Tadic: SB – 15/2, L – 9/1, C – 9/1

Sadio Mane: SB – 7/1, L – 7/1, C – 7/1

No goalscorer: SB – 17/2, L – 15/2, C – 17/2

Eden Hazard: SB – 17/2, L – 9/1, C – 17/2

Oscar: SB – 17/2, L – 9/1, C – 17/2

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

Pedro: SB – 15/2, L – 8/1, C – 8/1

Willian: SB – 9/1, L – 9/1, C – 9/1

 

Final Score:

Southampton win:

1-0: SB – 13/2, L – 7/1, C – 7/1

2-0: SB – 11/1, L – 12/1, C – 12/1

2-1: SB – 9/1, L – 9/1, C – 9/1

3-0: SB – 28/1, L – 28/1, C – 28/1

3-1: SB – 22/1, L – 22/1, C- 22/1

Draw:

0-0: SB – 17/2, L – 8/1, C – 17/2

1-1: SB – 5/1, L – 5/1, C – 5/1

2-2: SB – 14/1, L – 14/1, C – 14/1

3-3: SB – 66/1, L – 50/1, C – 55/1

4-4: SB – 250/1, L – 275/1, C – 250/1

Chelsea win:

1-0: SB – 13/2, L – 13/1, C – 13/1

2-0: SB – 11/1, L – 11/1, C – 11/1

2-1: SB – 9/1, L – 9/1, C – 9/1

3-0: SB – 25/1, L – 25/1, C – 25/1

3-1: SB – 22/1, L – 20/1, C- 20/1

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RONALD KOEMAN

Guus Hiddink is looking for his side to continue their brilliant domestic form as Chelsea take on Southampton at St. Mary’s on Saturday (15:00 GMT KO).

The Blues have won their last two domestic fixtures 5-1, against Newcastle in the Premier League and Manchester City in the FA Cup.

The Saints however currently sit in sixth, just one point off European qualification, and are unbeaten in their last six.

Earlier this season at Stamford Bridge, Chelsea, then managed by Jose Mourinho, were stunned as goals from Steven Davis, Saido Mané and Graziano Pellé cancelled out Willian’s early freekick.

Last six games:

Southampton: WWWDWW

Chelsea: WDDWLW (includes two FA Cup games and one Champions League game).

 

Team News:

– Chelsea are still without captain John Terry due to a hamstring injury.

– Strikers Alexandre Pato and Radamel Falcao are both still out.

– Southampton remain without midfielder Victor Wanyama, who is suspended.

– Jay Rodriguez and Florin Gardos will not feature despite returning to training.

 

Statistics:

– Southampton are unbeaten in their last three league meetings with Chelsea (W1, D2) and have lost just two of the last seven clashes.

– However, the Blues have only lost one of their seven Premier League trips to St Mary’s (W4, D2).

– Ronald Koeman’s side have won their last four at home.

– The Blues have scored just 12 goals in their 12 league away fixtures this season.

– Diego Costa has scored seven goals in his last eight league games.

 

Starting XI last time out in the Premier League:

Southampton (away vs. Swansea City, won 0-1): Forster, van Dijk, Fonte, Bertrand, Davis, Ward-Prowse, Clasie, Romeu, Targett, Long, Pellé.

Chelsea (home vs. Newcastle United, won 5-1): Courtois, Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry, Azpilicueta, Matic, Willian, Fabregas, Hazard, Pedro, Costa.

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Former Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho believes Frank Lampard was the best player in the Premier League during his first spell with the club.

“At Chelsea, in my first period, I had Frank Lampard, probably the best player in the Premier League for one decade.” Mourinho told the Straits Times.

Mourinho and Lampard combined to win two Premier League titles during the Portuguese manager’s first spell with the club.

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