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Premier League

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Ahead of Chelsea’s Premier League clash with Bournemouth at Stamford Bridge (17:30 GMT KO), the official lineups have been announced.

The Blues are looking to keep up their three-match unbeaten streak, having not conceded a goal in that time.

They come up against a Bournemouth side who have lost five of their last six, the last of which being a 3-3 draw with Everton.

 

Lineups:

CHELSEA: Courtois; Ivanovic (c), Zouma, Cahill, Baba; Fabregas, Matic; Willian, Oscar, Pedro; Hazard.

Subs: Begovic, Azpilicueta, Mikel, Loftus-Cheek, Traore, Remy, Diego Costa.

Manager: José Mourinho

 

AFC BOURNEMOUTH: Boruc: Francis, Cook, Daniels, Smith: Ritchie, Gosling, Surman, Gosling: Arter, King.

Subs: Allsop, Butcher, Rantie, Kermogant, Murray, O’Kane, Cargill.

Manager: Eddie Howe

 

Referee: Mike Jones

Venue: Stamford Bridge, London, UK.

Kick Off: 17:30pm GMT

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stamford_bridge

Ahead of Chelsea’s game against Bournemouth at Stamford Bridge tomorrow (17:30 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 4th December.

 

Full-time score:

Chelsea win: SB – 4/11, L – 4/11,  C – 4/11

Draw: SB – 7/2, L –15/4, C – 4/1

Bournemouth win: SB – 8/1, L – 8/1, C – 8/1

 

First goalscorer:

Josh King: SB - 10/1, L – 12/1, C – 9/1

Matt Ritchie: SB - 12/1, L – 16/1, C – 14/1

Junior Stanislas: SB - 14/1, L – 16/1, C – 16/1

Andrew Surman: SB - 28/1, L – 28/1, C – 25/1

Glenn Murray: SB - 10/1, L – 10/1, C – 9/1

No goalscorer: SB – 14/1, L – 12/1, C – 11/1

Eden Hazard: SB – 4/1, L – 4/1, C – 9/2

Oscar: SB – 11/2, L – 6/1, C – 6/1

Willian: SB – 6/1, L – 6/1, C – 13/2

Diego Costa: SB – 7/2, L – 7/2, C – 4/1

Pedro: SB – 9/2, L – 5/1, C – 11/2

 

Final Score:

Chelsea win:

1-0: SB – 13/2, L – 6/1,  C – 13/2

2-0: SB – 6/1, L – 11/2, C – 11/2

2-1: SB – 7/1, L – 15/2, C - 15/2

3-0: SB – 9/1, L – 8/1, C – 15/2

3-1: SB – 10/1, L – 10/1, - 10/1

Draw:

0-0: SB – 14/1, L – 12/1, C – 14/1

1-1: SB – 7/1, L – 8/1, C – 8/1

2-2: SB – 16/1, L – 18/1, C – 18/1

3-3: SB – 66/1, L – 66/1, C – 66/1

4-4: SB – 250/1, L – 275/1, C – 150/1

Bournemouth win:

1-0: SB – 18/1, L – 20/1, C – 25/1

2-0: SB – 40/1, L – 50/1, C – 55/1

2-1: SB – 20/1, L – 22/1, C – 25/1

3-0: SB – 100/1, L – 125/1, C – 125/1

3-1: SB – 50/1, L – 75/1, - 70/1

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Chelsea will look to remain unbeaten after the international break as they face Bournemouth tomorrow at Stamford Bridge (17:30 GMT KO).

The Blues have performed well in recent weeks, winning two of their last three games and not conceding a goal in that time.

Bournemouth currently sit two points inside the relegation zone, with injuries having severely blighted their campaign thus far. Last week theyb came back from behind twice in a thrilling 3-3 draw with Everton.

With this being the Cherries’ debut season in the top flight, Jose Mourinho’s side haven’t faced Bournemouth since the 1988-89 season.

 

Last five games:

Chelsea: LWLWWD (includes two Champions League games).

Bournemouth: LLLLDD (includes one League Cup game).

 

Team News:

– Thibaut Courtois returns for Chelsea after three months out.

– Nemanja Matic does feature but will have to play with a face mask after breaking his nose.

– John Terry, Radamel Falcao and Ramires are however all out with injuries.

– Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe didn’t say if keeper Adam Federici was fit. If both he and Artur Boruc are unable to play, youngster Ryan Allsop will make his first Premier League start.

– Midfielder Harry Arter is out with a hamstring injury.

 

 

Statistics:

– Chelsea have won four of their last five meetings with Bournemouth in all competitions.

– Should the Blues keep a clean sheet, it will be their best defensive streak in 12 months.

– If Cesar Azpilicueta plays it will be his 100th Premier League appearance for Chelsea.

– The Cherries’ tally of 30 goals conceded is the joint highest in the Premier League, along with Newcastle.

– They have conceded a league-high four penalties this season.

 

Starting XI last time out in the Premier League:

Chelsea (away vs. Tottenham Hotspur, drew 0-0): Begovic, Ivanovic, Zouma, Cahill, Azpilicueta, Matic, Willian, Fabregas, Pedro, Oscar, Hazard.

Bournemouth (home vs. Everton, drew 3-3): Federici, Francis, Cook, Distin, Daniels, Ritchie, Gosling, Surman, Stanislas, Arter, King.

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Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe is convinced that the match against Chelsea could not be scheduled at a better time, as his team is recently in a really good form.

Howe said:
“We are playing them at a good time for our perspective,”
“We are in a good place. What we’ve found at this level is that when we are in a good place and at our normal levels we compete.
“But if we don’t, we can make it difficult for ourselves. So as usual, preparing for this game is all about us.”

”Naturally it is a really good challenge for all of us. These are the games you want to be involved in.”

”You want to be able to compete with the top (managers). He (Mourinho) has a record that is unrivalled.”

”I didn’t expect to be so close to them (in the table) but I think they are in a false position (14th). I am sure they will pick up points and climb.”

”We are playing the champions. For me they are one of the best teams in the country.”

”We are not underestimating the team. We fully respect them as a team and we are going to have to be at our very best to get anything.”

On the  3-3 draw against Everton in the last game :

“It was certainly a nice feeling at the end of the game,”

”Those contrasting emotions in the last few minutes were so extreme.”

“You hope a result like that can really boost the confidence and the belief of the players – it certainly helps to build momentum.”
“What we are looking to do now is to turn those performances into wins, and hopefully a game like Everton can be the catalyst for that.”
On their performances:

”The Premier League, for me, has been about picking up points where you can and we have done it in style.Now it’s about adding wins to those performances.”

”From our perspective, we are really happy with the last four games apart from the first few minutes against Southampton (2-0 defeat on November 1) where we thought we were poor – we are building momentum.”

On his player’s injuries:

”Whenever you get injuries, it is a test and a challenge for your squad to adapt and I think we have done that with the outfield positions.”

”Certain people have been given opportunities that maybe would not have expected to get them, but they have grasped them in recent weeks.”

”I think whoever is called upon will step up and help the team.”

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Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho addressed the media ahead of Saturday’s clash against Bournemouth at Stamford Bridge. The good news for all Chelsea fans is that Thibaut Courtois is back

The Portuguese manager gave an update on team’s injuries:

“Terry, Ramires and Falcao still out. Courtois is selected.”

Mourinho about his goalkeepers:

“Courtois is Courtois. To miss him for a couple of months, we knew we had a good back-up in Begovic.”

“Nineteen matches without the best goalkeeper in the world was hard for us. Now we are in a super situation. The best and a very good one.”

On Costa:

”He is selected but I cannot tell you if he is in the starting XI because even he doesn’t know yet.”

“For me there are no questions marks. For one game he was on the bench and for me, for a player, that is natural, He always tries and gives his best. I don’t need a reaction from him. I just need him to be what he is and try hard.”

On Matic:

“Nemanja Matic has fractured his nose and part of his face. But he’s ready, he has a mask and he feels comfortable. He’s ready. He did it against Tottenham.”

On yesterday’s night out of the Spaniard:

“I think the Paparazzi had a problem with their memory cards because there were a lot more players out but they only snapped three.”

“Having a night out is good for them. They told me that dinner was good and after dinner was even better.”

On Cahill’s new deal:

“Gary Cahill is a stable man and a stable player, there is a big stability in his performances. That’s what we need.”

On the possible new contract’s for other Chelsea players ( Terry, Ivanovic)

“That they can sign, too.”

Mourinho commented on Chelsea’s recent poor results:

“I hope (that the poor run is over) but we have to be cautious. In thePremier League, you don’t know what’s round the corner, but we have kept strong to cope with it. The month of December can be a good month. We play four matches at home. And we go away to two of the top three teams.”

On clean sheets:

“There are clean sheets and clean sheets. We have had good clean sheets, good discipline, good reading of the game.”

About possibile advices he could give to Gary Neville:
“I have no advice for him, I just wish him well. He was a very good player and a very good pundit and now he must prove that he can be a very good manager.”

On the rumours about his future at Mestalla:

“I don’t speak about Valencia. There has been no contact, especially because their owner knows I don’t want to leave.”

 

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Eden Hazard © Francesca Ceciarini

Chelsea ace Eden Hazard gave an interview in which he described his path from childhood fascination with football to the current professional game at the Blues.

Hazard gave an interview to Chelsea official website to speak about this :

What age were you when you first started playing?

I was around four. I started playing at home, in the garden, and I tried to learn some skills from watching videos at a very early age.

At what age did you master keepy-uppies?

I was probably six or seven when I first started trying to do them but obviously at first, and when you are young, it’s difficult. I started trying to do them with one bounce in between each volley and I managed to do quite a lot, and then I gradually managed to build it up, so that was a good way to learn.

When did you start playing matches?

When I was five I played for a team in my village and that was my first team. My godfather was the manager and I joined them but I was the youngest player in the whole team.

What particular skill did you work on most as a kid?

The nutmeg, which is known as panna in French, and also another skill which Zidane used to do when he would spin on the ball. I still like the nutmeg, Oscar did three at Tottenham on Sunday, it’s a good skill to use.

Outside Chelsea, who are the most skilful players you have played with or against?

I played with Gervinho at Lille, he had a lot of skill and he was very quick as well. In the national team we have a lot of them: Yannick Carrasco, a young player at Atletico Madrid, Dries Mertens, Kevin De Bruyne, Kevin Mirallas, they are all very good and like to show their skills in matches.

What is the best piece of skill you’ve ever seen during a match?

It was by Robinho for Brazil against Italy, I think it was in a friendly and the ball came to him on the touchline and he did some step-overs and sent the defenders the wrong way. Another Robinho one was when he looked like he was going to cross the ball from out wide and then scored with a shot. I can’t remember who it was against but it was fantastic.

What’s the best piece of skill you’ve produced in a game?

When I was in France playing for Lille against Monaco, I was on the wing and beat a few defenders with some skills. Against Southampton at home last season I did two nutmegs. In my first season against West Ham I scored a good goal and in the same game there was another piece of skill I did. I try to do something in every match. Also at Lille I scored a left-footed goal from about 35 yards against Marseille (below).

How does it feel when something you’ve worked on in training comes off in a game?

Training is completely different to a match because you can try something and if it doesn’t work there is no problem, but when you practice something in training and then it works in a game it’s a sensational feeling. You know that you’ve worked hard on the training pitch and it’s paid off.

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New York Red Bulls defender Matt Miazga was reported as a target of many Premier League clubs, among those, Leicester City, Stoke City and Chelsea:

“Interest from Chelsea?” said the USA international to Empire of Soccer.

“It’s definitely been a good year for me in general, playing a lot of minutes, and trying to establish myself as a professional.

“But I don’t know anything about that”.

 

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DIEGO COSTA
Chelsea striker Diego Costa © Francesca Ceciarini

Spanish newspaper Mundo Deportivo reports that Atletico Madrid are ready to pay Diego Costa‘s release clause to get him back to Vicente Calderón.

The Spaniard joined Chelsea in summer 2014 and had a stunning first season at Stamford Bridge, helping the Blues to secure the title with 20 goals, but now he is struggling and his nervous reaction toward Mourinho ( he threw his bib at him) after not being played against Spurs last Sunday might mean something has broken for him.

Atletico are ready to bid again on him after he helped them to win La Liga and reach the Champions League finale in 2013-2014.

It would be the second return to the Rojiblancos after the one of Filipe Luis last summer.

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Former Chelsea manager Avram Grant is disappointed with the media in relation to Jose Mourinho. In his opinion the Portuguese coach should be more respected by the media, but above all he deserves a chance to turn the club’s season around.

Grant told Sky Sports News HQ:

“It is not easy, but I think Jose deserves a chance,”

“I didn’t like when they made him the genius, and I don’t like what they are doing to Jose now, saying ‘He is useless’ or something.”

“It is not like this, it is too extreme. He is a good coach but, like any other person, he is facing tough times.”

“He needs to show he can handle pressure but don’t judge him only by the quality of his interviews when he is under pressure. He is a good coach, a nice guy, and he can get out of it, for sure.”

Asked about Chelsea’s disappointing performances and slow climbing in the Premier League table:

“They need to stop living in the past and saying last season was like this and this,”

“Because then you could also say that two seasons ago was not so great.”

“Last season was great for Chelsea, winning the League title, but now they need to see what is the problem, why are top players not performing like they need to play, why the team is not performing like they need to, and find a solution.”

“The quality is there, the talent is there. There is no doubt about this.”

Former Chelsea manager spoke also about ultimate Costa’s controversial behaviour:

“It has not been an easy season for Diego Costa,”

“But I did not like his reaction.”

“On one hand you want the players to be passionate and want to play, but imagine if all the players took off their shirts and threw them off! I don’t think it would be good for the team.”

“Publicly, I would not say anything but I would tell him face-to-face what I think of his behaviour and what he needs to do better to play.”

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Spain manager Vicente Del Bosque has played down the incident between Jose Mourinho and Diego Costa during Sunday’s clash against Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane. In his opinion, it is not certain whether Costa really wanted  to throw his warm-up bib at the Portuguese manager.

The incident at the meeting against the Spurs has become already a legend. About Costa’s intentions and the potential consequences for the Spaniard spoke practically everyone. While Spain manager asked about the situation was clearly irritated by the question.

Del Bosque told AS :

“His ban is not something uplifting. It was not nice. I certainly do not like what he did,”

“What happened? What happened? He threw the bib [at Mourinho]? He threw the bib but do you know it was towards Mourinho? I do not know if he was angry or not. He took the bib off because he was not going to come on to the pitch.”

What is more, Del Bosque has insisted that Costa remains in his Euro 2016 plans even if half of the football world considers him useless for national team.

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