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Kurt Zouma recovered from his terrible ACL injury and now he’s ready to come back, but Antonio Conte wants to be careful and wait for the French defender to be fully fit and confident.

Zouma is getting playing time with Chelsea youth sides and when ChelseaNews24 asked Conte if the French centre-back is ready to play for the first team and if he can have a chance now that John Terry is injured again if someone is needed in the defence:

“Kurt is playing with continuity with the youth team and he’s training with continuity, now it’s important to find the right form and to let him understand this new idea of football and tactics. It’s important to go day by day.”

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After being out for an ankle injury for more than two months Harry Kane returned the past week and last Saturday he helped Tottenham to win in the crucial clash against West Ham with a brace in the last two minutes.

Now the English striker feels ready for another derby, the one at Stamford Bridge against Chelsea.

Doubts rose about his fitness, as Spurs got another important game against Monaco tonight that will define their future in the Champions League, but Kane claims he feels ready for both games:

“Can I play against Monaco and Chelsea? I feel I can. It was tough, it was my first 90 minutes in a while, but we have a couple of days to recover. 

“I’ll always be there for the gaffer if he wants to pick me. It’s his choice. I feel fit, I don’t think I played the best I’ve ever played but it’s what I’m there for, to put the ball in the back of the net.”

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ESPN claims that a source close to Chelsea revealed them the club might offer Frankie Lampard a contract to join back the Blues as a director.

The Chelsea legend ended his adventure at NYCFC yesterday and claimed he is embarking a new stage of career, leaving many people thinking that he was hinting to a Schermata 11-2457708 alle 17.26.31 return.

Anyway, Lampard promised to do a statement about his future “very soon”, so we won’t wait so long to know what he’s up to do next.

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Kurt Zouma is set to return from ACL injury, occurred last February, after next international break.

The French defender is in the last part of his recovery process, where he has to find his best fitness and has to gain confidence on the pitch again, and already played a couple of games with the development squad team.

Blues boss Antonio Conte revealed today that the 23-year-old started to train with the first team again in this week, but he’s not ready for top football games yetÑ

“This week Cesc Fabregas and Kurt Zouma started to train with the team,” the Italian manager claimed.

“It’s normal when you start playing after a long period of rest you need to find the best form and shape, and after the international break I think they will be available for selection.”

The official club website did, however, state that Zouma will play against Oxford in the EFL Trophy next week.

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During the press conference to preview the EFL Cup derby against West Ham Blues boss Antonio Conte was asked again about what happened with Jose Mourinho at the final whistle on the touchline he said:

“I think in this moment is not important to talk again about a game that for me, the players and the club is the past, Manchester United is the past, now it’s important to be very focused on tomorrow’s game, I think we played a good game, with a good intensity, now it’s important to continue. We have to build something important for the present and for the future

“I think that everyone must show respect for me, for my work, I think that in every game I show myself, I have a history, and you can see it also in my past, this was my behavior on the touchline, I am a passionate man, I want to play with the players and help them, but I always show respect for other teams and clubs, and my history speaks for me.”

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An ecstatic Eden Hazard spoke to Sky Sports after the final whistle of Chelsea v Manchester United, where the Belgian was also able to score a wonderful goal for the 3-0:

“It gives us a lot of confidence, we started well, we deserved to win, for the fans, for us, it is a great afternoon.

“It is a big game and we lost two big games this season against Liverpool and Arsenal, so it means a lot to our fans.”

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A stunning performance by Chelsea who won 4-0 against Manchester United in a game with no history: Pedro scored after only 30” , then Cahill, Hazard and Kante saled the game, giving Jose’ Mourinho a huge humilation in the day of his Stamford Bridge return since he was last sacked by the Blues last December.

FULL MATCH REPORT COMING SOON

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Wayne Rooney didn’t travel to London with the rest of Manchester United squad for an injury he picked up while training in the last days ahead of Chelsea clash.

His current manager, José Mourinho, had nice words for the Red Devils captain when he decided to drop him for technical reasons:

“I will never make that decision. A player of his stature, a player of his history in the club will never go to point where club or manager want to make that decision for him

“I put him [Rooney] on the bench for three matches in a row. That is hard for him, hard for me, so that is being ruthless, to put in my mind the interests of the team in front of the player, prestige, status. In this case even legend. To put on bench a player with the numbers he has for club and country is hard.

“But as we were saying before, this is an industry where the people who leads, sometimes in a correct decision, sometimes not correct decisions, but in our mind the decisions we think is the best for the team.”

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Last months at Chelsea were a nightmare for José Mourinho but, when asked by Manchester United website ahead of his return to Stamford Bridge, the Portuguese manager admitted that spell didn’t help him to become a better manager:

“No, that period came at a period of my career when I was already a grown man. I was already a stable manager, emotionally strong. I was not a kid. It didn’t happen in the first years of my career. It happened when I’d already had so many years, so I think I got it in a positive way.

“I was lucky to have a big club like Man United that focused on my career and not on my last three months. I was lucky enough to have the chance to stay in the competition that I most love and to stay in a big club like Man United, with a big project and a big challenge like I have in my hands. So everything is positive.”

 

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Former Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho © Francesca Ceciarini

José Mourinho is back at Stamford Bridge for the first time since his departure from Chelsea, a familiar face at the Bridge and amongst the fans. A three time Premier League winner and an important part of the clubs history with title wins in (2004-05, 2005-06, 2014-15) and an FA Cup in 2007 with League Cup wins in (2005, 2007,2015) and the Community Shield in (2005) Highly endeared by the fans even during his last season struggles was still back and cheered on by the Stamford bridge faithful but on Sunday afternoon every love,respect and sentiment will be put aside as his United side tackle Chelsea at the bridge. It is the second occasion Mourinho has faced Chelsea as an opposing boss.

The first was with Inter back in 2010 when he eliminated the Blues out of the round of 16 albeit the defeat his name was still chanted around the bridge an evidence of how highly he’s regarded at the club. Although he returns to the Bridge with Chelsea’s fierce rivals, Manchester United, Mourinho is still expected to receive a warm reception from the fans,at a ground which he held an almost unachievable home record winning streak with 77 home games unbeaten which was eventually broken by Sunderland in 2014 but he’d end up winning the league title the following season without losing at home.

Speaking on his return, he said: “I knew that, working in England and staying in the Premier League, sooner or later I had to play against Chelsea and go to Stamford Bridge,’ he said. ‘The computer has decided it is to go now. And here we go.’ ‘When I played there with Inter, before that, I never lost a match at Stamford Bridge because I had that home record,’ he explained. ‘Now I have lost a few matches at the Bridge. Last season I lost two or three matches at the Bridge, so I cannot use the same words because now I have lost there.’

It hasn’t been an easy ride for Mourinho at Manchester United after the signings of Paul Pogba and Zlatan Ibrahimovic for mega bucks with the duo failing to live up to the required expectations, after a non-stellar draw with Liverpool he goes into the game facing a rejuvenated Conte side that have been impressive lately with his new tactical switch to the 3-4-3 formation which has yielded results if the last two games are anything to go by and Sunday afternoon will provide a fiesty encounter between this two heavyweights.

 

Manuel Delph

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