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team news

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Chelsea winger Pedro broke the deadlock in the Blues’ 3-0 win over Bournemouth yesterday with a left-footed shot in the first half.

The Spaniard told the club’s official website: “I’m very happy to have scored and help the team but the most important thing was the win”,

“It’s unbelievable because it’s very difficult to do that in the Premier League but the team are very compact on the pitch and that’s the right way”.

“It was very good, all the team played very well with great intensity and a good mentality. It was a very important win on Boxing Day for the supporters and we are very happy”.

Despite both Diego Costa and N’Golo Kante were absent in Boxing Day clash against the Cherries, Chelsea earned three points again: “It was a good performance, all the players are high on confidence and that’s very good for the team”.

“The attackers played very well and that’s the most important thing, the team were fighting for each other on the pitch and that’s the right way.”

Stoke City are now set to face Chelsea, but Pedro is not scared as the whole team needs to stay focused and think game by game.

“It’s difficult because the season is very long, – he added – There are a lot of games still to play but at the moment it’s very good for us to be top of the league,”

“Bournemouth are a good team and it was very difficult. Stoke are also a very good team but we must take it game by game”.

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Chelsea manager Antonio Conte decided to face Bournemouth with Eden Hazard as central striker and the Belgian star impressed with a strong performance and a late goal. 

Hazard told the club’s official website: “Everything is good, the result, the performance, all the players give everything, running 90 minutes so we are happy, we are top of the league and it is Christmas so for the fans this is important and we won this game for them”.

Diego Costa was absent but the Blues managed to get the 3 points in spite of his absence: “We have different options. Diego we know is the top scorer in the league but we have to find different solutions and we did, with Pedro and me and also Willian can score and we have Michy on the bench, so we have a lot of solutions and we did well”.

Hazard’s goal was the 50th in the Premier League so far for the Belgian star, who claimed: “It is very good to be in this list for such a club. I am happy to be in this club and I want to reach a lot of things so let’s go for it”.

“There are still over four months to play but of course we want to be there. We want to win trophies. Last season was difficult and we want to do better”.

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Manchester City manger Pep Guardiola speaking after his side’s away 3-0 win against Hull City, said that Chelsea and Liverpool are going to have an advantage due the lack of European competitions this season.

“Sometimes you play before Chelsea, sometimes later – Guardiola told medias after the game – But it doesn’t matter when one team has won 12 in a row. It’s like a final for us if you want to be there until the end of the season.”

“This time Chelsea and Liverpool are the ones. We have played seven more than them – and important games like the Champions League – which is why it will be tough”.

Anyway, Guardiola believes ‘football is unpredictable’. “We have to do absolutely everything to be there – he added – Sometimes when you believe something is done it isn’t. What we have to do is win every game and analyse and see if that is enough.”

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JOHN OBI MIKEL can’t go on temporary loan in his last six months.

Despite the Christmas festive holiday acts of goodwill it is clear that no team in Europe or abroad will be able to receive the talented gifted Chelsea Midfielder. This is due to per FIFA regulations which do not permit a player in the final six months of a current deal to go on loan to another team. This was exclusively revealed on the Nigerian football website, OWNGOALNIGERIA.COM

The Nigerian Skipper has indeed been rumoured to be heading out of Stamford Bridge due to being left out of the team this season by new Blues Manager ANTONIO CONTE. Own Goal Nigeria claim that MIKEL has not only been ‘frozen out’ by CONTE but is now being held by FIFA and not able to go out on loan in January.

With six months left on his contract, MIKEL can only possibly leave on a permanent transfer rather than a temporary loan. He has options to go outside the Premier League and Europe as far as China where teams such as Shanghai SIPG, Hebei Fortune and Shanghai Shenhua have all shown a keen interest.

JOHN OBI MIKEL, now Chelsea’s second longest serving player an already a Chelsea current legend in the making; has been believed to be considering staying in Europe to continue his career. His family is quite a young family and he wants to remain in Europe instead of making a decision to drastically move so far as China. However, the money earned in China will indeed be much more and maybe considered to be worth the move by some. The clubs in Europe which are an option include Marseille and Inter Milan. As with other players who have gone from the Premier League to other teams in Europe, MIKEL may end up gaining further success there. Players such as FABREGAS, MOSES, LUIS and even LAMPARD have gone away to other teams and came back to Stamford Bridge. On this occasion however, while MIKEL after eleven seasons at Chelsea has still not featured asks the question whether he will consider going now with the hope to return under different circumstances similar to his fellow Nigerian team mate, VICTOR MOSES.


 

 

 

 

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Chelsea v Liverpool 1-1 ©Francesca Ceciarini

Chelsea – Courtois; Azpilicueta, David Luiz, Cahill (c); Moses, Fabregas, Matic, Alonso; Willian, Hazard, Pedro.

Subs: Begovic, Ivanovic, Aina, Zouma, Loftus-Cheek, Chalobah, Batshuayi.

Manager: Antonio Conte

Bournemouth – Boruc, A.Smith, Francis, Cook, Daniels, B.Smith, Surman, Arter, Gosling, Wilshere, King

Subs: Federici, Mings, Stanislas, Fraser, Ibe, Wilson, Afobe

Manager: Eddie Howe

Venue: Stamford Bridge

Kick-off: 3PM BST

 

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Chelsea star Eden Hazard spoke ahead of the Blues’ home game against Bournemouth, when Antonio Conte will try to get another crucial win.

The Belgium international, when asked about his unique forward thinking on the pitch, told the club’s official website: “It is natural, I play with instinct,

“I don’t think about I need to do this or I need to do that. Once I have the chance to do something, it is instinct it depends on – sometimes I dribble, sometimes I pass the ball. I see a guy who is in the better place to shoot, I pass the ball. And when I dribble I don’t look at the balance of the opponent”.

“It is my way to play, I like to create some problems in the other defence. I like to touch the ball, I like to try to do something and sometimes I do, sometimes not but I know I am good when I go one against one, sometimes even one against two. I have got this quality so it is my style of play.”

“In football now you can see a lot of passes, – Hazard added – But when we were young we watched a lot of video on YouTube and we wanted to watch some clips of Ronaldinho, Robinho, players like that because they liked to dribble, and we wanted to do this”.

Belgian football teachers are developing dribbling skills and encouraging one v ones, especially the young teams.

Hazard said: “Now in the young teams in Belgium, they watch the professionals and we have players like me, Dries Mertens who plays for Napoli, Kevin De Bruyne, a lot of small guys with technical ability and we try to teach them this. It is like Barcelona, the professional team plays one way and all the youth teams they play the same way”.

“So in Belgium it is the same, in the young teams in Belgium we try to do the same as the professionals so we like to have the ball to dribble, we teach them that”.

Moreover, Hazard is the Premier League’s most fouled player with 54 fouls suffered so far.

“I think every year it is the same, – Hazard ended – When you’ve got the ball at your feet or you keep the ball, you have to be ready to get kicked so I don’t complain about this. I just want to be protected but it is football now and sometimes you get kicked and you get a free-kick or a penalty and it is a chance to score, so I am happy to do this”. 

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Team News

CHELSEA

– John Terry still out for a muscular injury at his gluteus

– Diego Costa and N’Golo Kante suspended

– Michy Batshuayi and Cesc Fabregas are the favourites to replace them

 

BOURNEMOUTH

– Lewis Cook is a long term absentee

– Junior Stanislas and Andrew Surman are closing in on a return to fitness.

– Nathan Ake will be unavailable to play against his parent club due to the nature of is loan agreement.

 

Predicted Line Ups

CHELSEA – Courtois, Azpilicueta, David Luiz, Cahill, Moses, Fabregas, Matic, Marcos Alonso, Willian, Hazard, Batshuayi

BOURNEMOUTH – Borus, Smith, Francis, Cook, Daniels, Arter, Wilshere, Ibe, King, Pugh, Wilson

 

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Chelsea manager Antonio Conte admitted that striker Michy Batshuayi needs a little patience as he’s trying to settle in the Premier League.

The Italian manager said: “Yeah I spoke about Michy in the post-game conference. I said it’s not easy to arrive in this league and to play when you are a young player, arriving in a new country.”

“For me it’s difficult to arrive and adapt in this league because it’s very tough, very physical and strong.”

Then Conte added: “Michy is working very well. We must have patience with him, to work with him, help him improve. The next step is to play more in this season but I repeat it’s not day to adapt in this league, to adapt and to play.”

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Chelsea manager Antonio Conte is set to face his first Boxing Day in England, where the clubs do not have a winter break in contrast with Serie A teams.

The Italian manager told the club’s official website: “I heard of this situation in England, and I heard a lot of coaches being disappointed to not stop to have a winter break, above all in the national team,” 

“I remember Capello always saying the lack of winter break penalised the national team a lot. It’s very difficult to answer, but the atmosphere to play in this period is very difficult to find in another period, and it’s fantastic”.

Chelsea Christmas

How does Conte usually celebrate Christmas? In London or elsewhere?

“My wife and my daughter have arrived to prepare to celebrate Christmas in my house with my brothers and my parents – Conte added – This is very good. This is the first experience for me and in my family to work and play football. I think it can be and I hope it will be a fantastic experience”.

“It’s very strange for us because in this period we are used to being on holiday. Sometimes we went to Lecce, sometimes we stayed in Torino. Once we went to Dubai”.

Then Conte ended: “You have to celebrate Christmas with the family, that’s the most important. It’s not important where you stay but it’s important to stay together”.

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Chelsea manager Antonio Conte admitted he’s not worried as the Blues are title-race favourites with 43 points in 17 games so far.

“I don’t trust people who say it’s important to stay behind and to not have pressure in this position, – the Italian manager said speaking at press conference yesterday – I prefer to have good pressure and stay at the top of the table. We earned this position and now it’s important to keep this position. It won’t be easy”.  

Chelsea are leading the title race after five months and Conte confirmed: “To arrive at Christmas and open the newspaper and see you are top of the table is fantastic. If you asked me this before, I must be honest, it was a bit difficult to trust to be top of the table at Christmas, but the players deserve this”.

“In my experience you can only keep this position through hard work and by facing every game with great concentration, with great focus, and with a great will to fight and win the game”.

“At the start of the season, not one person forecast Chelsea to be at the top of the table, for many reasons – because the squad was the same as last season, because our market wasn’t great – but we found the right balance between me, my players and the club, to try to change the opinion of the people and try to have a good season”.

Then Conte added: “Now we are two games from being halfway through the season, and for this reason we must have the right pressure. Me and these players in the past have had the habit of staying top of the table, but I prefer not to look at the table in this moment. It’s not important. It’s important to look at the table at the end of the season”.

“Now it’s important to continue taking three points to increase our tally. Then, when we finish our season, we will look at the table and see where you are”.

Chelsea got 11 wins in a row at this stage and Conte is aware of the need to go on this way with ‘good results’.

“We are becoming the favourite. But I prefer to be favourite on the pitch, with good results, with good performances, playing good football, keeping clean sheets, showing great passion during games. That’s important”.

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