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team news

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Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois spoke after his side’s home win over West Bromwich Albion in a tough game, which was decided by Diego Costa‘s goal in the second half.

The Belgium international goalkeeper told the club’s official website: “I remember the year we were champions with Atletico he was very strong, and the year we were champions with Chelsea he was very strong as well,”

“This season up to now he has scored very important goals. He’s really strong on the ball as well and he dribbles past defenders like it’s nothing, so he’s very strong at the moment and we can only enjoy that and use him as our strength”.

“It was a rough time for all the team last year but from January or February Diego was already scoring a lot of goals, and he has just carried that form on.”

Chelsea maintain the leadership following the last home victory at Stamford Bridge: “We are very happy with the points. We had to be patient with our work”.

“I spoke after the game with Nacer Chadli and he said: ‘what can we do against a Chelsea who plays so well offensively? Put a good organisation out there and defend well’. That’s what they did and it was really hard to find a gap”.

“The goal came from a little mistake by their defender and Diego scored fantastically. Then they put all their power up with Chadli, Robson-Kanu, Rondon who is so strong in the air, so it was a tough game for us but a very good three points”.

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Chelsea hosted West Bromwich Albion at the bridge on Sunday lunchtime kickoff.

Chelsea came into the game at the back of an eight game winning streak, manager Tony Pulis men haven’t also lost in their last four games heading into this fixture.

Chelsea got off to a slow start with Westbrom content with sitting back and frustrating play, with chances few and far between,the only highlights of the first half were Hazard’s wide shot and Salmon Rondon‘s effort that went wide.

Chelsea’s topscorer Diego Costa was also kept quiet as well as influential winger Eden Hazard in a frustrating first half for the blues.

The second half although,started differently with Antonio Conte bringing on Cesc Fabregas and Willian for the ineffective pair of Victor Moses and Pedro. And the introduction of Cesc Fabregas paid dividend as the spaniard hit the ball towards the path of Westbrom defender Gareth McAuley who mis-controlled the ball allowing Diego Costa to pounce and finish off nicely to put Chelsea on the lead after a torrid afternoon at the bridge.

Chelsea were strong enough to hold on to their slender lead with Antonio introducing Branislav Ivanovic late on to shore up the defense. Costa’s goal was his twelfth of the season,and Antonio Conte men extended their winning run to nine and go top of the table,three points clear of their closest rivals Arsenal.

Chelsea (3-4-3): Courtois; Azpilicueta, David Luiz, Cahill (c), Moses (Fabregas 74), Kante, Matic, Alonso; Pedro (Willian 63) Diego Costa, Hazard (Ivanovic 79)
Unused subs Begovic, Aina, Chalobah, Batshuayi.
Booked Kante 48, Matic 88
Scorer 
Diego Costa 76

West Brom (4-2-3-1): Foster; Dawson, McAuley, Evans, Nyom; Fletcher (c), Yacob; Brunt, Morrison (Chadli 79) Phillips (McClean 79) Rondon.
Unused subs Palmer, Olsson, Galloway, Gardner, Robson-Kanu.
Booked Brunt 20, McAuley 29, Dawson 51, Yacob 56.

Referee Mike Dean
Crowd 41,622

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Chelsea v West Brom – Official Lineups

Chelsea – Courtois; Azpilicueta, David Luiz, Cahill (c); Moses, Kante, Matic, Alonso; Pedro, Diego Costa, Hazard

Subs: Begovic, Aina, Ivanovic, Chalobah, Fabregas, Willian, Batshuayi

Manager: Antonio Conte

West Bromwich Albion – Foster; Dawson, McAuley, Evans, Nyom; Yacob, Fletcher (c); Brunt, Morrison, Phillips; Rondon

Subs: Palmer; Olsson, Robson-Kanu, Gardner, McClean, Galloway, Chadli

Manager: Tony Pulis

Venue: Stamford Bridge

Kick-Off: 12PM BST

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Chelsea winger Willian scored a crucial goal in the Blues’ comeback win against Manchester City at Etihad Stadium last time out.

When asked about that game, the Brazilian star told the club’s official website: “When I came on the game was difficult,”

“It was 1-0 to City, we were playing away and we know how hard it is to play there. The manager didn’t say anything special to me before I came on. He just gave me some instructions for when we had the ball and when we did not”. 

Then Willian added: “It was the kind of game that is always good to play in, very exciting, and I’m happy I helped the team by scoring a goal and creating some other chances to score more goals. I think I did well and it felt really good to come back after the difficult moment I had”. 

Teammates backed Willian and gave him support when the winger’s mother lost her battle with cancer in October: “I have to say thank you to all of my team-mates and the staff here for the support they gave to me in that moment, – he remarked – They knew it was very difficult for me. I watched the game against Leicester, the celebrations of the guys were nice and it was good because we won too”.

Willian did not feature in every game of the season so far, as manager Antonio Conte has recently selected Pedro in that position: “I am happy to hear the manager say I am important and to have the support of him and the staff. Of course we all want to play but we can’t because there’s only 11 players who can be on the pitch. Now I just have to continue to work hard every day and to show my quality again”.

The Blues are set to face West Bromwich Albion at Stamford Bridge today.

“I have been in England for over three years and for me, every game in the Premier League is difficult, home or away, – Willian ended – We are expecting another difficult game against West Brom. They are in a great moment, they have been winning games, so we have to maintain the good football and the good concentration we have showed recently if we are to win.”

 

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Team News

CHELSEA 

– John Terry still out for gluteus injury

Oscar out for sickness

– Kurt Zouma still have to find 100% fitness after ACL injury

David Luiz to be valued after hurting his knee in Aguero‘s challenge last week

– Cesc Fabregas could replace Matic again in the starting XI

 

WEST BROMWICH 

– Goalkeeper Boaz Myhill still out for ankle injury

 

Possible Line Ups

CHELSEA – Courtois, Azpilicueta,  David Luiz, Cahill; Moses, Kante, Fabregas, Marcos Alonso; Willian, Diego Costa, Hazard.

WEST BROM – Forster, Nyom, Evans, Dawson, McAuley, Phillips, Morrison, Fletcher, Brunt, Yacob, Rondon.

 

 

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Chelsea youngster Nathaniel Chalobah appeared on Chelsea TV alongside with teammates Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Ola Aina as part of the club’s Friday Night Live show.

“We’re enjoying this momentum – the former Napoli midfielder claimed – Training is tough during the week but, as you can probably see on the training ground, everyone is having fun”. 

Then Chalobah added: “It helps that we’re winning so there is a lot of team spirit. All the lads are mixing in as well.”

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Ruben Loftus-Cheek celebrating his first official goal with Chelsea against Scunthorpe © Francesca Ceciarini

Chelsea youngster Ruben Loftus-Cheek underlined the pleasure as manager Antonio Conte and teammates Diego Costa and Pedro won monthly awards on Friday.

The English star told Chelsea TV: “It’s great for the team and the club, it shows the hard work that is going on at the training ground is coming off during the games”.

“We need to carry this momentum on because we are playing really well”. 

Loftus-Cheek featured once in Premier League so far, while was regularly selected in the starting XI for the last two games in EFL Cup.

 

 

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Chelsea manager Antonio Conte spoke ahead of the clash against West Bromwich Albion, when Blues will face Baggies at Stamford Bridge.

The whole staff is working very well and the Italian manager won the second Premier League manager of the month award in a row.

Conte said: “I am very pleased to have few injuries for so long because for a season it is important if you are able to avoid muscular problems, the traumatic problems are very difficult to avoid, but to avoid the muscular problems it is very important to have a method, a philosophy during training sessions and to work with the players, together with the medical staff, to try to find the best solution to have few injuries”.

“The number of injuries is always important at the end of the season, and usually when you have many injuries you can lose key players and this is not good for the team.”

Speaking about Sergio Aguero‘s tackle on David Luiz, Conte added: “For sure the tackle was very dangerous for David Luiz,”

“It is normal if you have a soft training session every day that you never have problems with the players. It is the more simple way to be a manager,’ he points out”.

“When you work very hard it is not easy sometimes but with the results, with good condition and good form then the players understand the right way to follow”.  

“The most important thing is to arrive prepared for the game in the right way, then if you can find the right solution for the players to work and also to enjoy the training, this is the best”.

About his way of working with the staff he wanted at Chelsea: “My philosophy with my staff is we continue to work with my method we used with the Italy national team and with Juventus, and with Siena, Bari, Atlanta – all my experience”.

“The analysis statistics are important to check what happened during the training session and during the game, but the most important thing for me is my eyes”.

“It is important to look and understand if someone is more tired than another, or if someone is a bit lazy or not and you can push him. The eye in my job is very important.”

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Pedro celebrating equaliser with Cahill right before half time © Francesca Ceciarini

Chelsea winger Pedro, who won the Goal of the Month trophy today, told the club’s official website that ‘this is the best goal’ in his period at Stamford Bridge.

The Spaniard scored the equalizer against Tottenham Hotspur, in a game which led the Blues to a great comeback win.

“The game was very difficult, it was a derby, and the goal came at the right moment for us – Pedro claimed – It was important to score before half-time. Thank you to the fans for voting for me. I am very happy with this award”.

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Chelsea striker Diego Costa won the EA Sports Player of the Month award today, and told the club’s official website: “Things are going well at the moment. The team is doing well and this shows that things are working out for me,”

“The team performance has a bearing on this individual award. If we were bottom, I doubt I’d have won it. So, it’s down to my team-mates, thanks to the club and hopefully we can continue this winning run”.

Then Costa added: “Thanks also to the fans for this award but the most important thing for me and the club is that we are up there fighting for the league at the end of the season”.

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