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team news

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Chelsea will face West Bromwich Albion at the Hawthorns today (3PM BST) following the Blues victory over Manchester United in the last Premier League game at Stamford Bridge.

Team News

WEST BROM 

  • Nacer Chadli suffered a hip injury while playing with Belgium last week and has been ruled out of the clash;
  • James Morrison underwent surgery on Achilles and will probably miss out a large part of the season.

CHELSEA

  • Batshuayi is sidelined with a problem on his ankle;
  • Also Musonda jr has been ruled out of the clash following a knee injury;
  • Moses is progressing well, but I hope to see him back next week” Conte said when asked about the Nigerian winger, who won’t feature against WBA today.

Predicted Line Ups

West Brom – Foster; Nyom, Hegazi, Evans, Gibbs; McClean, Krychowiak, Barry, Livermore, Phillips; Rondon

Chelsea – Courtois; Azpilicueta, Christensen, Cahill; Zappacosta, Fabregas, Kante, Alonso; Pedro, Morata, Hazard

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Chelsea captain Gary Cahill has warned his teammates ahead of today’s clash agains West Bromwich Albion at the Hawthorns, where Antonio Conte won the title in May last season.

“I have great memories from the game there last season – Cahill admitted – But in the past it’s not always been that way in terms of dominating games and getting convincing victories there,”

“Every time you mention you’re going away to West Brom people pull a face as if to suggest you’re going to have a difficult time, and rightly so, because it’s always a tough place to go and we expect that again”.

Cahill believes Chelsea have to show the right pace and character against the Baggies: “Obviously our most recent memory there was a good one but this is a new season and that almost means nothing now, so we’ll just approach it in the same way we did the Man United game”.

 

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Speaking ahead of WBA game at Premier League restart after the international break Antonio Conte immediately gave an injury update:

Bathsuayi has a problem in his ankle, Musonda has a problem in his knee, Moses will be back next week.”

Asked if David Luiz is in this game squad after being left out in the clash against Manchester United, the Italian boss replied:

“Yes, he is in the squad, it was my decision to leave him out a couple of weeks ago,” Conte revealed.

He added: “I think the most important thing is to prepare the next game and to pay great attention, not to speak about a single player.”

Chelsea won the title at The Hawthorns last May, so to go back there must be a special feeling for Conte and his guys:

“It was a fantastic moment for me, for the players, for the club, for the fans.

“We won the league and it was great, I remember that moment very well and I am proud for what we did last season.

“Now we have to look at the present and this will be a really tough game because also last year WBA played a great game, two great games, because they were strong at Stamford Bridge as well. We want to try to continue to win.”

Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Tammy Abraham are doing very well while on loan at Crystal Palace and Swansea, Conte was asked if it was the right decision to send them on loan instead of including them in this season first team squad:

“I think we are talking about two young players, they will be the future of Chelsea, it’s right for them to play regularly. I read RLC’s interview: this experience is important for him, for his development, for his maturity. It’s the same path that Christensen followed when he was loaned two seasons at Borussia Monchengladbach.”

About Danny Drinkwater‘s fitness he said:

“Against Manchester United he suffered a knock in his calf, he started to work with us only this week, he was intelligent to stop.

“I think this is not a great moment for Italy, for my country, to miss the World Cup after 56 years it’s a half disaster for us, because you know how important football is for Italy. I hope the federation will work to improve the situation.”

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Stoke City centre-back and captain Ryan Shawcross has confirmed he’s pleased to play alongside with Chelsea loanee Kurt Zouma, who is coming back stronger following the ankle injury suffered by the Frenchman two years ago: “For them to let him go to us is fantastic for us, but surprising. – Shawcross said – He’s quick, he can jump really high, he can pass the ball, he can shoot, he doesn’t get beat one-v-one. He’s like the ultimate defender. I think him and [Toby] Alderweireld are the top two centre halves in the country at the moment.”

Then he added: “I think Kurt has done brilliantly. He’s played a lot of games previously and it’s a great test for him to come here.

“He’s experienced things he probably hasn’t done at Chelsea, tough losses. I don’t think he will ever get beat by seven goals at Chelsea, so it’s difficult, but it’s good for his character and experience as a footballer.”

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Chelsea loanee Ruben Loftus-Cheek limped off during England friendly against Brazil at Wembley after just 35′ and was replaced by head coach Gareth Southgate.

The midfielder, who currently plays for Crystal Palace, showed an impressive performance in the goalless draw against Germany on Friday night. Also Tammy Abraham picked-up his first call-up for England National team last week.

Loftus-Cheek has featured in 7 Premier League games so far with the Eagles, who are sitting at the bottom of the table with 4 points and just one victory – against Chelsea – at Selhurst Park.

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Chelsea defender Andreas Christensen returned to the starting line-up in Denmark’s away 1-5 victory over Ireland last night at Aviva Stadium in Dublin.

The centre-back was involved in Denmark‘s equalizer at 29’ after exploiting a cross from Pione Sisto. Then Tottenham star Christian Eriksen gave the lead, before scoring twice in the second period grabbing a sensational hat-trick. Also Niklas Bendtner converted a penalty to secure a massive win to get the last European pass for Russia World Cup 2018.

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Davide Zappacosta was among the substitutes in Italy‘s goalless draw against Sweden at San Siro, which means the Azzurri won’t be participating in Russian World Cup next summer and we won’t se the Chelsea right-back in action.

Giampiero Ventura‘s side failed to score at least one goal against the visitors, who won the first-leg in Stockholm thanks to an own-goal in the second half. Then Italy are out of the competition for the first time since 1958.

Alessandro Del Piero has praised current Chelsea manager Antonio Conte, admitting he would be perfect to replace Giampiero Ventura as soon as possible as Italy needs to bounce back from a huge humiliation.

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Former Juventus star Alessandro Del Piero has praised Chelsea manager Antonio Conte and believes the Blues’ manager would be perfect to rescue Italy national team, which missed out on World Cup for first time since 1958. Conte himself, who led the Azzurri to the quarter-finals.

 “He did great with Juve of course and a great job with the national team, – Del Piero told Sport360 – Of course we would love to have him back in Italy, of course, because he is a great coach. He would improve any team and this is what he did with Chelsea last season and what he did with Juve as well.

“We had some problems and he fixed it, then won the title. He has some amazing qualities and that’s why he’s coaching the best teams in the world.

Then he added: “I hope he will have a great period with Chelsea and then maybe one day come back.”

Conte officially left the National team for Chelsea on 18th July 2017, winning the Premier League title with the Blues in his first season at Stamford Bridge.

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Paris Saint-Germain star Thomas Meunier has revealed Chelsea placed a deadline day transfer offer to land him to Stamford Bridge, before setting their sights on former Torino right-back Davide Zappacosta, who joined the Blues on a £25m move.

“On the last day of the transfer period, they made an offer to Paris but I know it was no, – Meunier said – From the club, they didn’t want to sell me – because we have two right-backs, with Dani Alves and me, it was difficult to sell one.”

Then he added: “I didn’t really think about it [a move to Chelsea] because they called me in they told me ‘you will not move at all so don’t think about Chelsea or another club, you will not move so you stay in Paris and we are counting on your for the rest of the season’.”

Meunier is a regular starter in Belgium national team, alongside with Thibaut Courtois, Eden Hazard and Michy Batshuayi.

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Chelsea right-wing Victor Moses, speaking in an interview with Goal.com, revealed how Cesar Azpilicueta has been crucial in helping him last season: “I’d say he has influenced me most. – the Nigerian star claimed – He played a huge part in my defensive development last season”.

“He is always behind me, always constantly talking to me to make sure I am in the right position. When is the time to go and when’s the time to stay. He understands me. We established a partnership which was very good“.

Then Moses added: “To me, I would say that Cesar is underrated. As a defender he has got everything. He’s quick, he’s got that desire, passion for the game. He just wants to play football. Azpilicueta is never tired. He can run all night in every minute. He wants to play every game.

“It is great for us that we have him. He’s someone that loves the game. He is always talking to every player before games. He wakes everyone up and says we have got to go out there and win this game.”

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