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NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, ENGLAND - AUGUST 26: Chelsea Assistant Manager, Gianfranco Zola gives instructions during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Chelsea FC at St. James Park on August 26, 2018 in Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Assistant manager Gianfranco Zola was on press conference ahead of Carabao Cup clash against Liverpool today and was obviously asked to give some thoughts on tomorrow’s game.

The Italian man and club’s legend told journalists: “The game on Saturday is going to be huge, the type of game means a lot. But I think starting from tomorrow it’s going to be competitive. We are greedy, we want to win both of them if we can”.

“We have a lot of players, we didn’t do a big pre-season, so these games can serve also as a pre-season, to give time to players like [Andreas] Christensen, [Gary] Cahill, who haven’t had opportunities to get games”.

Zola also provided an injury update on England international and former Crystal Palace midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek. 

‘Ruben has had an injection and is still recovering” he said.

“It is very unlikely he will be part of the game tomorrow. Same with Rudiger. Pedro is recovering very well, but it’s tough for them to be part of the game tomorrow”.

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Chelsea winger Pedro limped off in agony after a collision with the PAOK goalkeeper in Europa League’s first game in Greece yesterday.

Speaking after the clash, manager Maurizio Sarri has given an update on the Spaniard, whose injury seems to be “not a very serious one”. 

He said: “I don’t know. The problem is shoulder, but I don’t know exactly the situation.

I have spoken with the doctor, but only for a few seconds. The doctor told me that probably it’s not a very serious injury.”

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Everything happened in three minutes, between 3′ and 6′, when first Eden Hazard and then Willian beat Matthew Ryan with two fantastic finishings. Therefore, Chelsea are leading 2-0 on Brighton at half-time.

The Blues were in control most of the first part but the Seagulls complained for a couple of tackles on Ezequiel Schelotto in the box – the first one by Willy Caballero and the second one by Tiemoué Bakayoko– that could have given two penalties, but referee Jon Moss didn’t concede them.

Chelsea boss Antonio Conte is facing emergency in his squad with both Thibaut Courtois and Danny Drinkwater forced out in the last 24 hours for injury after losing Gary Cahill and Cesc Fabregas during the week both for minor injuries and Alvaro Morata and Pedro both under suspension after the red cards in the FA Cup clash against Norwich on Wednesday night.

 

 

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Another disappointing display for the Blues, 345 minutes without scoring a single goal in the last games.

Not an enthusiastic balance for Chelsea after 45 minutes against Norwich City in the FA Cup third round replay.

Only two things to mention from this boring first half: two crossbars hit, one for each team: the first one for Chelsea with Danny Drinkwater and the second one for the Canaries with Nelson Oliveira.

Antonio Conte will have to find some new weapon to use in his team if he wants to go through the next round in the next 45 minutes.

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Chelsea and Norwich are still 0-0 at the end of the first half: not a great display by Antonio Conte’s lads, with the Canaries being probably more dangerous with Murphy that missed a great chance on a counter attack at 32′ and Zappacosta clearing a dangerous ball on Lewis right before half-time.

The Blues were not able to shot a single time on goal, with Michy Batshuayi left isolated among Norwich defenders.

The only appreciable effort was a Kenedy‘s shot from outside the box ( 29′) that was deflected in corner, not much to try to win the game in this first 45’.

The Blues have just other 45 minutes to avoid the replay at Stamford Bridge.

 

 

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Chelsea are trashing Stoke City at home in this last clash of 2017, already leading 3-0 after 45′.

A first half that has seen three goals from the hosts: a header from Antonio Rudiger, Danny Drinkwater’s fine volley and a lovely goal from Pedro.

They’re firmly in control and you really can’t see how Stoke will get back in this contest in the second period.

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The first half between Everton and Chelsea at Goodison Park ended 0-0.

The Blues starting better but the Toffees were able to create a couple of dangerous chances in the end of the first part, especially the latest one with Dominic Calvert-Lewin that didn’t assist his team-mate Sigurdsson, alone in the middle of the box and ready to beat Thibaut Courtois, trying a weak shot after dribbling past Christensen and Azpilicueta.

Other 45′ for Antonio Conte’s side to try to get the three points they need to remain attached to the top of Premier League table.

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Simon Mignolet was the hero of these 45′ at Anfield saving three clear chances for Chelsea in five minutes in the middle of the first half: first on Eden Hazard, then on Danny Drinkwater and finally on Davide Zappacosta.

The Reds were dangerous only in the end of the first part with their star-man Mo Salah, whose shot was slightly wide.

Other 45 minutes to try to win this game for the Blues!

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Chelsea and his fans can stop to concern: Eden Hazard has nothing serious after rumours has spread yesterday about another injury since the Blues star hadn’t train with Belgium after a knock in the friendly game against Mexico last Friday.

Speaking ahead of another friendly clash, this time against Japan, Belgium coach Roberto Martinez said:

“Hazard did not train on Sunday but there is nothing serious.”

Eden missed the beginning of the season recovering from an ankle injury that he picked up while playing for his country at the end of the previous campaign.

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Manchester United have five long-term injury absentees for next Chelsea clash with Michael Carrick, Marouane Fellaini, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Marcos Rojo and Paul Pogba all on the sidelines.

Jesse Lingard became the latest injury concern for the red Devils after the attacker picked up a back injury during Tuesday night’s Champions League win over Benfica.

Speaking about this issue to ManUtd.com Red Devils manager José Mourinho said he’s not sure if he will be able to recover some of them for the Stamford Bridge game next Sunday:

“I have to wait a little bit. Normally, the press conference is a bit later in the week, we still have Friday and Saturday [to come].

I’m not very optimistic, but I don’t want to lie. I don’t want you to say that I told a lie when I said there’s no chance of recovering, so I prefer just to say two more days to confirm my expectation.”

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