Tags Posts tagged with "conte"

conte

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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 are dominating the game against Qarabag at Stamford Bridge. An early opener scored by Brazilian star Pedro was followed by a stunning strike of Davide Zappacosta from the right flank.

Chances for Batshuayi, Willian and Marcos Alonso, Qarabag are struggling to find goal attempts as Chelsea’s defense is working very hard to avoid any risk. Cahill was booked for a late challenge.

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Rumors from Germany report that manager Antonio Conte is on his way out from Chelsea.

Marina Granoviskaia and Roman Abramovich have reportedly eyed former Borussia Dortmund boss Thomas Tuchel as Conte’s successor at Stamford Bridge.

We will investigate in the next hours to give an update as soon as possible. We understand the Italian manager is keen to stay at Chelsea, despite a well-known disappointment due to the lack of summer signings amid Inter Milan interest.

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Eden Hazard is one of the best footballers on the planet. Nobody can put that in doubt. The best player at Chelsea, that’s for sure. And to keep him at the club is absolutely crucial.

Antonio Conte’s work has been undoubtably amazing, picking up a group that needed new motivations and bringing them to the Premier League title. But, at the end of the day, it’s the players who are on the pitch, and the man who gives quality to this current Chelsea side is Hazard.

Looking at the sums in the recent transfer windows, and considering the Belgian’s age, a price tag of roughly 100 million pounds seems about the right one. But Chelsea should say no to any offer was someone to come with that sum. Because Hazard is in many ways irreplaceable.

If Real Madrid were to sell Cristiano Ronaldo, Hazard would be one of the natural replacements. And the price tag would be accessible for Los Blancos, who could try their luck. Chelsea would then have to reinvest that sum immediately to find a starter that brings that many goals and assists: not an easy task.

Hazard is the extra spark. Moving on to play in the Champions League as well as trying to retain the Premier League title, these are the kind of players Chelsea need to hold on to, trying to add similar level footballers to raise the bar.

Any offer would be too little for Hazard. Not that he seems like wanting to leave or the club intend to sell him. But if Real Madrid were to try their everything, Chelsea should still say no. Who could replace him? Who knows English football this well and could adapt immediately?

Names such as James Rodriguez – great players who need to change to find playing time – could be decent options, but would have to be tested in the top English league. Not an easy one for Chelsea. The truth is, one can let go of Diego Costa, and find another number ‘9’, although even that is difficult, but someone like Hazard is almost unique.

To claim to be a possible challenger for the upcoming Champions League campaign and to repeat themselves domestically, Chelsea absolutely need to keep the key players, Hazard being the most important one. Add quality and depth to the squad, without having to say no to anyone. This will be the key to another successful season at Stamford Bridge.

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This Premier League title is one of the most unexpected for Chelsea, coming after a disastrous season and after a difficult start. Now, Antonio Conte and his men want it all, as they prepare to battle Arsenal and win the Double.

Last time Chelsea managed to lift the Premier League and FA Cup trophies in the same season it was 2010: Carlo Ancelotti lead the Blues to a legendary season. Two years later Roberto Di Matteo lifted the Champions League, with the FA Cup, constructing a different kind of double.

After this incredible season under Conte, with Chelsea beating the all time record for victories in a single Premier League season, to win the Double would be the icing on the cake. The big prey is already taken, but adding the FA Cup, especially by beating Arsenal in the final, would make it all more special.

Conte failed to win the Double in his time at Juve, focussing on the league and overlooking the Coppa Italia. The FA Cup has a different importance and prestige, and the Double would certify Conte’s outstanding work and set the basis for the future.

The Italian manager could present these unexpected and fantastic results to Roman Abramovich, asking for reinforcements in the squad and setting his eyes on the next season, with the participation in the Champions League becoming central.

After winning four domestic leagues in a row and impressing Europe with Italy, Conte needs to show his ability in the Champions League, where he has failed to impress so far. He’ll need a different approach, with less time to train and learn tactics and more players needed to stay fresh throughout the season.

With a Double in hand, Conte would be able to ask Abramovich anything, with the owner ready to spend what is needed to remain competitive on more fronts. Imagine what Conte could do with a bigger and better squad.

On paper, Chelsea are favourites to win it. But it won’t be simple. It’s Arsenal and Arsene Wenger’s last chance to show this season wasn’t a complete failure, and it could even be the French managers last game in charge. On top of that, the Gunners have a great record at Wembley recently, having won the competition in 2014 and 2015.

Chelsea will also have to be careful about the celebrations of the past week. The Blues will need to keep their concentration high to approach the game as they have done all season, in Conte’s spirit.

If Chelsea do their job, the FA Cup seems at hand, and Conte will conclude his first season in the best possible way, ready to plan the future for more victories.

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Cesc Fabregas © Francesca Ceciarini

Imagine being at the centre of transfer rumours for two years, staying focussed and then being decisive to win the Premier League? It’s what has happened to Cesc Fabregas in Antonio Conte’s Chelsea.

The former Arsenal skipper was brought to Stamford Bridge by José Mourinho, and was crucial in winning the title in 2015. But after last season’s flop, Fabregas was linked with a move to several clubs throughout the summer and the January transfer windows, only to keep his mind set on Chelsea and contributing to (almost…) another title, becoming Conte’s secret weapon.

The Spaniard was never a starter for Conte, who’s preferred midfield duo this season – ever since he crystallised the 3-4-3 system as the main one – is composed by N’Golo Kanté holding, with Nemanja Matic next to him with more freedom. Fabregas was the first sub very often, but his technical superiority over the other two midfielders has made him more than that: a player Conte can use to get out of blocked games, or start him when more quality is needed.

Against Middlesbrough Fabregas was at his best, delivering two assists and providing a man of the match performance. It was only his 26th Premier League game this season, just 11 of which from the start. His assists tally is at 11 this year, his sixth season in the Premier League where he reaches double digits.
Schermata 2017-05-09 alle 10.35.38

A unique midfielder, especially when put in the best conditions to deliver. And with someone like Conte, able to get the best out of his players, Cesc can only develop further. For example in his goals tally: just 4 this year, albeit a decisive one against Sunderland. Either way, Cesc’s become increasingly more important to this Blues side.

Similarly to Chelsea, Fabregas grew throughout the season, as Conte points out: “Cesc is one of the best at the centre of our season,” Conte said. Through hard work he improved a lot and he played in every game. I’m pleased for him because I saw he put himself in this team in every moment whether he played or not. He deserves this. This development of Cesc is ours.”

A development that will see him be at the centre of more transfer gossip in the upcoming months, but will also put him in a strong position at the club. Rumour has it Cesc could take over from John Terry and become captain from the 2017/18 season. From being ‘only’ a secret weapon to the skipper, it’s a quick jump.

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“It was my best goal with Chelsea”. The man himself, Pedro Rodriguez, said this after the beauty that paved the way for the Blues’ victory over Everton at Goodison Park, before Gary Cahill and Willian rounded up the score to 3-0.

A crucial victory for Antonio Conte’s men, another step closer to that Premier League title, and yet another fundamental goal for the former Barcelona striker, revitalised – like many – by the Italian manager, and absolutely decisive even if not a regular starter.

The curler that gave Chelsea the lead at Everton is Pedro’s eight goal in this Premier League – already one more than last year -, not a huge tally, but a very decisive one. Very often he has sorted out difficult games, turning them into ugly but heavy victories, crucial to pile on the points that are now giving the Blues the edge in the title race.

Some of these eight goals have been absolutely decisive. How can we forget his stunner against Tottenham at Stamford Bridge, in a victory that now is creating the gap between the West London and North London clubs. And what about the goal for the 1-1 at Burnley? Again, points that add up for the title.

Players such as N’Golo Kante, Eden Hazard or Diego Costa have undoubtedly been central to Conte’s extraordinary season – with the title in reach – but it is also true that we’re talking about three players who have won the league in the past two seasons, under José Mourinho at Chelsea in 2015 or at Leicester City in the case of the French midfielder.

Pedro came in from Barcelona after having won every single trophy possible, both at club level and at international level, but many thought he might have already been in the concluding phase of his career. Mourinho really wanted him, and his first season was not as bad as the rest of the team, although not good enough.

This year he stepped up, like the entire squad, and has showed immense qualities. Nine assists, to be added to the goals, in the Premier League, as well as four goals and two assists in the FA Cup, another title that Conte could add to his first English season. To this, his ability to play in every position up front, and even art wing back, has made him Conte go-to substitute for whoever is missing on the day.

As centre forward, as winger, as wing back, Pedro’s contribution has always been top class, contributing hugely to Chelsea’s title race, and now one step closer to adding a Premier League to his immense personal trophy case.

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Four points with five games left to play seem like a good enough amount to stay very positive, even if two weeks ago Chelsea were 10 points clear of Tottenham. To relax would be a mistake, and it’s a concept that does not exist in Antonio Conte’s world. But the Blues have everything to take the title, after leading the table for three quarters of the season.

The four points become a larger and larger advantage as the games become fewer and fewer. Every single one of these points become heavier by the minute, keeping Spurs at that same distance. Looking at the games left to play, Chelsea can smile even more. The Blues have to face Everton at Goodison Park, that seems the toughest encounter left, in front of Romelu Lukaku, who could lead Conte’s attack next season. The remaining games will need concentration and solidity, but seem much more at hand than Spurs’ fixtures.

Mauricio Pochettino’s men have to travel to the King Power Stadium to face the champions, then host Arsenal at White Hart Lane in what should be the last North London derby at the historical ground. Another London derby awaits Spurs, as they travel to the London Stadium in West Ham’s home. Before the season ends, Tottenham will also have to host Manchester United and play away to Hull City, desperate in the relegation battle. Nothing points in Spurs’ direction.

What we saw in the game against Crystal Palace, though, is that the likes of Christian Eriksen, Dele Alli and Harry Kane have no intention of dropping out of the title race. Eriksen’s beautiful winner against Palace gave Spurs three points a lot of teams have had to say no to. Sam Allardyce’s men have recently beaten Chelsea, of course, as well as Arsenal and Liverpool. After crumbling in the decisive moment of last season, missing out on lifting the trophy, Spurs have confirmed the development under Pochettino and have added a number of ugly wins to their season. They will not give up.

Chelsea will need everyone to stay at their best until the very end to take the Premier League trophy back to Stamford Bridge. Having rediscovered the firepower of Diego Costa, added to the consistency and class of Eden Hazard, the Blues have everything to even win all remaining games. What will be crucial is to maintain the four points distance for as long as possible: giving Tottenham any extra boost or hope can only be negative for Chelsea.

The Blues deserve this title more than anyone, hence why they now have everything to lose. Conte’s pitch side antics show he definitely has not started relaxing yet, and knows what it takes to stay focused and win the league. Chelsea just need to watch out: Tottenham will not stop the chase.

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Manchester United dominated the game against Chelsea at Old Trafford, where José Mourinho’s men produced a performance.Marcus Rashford put Red Devils in front after just 6′ before Ander Herrera‘s deflected shot secured Manchester United a home win.

Tottenham are now 4 points behind with 71 points and Liverpool in 3rd position with 66 points.

Next fixture sees Chelsea against Southampton at Stamford Bridge on 25th of April, three days after the F.A. Cup semifinal against Spurs, who are putting even more pressure on Antonio Conte‘s men.

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Antonio Conte spoke again about his future, dismissing all the recent talks that were linking him to Inter.

In the past days a football agent named Andrea Pastorello (that shares the same surname of the Italian coach agent, Federico Pastorello) said Conte was fine at Chelsea but could value offers from other clubs, especially if these clubs were historical clubs like Inter.

When asked about this, the Blues boss commented:

“I read this interview about Andrea Pastorello, not Federico Pastorello, I don’t know him and I don’t know why this person spoke for me, I stay here and this is the most important thing. I don’t like when another person speaks for me. I have two more years of contract with Chelsea”.

“I don’t know why they link me to Inter, for the media it’s normal to put me in this situation, maybe they want me back in Italy.”

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