Nov 072014
 

Chelsea return to action in the Premier league after a dissapointing 1-1 draw with NK Maribor in the match day four of the Uefa champions league away in Slovenia midweek.

Chelsea will face last season’s league runner up Liverpool at Anfield in the lunch hour kick-off fixture of match day 11 of the Epl. Liverpool rested most of their key players in the 1-0 defeat they suffered to European champions Real Madrid.

With the game coming barely 48hours after Chelsea returned from Slovenia, it will be expected that most of the players who took part in the game especially those who played the full duration might not have had enough time to recover for the Anfield clash.

Below are the likely changes we think Mourinho will make from the team that played Maribor in the champions league on Wednesday.

Courtios For Cech

Cech was in goal for Chelsea in the champions league match for the second time in a row and it seems Mourinho have devised a way of sharing the goal keeping responsibilities among the two world class goalkeepers.

Courtios is therefore expected to return to the line-up since he has been the man manning the post for Chelsea in all of their league games this season. Both players will be happy to share the responsibility as it will be hard to discard any of them.

While Cech takes care of the cup games, Thibaut Courtios will be tasked with keeping Epl strikers at bay so, expect to see Courtios back in goal for this game.

Cahill For Zouma

Zouma has been given game time in recent champions league games to learn under the tuteledge of the very best- John Terry and the French youngster has shown he is one that is capable of taking over the position of the long term captain and club legend when he eventually quit the game or the club.

Cahill will however make his return to the line-up as his partnership with John Terry has been hailed as one of the best in the league. Mourinho will need his two best and experienced central defenders to stop the Liverpool’s attack who haven’t been  at their best this season but will likely up their game in an attempt to shock Chelsea.

Azpilicueta For Luiz

Ceasar Azpilicueta will return to action for the first time in the league since his three match ban after his sending off against Crystal Palace. Mourinho prefer to use the right full back on the left side of defence since his return to Chelsea and the Spaniard has not disappointed with his performance.

Filippe Luis joined Chelsea last summer from Atletico Madrid and has been used mainly in the champions league as it seems the player is finding it difficult with the pace of the league. Azpilicueta looks more defensively solid than the Brazilian as his work rate and shifts give Mourinho’s backline a balance even as the Portuguese likes attacking from the right full back with Ivanovic bombing forward at will to join the attack.

Oscar For Schurrle

Andre Schurrle was given another chance to prove himself against Maribor but the German world cup winner struggled to cope with the rhythm of the game. It was no surprise to see the special one pull him out for Oscar at half time. Oscar’s introduction brought a lot of life back into Chelsea’s attack and the Brazilian was a problem too much to curtail by the Maribor side.

Oscar has been in scintillating form this season. He scored a wonder of a goal against QPR in the league last weekend so, will be an easy choice for Mourinho to reinstate him back into the starting line-up against Liverpool.

Costa For Drogba

Diego Costa will look to continue his rich vein of scoring form in the league after recovering from his persistent hamstring injury. The Brazilian born Spanish striker made his first start for the club since the October international break in the game against QPR last weekend.

He started from the bench against Maribor and after coming through unscathed, he will be set to lead the attack in place of Didier Drogba who played all 90 minutes against Maribor midweek.

Costa has scored 10 goals in 8 league starts for Chelsea and will fancy his chances of increasing his tally against Liverpool.

 Posted by at 6:03 pm
Sep 272014
 

Today’s game against Aston Villa will be Chelsea’s 4000th league game as well as their 2000th home league game. Coming from a 2-1 win against Bolton in the carling cup, Chelsea will be looking to extend their lead at the top of Premier League standing today as they welcome the visit of Villa. The Villans are currently third on the league table, three points behind the blues and will be hoping to avoid the fight for survival that has characterized their last two campaigns.

Except Ramires who sustained a groin injury in a tough game against Manchester City at the Etihad and Diego Costa who is apparently lacking fitness, Mourinho has no worries about his squad. Oscar is expected to replace his compatriot in the midfield while Willian should get the nod ahead of Schurrle who, despite scoring against City, was again guilty of lack of defensive concentration that led to the equaliser.

Aston Villa’s squad was hit by an illness ahead of the Arsenal game, with Baker, Bent and Westwood all missing out and Weimann forced off at half time with the sickness. Those four players should be back available, though concerns remain over the fitness of Ron Vlaar, who is still suffering with a calf injury. Christian Benteke has trained all week but is continuing to build up his fitness and unlikely to feature for another week or so.

Should we win, Mourinho will claim second place all for himself on the all-time list of career Chelsea wins. He’s currently tied with Dave Sexton on 164. Jose will also mark a quarter millennium of games in charge of the Blues (7th all-time).

Possible line-up for Chelsea: Courtois, Ivanovic, Terry, Cahil, Azpilicueta, Matic, Fabregas, Oscar, Willian, Hazard, Costa

Formation- 4 3 3

Possible line-up for Aston Villa: Guzan, Hutton, Baker, Senderos, Cissokho, Delap, Richardson, Cleverly, Westwood, Weimann, Agbonlahor Formation – 4 51.

 Posted by at 10:23 am
Mar 232014
 

Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea proved once again that they are superior to their London Rivals, Arsenal. Unlike the first leg in December, the game at Stamford Bridge lived up to its billing – embarrassingly for the Gunners though. Chelsea bounced back from the controversial loss at Villa Park to knock 6 goals past a shocking Arsenal side.

Many expected the game to be tougher than it actually was. It was probably more embarrassing for Arsene Wenger than any other person because the defeat of this magnitude came on a day he was celebrating his 1000th game in charge of the Gunners. The Frenchman and his side were bereft of ideas and the Blues were more than happy to make them pay.

Samuel Eto’o curled the ball past a helpless Szczseny to kick the party off in the 5th minute. Just minutes later, Andre Schurlle added his name to the score sheet. Referee, Andre Marriner made one of the most controversial decisions the game has ever seen. Oxalaide-Chamberlain dove to punch an Eden Hazard shot that was agonizingly close to goal. Marriner – instead of sending Oxalaide-Chamberlain off- sent Kieran Gibbs off instead. Hazard made it 3-0 from the spot.

Oscar scored just minutes before the break after superb work by Fernando Torres. The Brazilian was on hand to add to his goal in the second half before his replacement, Mohammed Salah Sored the 6th goal for Chelsea. The match was surprisingly easy for Chelsea as they put Arsenal to the sword.

Below are the things that stood out.

Arsenal Defence keep shipping in goals.

The people who have argued that the pairing of Laurent Kooscielny and Per Mertesacker is one of the best in the Premier League, will probably change their mind after the shambolic performance against Chelsea. Just like the game against Manchester City [where they lost 6-3] and the game against Liverpool [where they lost 5-1], they keep conceding heavily.

The defenders were often caught out of position; at times they showed little desire in marking their attackers. No manager will be happy with the way Arsenal defended and Arsene Wenger won’t be an exception.

Mourinho continues to enjoy his advantage over Wenger and the Home record.

‘Mourinho has never lost against Wenger’, ‘Chelsea have never lost a Premier League game under Jose Mourinho’ these were the key facts before the game and after the emphatic victory, the streak continues for the ‘Special One’.

The victory of the at Stamford Bridge now means Mourinho has won 6 games in 11 encounters with Arsene Wenger and has Drawn the remaining 5. It remains to be seen if Wenger will ever break this jinx – maybe next season.

Stamford Bridge also remains strong. Chelsea remains the only undefeated team at home with an amazing 44points from a possible total of 48 points.

Salah pops his Cherry

Egyptian winger, Mohammed Salah scored his debut goal for Chelsea four minutes after he replaced Oscar. The former Basel player did well to stay onside before he was picked out with a lovely pass from Nemanja Matic. All Salah had to do was run and run – which he did – before he finished with his left foot to complete the rout. The winger was delighted with his debut goal and couldn’t hide his joy when he spoke to the press after.

“It’s my first goal with the team [Chelsea], so I hope it will be a good start. I congratulate myself and all the people who supported me following my arrival here. Thankfully, I’m living up to the expectations of the technical staff and I hope I will score more goals.”

He also revealed the impact Mourinho has had on him since he came to Chelsea.

“My relationship with Mourinho is very good. I motivated before the game and told me I would score today. I am working with the best coach in the world.”

Chelsea fans will be hoping his good form continues.

Chelsea made an important statement with the victory – A statement of intent. They will fight for the Premier League title till the very end.

 Posted by at 12:26 pm
Jan 102014
 

With Chelsea still going strong in three competitions, Jose Mourinho and the fans want every ounce of the players’ attention focused on the Chelsea cause. With a decent but tricky draw against Galatasaray in the Champions League, there can be no room for taking things easy. And, despite some inconsistency in the first half of the season, the Blues are right up there in the mix with Arsenal and Man City for the Premier League.

So will the fact that we are in a World Cup year and a large number of the Chelsea squad are hoping to be involved be good or bad news? It all depends, really, on individual situations and the players’ attitudes. With Jose Mourinho in charge, one thing is for sure, you have to earn your place in the team. Just ask Juan Mata. His chances of making the Spanish World Cup squad are pretty good, but unless he starts to play more regularly for Chelsea, he is unlikely to make the first XI for his country.

Along with Mata, Chelsea has Torres and Azpilicueta from Spain, Hazard and De Bruyne from Belgium, Cole, Cahill and Lampard from England and, of course the Brazilians Oscar, Willian, Ramires and Luiz. Then players like Schurrle, Essien and Eto’o may still be in with a chance as well. What we want from these players is for them to give absolutely everything they have for Chelsea in order to make sure they are playing in Brazil this summer, rather than them moaning about lack of playing time.

If Jose plays it right, and he usually does, Chelsea can really benefit from the upcoming tournament and the Chelsea players can go into it on a high after winning a trophy or two. Happy days all round…

Dec 192013
 

Jose Mourinho believes the strength of his Chelsea squad will see his side come into their own over the busy festive period.

Despite sitting third in the table and being one of the favourites in the best odds for the title, the Blues are yet to hit top form this term, as Mourinho continues to try and find his best team following his return to Stamford Bridge in the summer.

During his previous spell at the Bridge, the ‘Special One’ prided himself on sticking with the same starting XI as often as possible but the game has changed since then and now every member of a squad is needed.

Jose believes his squad are now ready to prove he has been right to rest them by finding their best form in what promises to be an important next few weeks in the title race.

“Now is an important period for all of the squad – everyone has a role to play and a contribution to give” Mourinho said. “Every player will be important when we have so many games and competitions to play”.

The arrivals of Andre Schurrle, Willian and Samuel Eto’o have seen Jose try to constantly rotate his players, as he continues to try and ensure his squad stays fresh as they look to compete for four trophies and justify their position among the favourites in the football betting markets for each.

Next up in the league we face Arsenal on Monday, before a Boxing Day clash with Swansea and the visit of Liverpool on the 29th.

It means Chelsea could easily be top of the table by the end of the month and a run of wins now will certainly put the Blues in a strong position heading into the New Year.

The festive season is often when genuine title contenders start to show their true strength in depth and the amount of options available to the boss certainly gives him a huge advantage over some of his rivals.

Nov 162013
 

I think it is safe to say that Chelsea Football Club, and especially the manager Jose Mourinho, are not too well liked by West Brom and their fans at the minute. Denied a historic win at Stamford Bridge by an admittedly fortunate penalty decision by the referee last week, the Baggies were already fuming when Jose added a little spice to the row.

Describing the West midlands club and their defender Jonas Olsson as `Mickey Mouse` ensured that the English media made a real meal of the situation, but it was really a storm in a teacup. West Brom have sinced calmed down and the former Chelsea assistant manager Steve Clarke has done well to laugh it off.

He might not be laughing in January, though, as the Mirror has reported that Chelsea are ready to battle it out with other clubs, including Arsenal, for the services of the talented young striker Saido Berahino. The 20-year old starlet has really burst onto the scene this season and the Baggies must be kicking themselves for leaving him on a poor contract earning just £850 a week.

The club are trying to give him a new contract and have apparently offered £7,000 a week, but according to the paper, the talks have stalled. Berahino must be aware of the interest from the bigger clubs and may be waiting to see what happens in January. Should Mourinho and Chelsea really get under the Baggies’ skin and take their young striker off their hands for them?

Sep 142013
 

With the return of Jose Mourinho to Stamford Bridge, the atmosphere around Chelsea Football Club brightened like the sun coming out on a cloudy day. Then the signing of some quality players in addition to the strong and talented squad available to the special one made a lot of football experts install Chelsea as their favourites for the Premier League title.

The only reservation that most people had was in the striking department. Fernando Torres and Demba Ba were not seen as potent enough to really make Chelsea the team to beat, and Lukaku was promising but still young and raw. That is why Mourinho was so keen on signing Rooney from Manchester United, and when that didn’t happen, the boss made a late move to rescue Samuel Eto’o from Russia and his club Anzhi Makhachkala. I was on one of my favourite Bingo sites yesterday and started wondering about how the bookies viewed the arrival of Eto’o and whether they felt he was the man to complete the Chelsea jigsaw.

Imagine my surprise when I saw that the Cameroonian striker was at longer odds than Torres to be the top scorer in the Premier League. He may be 32-years old but that is nothing these days. He may not have been sparkling since leaving Inter Milan, but he probably found football in Russia no challenge at all. Remember that he took a pay cut to rejoin his old boss at Chelsea, so he obviously wants to make the most of the last years of his playing career.

When I saw that I could get just better than evens for Eto’o to score 13 or more in the Premier League, I could not resist. Only 13 goals? He could have that by Christmas with Hazard, Mata and Oscar behind him. If I lose this bet, I am sticking to bingo.

Jul 212013
 

It is no secret to Chelsea fans just what a huge effect Jose Mourinho can have when he takes control of a football club. The special one came to Stamford Bridge back in 2004 and brought immediate success with him, claiming Chelsea’s first top flight title in 50 years, so it is no surprise that the bookies have shortened the odds on the Blues winning back the Premier League title considerably this season.

Despite Chelsea slipping out of contention in recent seasons, with the Manchester clubs United and City dominating the league, the best value with paddypower.com gives you odds of just 23/10 on Jose guiding us back to the very top of English football again this season. That is exactly the same as the current champions Man Utd and just below City. The fact that City have already splurged £100 million in the transfer window this summer is the main reason for them being slight favourites, but there is uncertainty over their new boss Manuel Pellegrini.

As Petr Cech was quick to point out to Sky Sports, Mourinho is as hungry as ever for success, and there is still time for Chelsea to sign a few more top players before the season starts. Jose stated that Wayne Rooney was his only transfer target, but don’t be so sure. You wouldn’t really expect him to show all his cards would you?

The only reason he was so upfront about Rooney, in my opinion, was to leave the England international in no doubt that he would be better off coming to Stamford Bridge. Although the new United manager David Moyes is insisting that he will keep the striker, it is unlikely that the club will want to keep paying his wages of around £250,000 a week when they know he doesn’t really want to be there and so will probably not be at his best. Of course, United will be very reluctant to sell Rooney to Chelsea, because they know that we will be huge rivals for the title this season.

There is nothing they can do about Mourinho, though. I can almost taste that Premier League title already.

Jul 122013
 

Gary Neville today warned new Manchester United manager David Moyes that he must not let Chelsea get an early lead in the Premier League, because Jose Mourinho will not let it slip.

Neville said: “You wouldn’t want to fall too far behind a Mourinho team because they would have the nerve to withstand the pressure.”

The Sky Sports pundit speaks from experience of course, having chased Mourinho’s men for two seasons back in the 04-05 and 05-06 seasons.

Mourinho made an instant impact at Stamford Bridge before he had even began his first competitive game, giving an audacious interview describing himself as ‘The Special One’, a nickname used in awe and in jest to this day. He became the centre of all English football, with his winning personality and tactical know-how, winning the League Cup and Premier League title in his debut season.

Neville added: “When he first came in, in 2004-05, we played against him on the first day.

“We’d had the experience the year before when he’d charged down the touchline and gone on to pick up the European Cup with Porto. He’d already made a name for himself. But that first season, he had an absolutely brilliant team at Chelsea.

“Make no mistake about that — Robben, Duff, Drogba, Essien, Makelele, Lampard, Gallas, Carvalho, Terry, Ferreira…

“I always think when you can name a team, you know you’ve got a great team. That was a fine side — power, strength across midfield, so difficult to play against.

“From our point of view at United, it was probably our leanest period in not winning the league from 2004-07. Going back there now, Mourinho’s got a greater challenge, but Chelsea are on the up. Everyone could see that at the end of last season.

“They won the Champions League the year before, won a trophy last season, finished strongly in the league. They’re going to be a huge threat.

“Where we lost out to Mourinho teams at United in those early years was we left ourselves too much to do.

“We weren’t slow starters but we weren’t at our peak form September to December. We got into our stride in January, February, March and on.

“The problem in the Mourinho years was we were too far behind to mount a challenge. So the critical thing this time will be to make sure you stay in contention.”

Eyes will certainly be on Chelsea and Manchester United at the beginning of next season, with Alex Ferguson’s departure and Jose’s appointment dominating headlines, and Mou will do his best to keep the spotlight off his players. Moyes is going to struggle with the Rooney saga and will rely heavily on the goal-scoring prowess of Robin Van Persie to keep up with us.

I think Manchester City will start the season well having less pressure from the outset, but it is no secret that Manuel Pellegrini has been hired to make his mark on Europe, and will struggle once the competition gets into full-flow.

The Special One to do it again..?

Jul 112013
 

Jose Mourinho pleased many fans last night by claiming that Romelu Lukaku, Kevin De Bruyne and Tamas Kalas will play their part in the new season.

Lukaku, who was signed for €22Million from Anderlecht 3 seasons ago, impressed hugely on loan at Premier League side West Bromwich Albion last season, scoring 17 goals and bullying defenders with his strength and agility. I would quite happily see him above Fernando Torres in the pecking order…

Now Kevin De Bruyne is a name some of you may not be familiar with, but he has been described as a better version of Eden Hazard by an ex-coach of the pair, and has been impressing at Werder Bremen for the past season. He has recently made the switch from the wing, into a more central role, which can only add depth to our squad.

‘They are good players with a very good value in the market and we have these players this season for free, after an investment that the club did before,’ said Mourinho, after three days of pre-season training on his return to the club.

‘After the development of the players on loan it is the right moment for them to be back. They are very young with space to develop, they will be better year after year and I can imagine in five years they are much better than today – but what they have today is more than enough to belong to this squad.’

‘We are a very young squad,’ stated Mourinho. ‘We have an average age of 26.3 and that includes Schwarzer who is 40 years old and JT, Cech and Lampard in their 30s, so if we don’t involve these players we drop to almost an Under-21 team.

‘We have a team to develop. Of course we know there are expectations already and we want to create expectations for ourselves. We don’t need other people to create them – but the reality is the best period of this team has yet to arrive because they are very young and in five, six, seven years’ time is when this team will be in the best moment of their careers.’

I have been hoping that the two Belgians would be included in our squad as I see them as the future of Chelsea, along with the current young crop already shaping our team. Kalas is not a player I rate as highly, but Mourinho’s approval is much more note-worthy.

With Hazard, Mata, Oscar already making their marks last season, our young squad will look to dominate the Premier League for years to come. Manchester who?