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Chelsea v Southampton preview and prediction – Benitez: Premiership points priority 0

Posted on March 30, 2013 by PaddyMac

Chelsea travel to St Mary’s for today’s Premier League match against Southampton, with one eye on Monday’s FA Cup quarter-final against Premiership runaway leaders Manchester United.

Chelsea manager Rafael Benitez has declared that the Southampton match has to be his priority, with Champions League qualification crucially important for the club.

He also conceded that his Man United counterpart had the advantage of being able to rest key players for their PL tie with Sunderland (currently being played).

“We can’t do that. The difference between them and us is that they are 15 points ahead,” Benitez said.

Chelsea captain still struggling for fitness 1

Posted on January 16, 2013 by PaddyMac

John Terry’s return to the Chelsea line-up has been put on hold, with the Chelsea captain struggling for match fitness.

Terry made his return to action as a late substitute in Chelsea’s 4-0 win over Stoke on Saturday, and had been expected to start tonight’s Premier League match against Southampton.

Chelsea interim boss Rafa Benitez has revealed that Terry is still not fully recovered.

Rafa said: “John is fine. He was training yesterday and today, doing normal sessions.

“But still the fitness is not the same as we would like. For match fitness you have to play games. Every session will help but he needs more time.”

Petr Cech refuses to rule out Lampard stay 0

Posted on January 14, 2013 by PaddyMac

Chelsea no.1 Petr Cech has refused to accept that Frank Lampard has no chance of being offered an extension to his contract, despite reports suggesting he has been told to leave.

Lampard has been in fine form for the Blues in recent weeks, scoring 5 goals in his last 7 games.

Despite his recent form, reports emanating out of the Bridge suggest the England veteran’s future has already been decided, with Roman Abramovich more than happy to let the 34 year-old go.

Cech said: “There is still six months to go until the end of the season and we will see then whether he stays or not.

Benitez feels improvement despite hostilities 0

Posted on January 13, 2013 by PaddyMac

Chelsea boss Rafa Benitez has claimed his team has improved under his guidance, despite the hostile reception he continues to receive at Stamford Bridge.

The Blues have been in better form away from home of late, and one reason for this could be the Benitez effect, with many Chelsea fans opposed to the current manager in charge.

Rafa was hired in November despite Chelsea’s Supporters Group warning Roman Abramovich that Benitez would not be welcome at Stamford Bridge. The Spanish manager made some enemies at the Bridge whilst managing Liverpool and the Blues fans have not forgiven or forgotten.

Chelsea captain John terry in contention for Stoke tie claims Benitez 0

Posted on January 09, 2013 by PaddyMac

Rafa Benitez has declared that John Terry could make his long-awaited return in Saturday’s Premier League tie with Stoke City.

The Chelsea captain has resumed full training following a lengthy injury received in the Chelsea-Liverpool Premier League match on November 11.

Benitez said: “The good news is John Terry is back in training and we’re considering playing him on Thursday to give him some minutes with the under-21 team against Fulham.

“At least it is a positive thing because before he was just doing the warm-up and now he has been training, and if he can play he’ll be closer.”

Benitez: Out with the old, in with the new 1

Posted on January 09, 2013 by PaddyMac

Chelsea interim manager Rafa Benitez gave the biggest hint yet that Frank Lampard and the other “legends” may be on their way out in the near future.

Lampard and Ashley Cole’s contracts are due to expire at the end of the season, and have yet to be offered new contracts. It had been reported that Ashley would be offered a one-year extension to his deal, with Frank’s agent claiming that the Blues will not be offering the 34 year-old a new deal. No official stance has yet been given.

Benitez: Chelsea hierarchy aware of transitional season 1

Posted on January 08, 2013 by PaddyMac

Chelsea interim manager Rafa Benitez has insisted that the Blues are in a season of transition, with the West Londoners hierarchy on the same wavelength.

Rafa said: “The team is a good team, when you have a good squad, you can manage players and you can keep a good team on the pitch, as has been the case at Chelsea in the last few years. This year you can see is a year of transition, with some new players coming in, so it’s different. Before at Chelsea you had a lot of big names, then you could manage a lot of different players. Still, you can see that the team are very strong.”

Benitez: I hope Cech can return in 2-3 weeks 0

Posted on January 03, 2013 by PaddyMac

Rafa Benitez has tweeted that he hopes to see Chelsea’s Petr Cech return to action in the next 2-3 weeks.

Cech was substituted half-way through the Everton game, after sustaining an injury while jumping for the ball, being replaced by Ross Turnball.

The Czech international underwent tests on his groin injury on Monday, and the only report on his injury came from Rafa Benitez’s club tweet.

Rafa tweeted: “Two or three weeks. We are quite optimistic.”

Chelsea will be hoping their No.1 could return for their Premier League tie against Arsenal on January 20, but a more realistic target would be the January 23 second leg of the Capitol One Cup semi-final, away to Swansea City.

Chelsea pay the price for Benitez’s tinkering 8

Posted on January 02, 2013 by PaddyMac

Chelsea lost 1-0 to Queens Park Rangers at Stamford Bridge tonight, after Rafa Benitez tinkered with his starting line-up, leaving four of Chelsea’s regular stars on the bench.

Benitez opted to start the game against bottom-of-the-table QPR without Ashley Cole, Juan Mata, Eden Hazard and Ramires.

Chelsea had won 7 of their previous 8 games before playing tonight’s West London derby, and had been hoping to move within 11 points of Premier League leaders Manchester United, with a game in hand.

Chelsea dominated much of the game, creating 26 shooting chances, but only managed to get 2 shots on target.

Benitez confirms Chelsea looking to bolster their squad 0

Posted on January 02, 2013 by PaddyMac

Chelsea interim manager Rafa Benitez has confirmed the club will be improving their squad this month, with the view to rotate Fernando Torres.

Chelsea have held talks with Demba Ba last weekend, but failed to agree terms, and are expected to negotiate terms again in the near future.

Agent fees are reported to be the largest obstacle for the move, with his wage needing to be negotiated also.

Chelsea have been linked with a host of strikers, and are widely expected to sign 2 forwards this month. Daniel Sturridge is said to be very close to moving to Liverpool, leaving Fernando Torres as Chelsea’s only recognised striker.

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