Feb 212013

Chelsea will travel to Middlesborough next Wednesday to play for a place in the last eighth of the FA cup. The Blues also have tough away game against Manchester City in the Premier league on Sunday, but Rafa Benitez has insisted that he is fully focused on betting through to the last 16 of the Europa league tonight.

Chelsea have given themselves every chance with a 1-0 victory in the away leg against Sparta Prague, but Rafa says he will not be taking any chances and is taking the competition seriously.

“At the moment the Europa league is the priority because we will play against them tomorrow.

“One game at a time, and this is the most important game we have to play.

“I think it’s an important competition for us, and after we’ll have a massive game at Manchester City. Obviously if we beat them we will be closer. If not we have to carry on.”

After Man City’s recent slips, Chelsea are just four points behind the champions, so will be hoping to stop City widening the gap at the very least. There is still a good chance that we could overtake them and pinch second place. There are also the teams behind to worry about, with Tottenham just one point behind and Arsenal five.

Feb 152013

John Terry sat on the bench last night as Chelsea beat Sparta Prague 1-0 in the away leg of the Europa league tie. It seemed like the perfect opportunity for the captain to get a run out, because Gary Cahill had been booked and seemed to be on his last waring with 30 minutes to go, but Rafa Benitez left Cahill on, and has explained that Terry suffered another setback to his recovery this week.

Terry has hardly got started this season, following the freak injury to his right knee caused by a collision with Luis Suarez in November. Benitez described Terry’s problems as a `vicious circle` because he needs to play competitive games to get his match fitness back but needs to be fit for the manager to play him. Benitez said that he had suffered a little setback during training this week.

I fail to understand, however, why he was on the bench if he was not fit, and if he was fit, why he didn’t come on to replace Cahill. Rafa was full of praise for Ivanovic and Cahill, and they are both good defenders, but Chelsea are lacking a bit of expansiveness in their play from the back, and Terry’s leadership qualities are also a huge loss for the team.

With a tough Premier league run in, Chelsea could really do with Terry being available, but there is no sign of when that will be.

Dec 202012

Chelsea today found out their opponents for the Capital One Cup semi-final, as well as their draw for their Europa League round-of-32, and round-of-16.

Chelsea will face Swansea City in the Capitol One Cup semi-final, played over two legs, with the first leg to be played at Stamford Bridge on January 9, and the second leg away in Wales on January 23.

If Chelsea win as expected, they will then face either Aston Villa or Bradford City in the final at Wembley in late February or early March.

Chelsea also found out their Europa League fate, with a trip to Petr Cech’s former club in Sparta Prague. Chelsea will travel to Prague for a match on February 14, with the home match being played a week later. If Chelsea win the tie they will then face the winners out of Ajax and Steaua Bucaresti.

The Blues beat Leeds United 5-1 on Wednesday to book their place in the COCup, after a tough loss in the World Club Cup final on Sunday in Japan. Chelsea players flew into England on Monday afternoon, not allowing players much time to reacclimatise. Regardless of this, 7 Chelsea players managed to start both games.

The West Londoners will be hoping to add both of these trophies to their growing capinet, after already missing out on their chances to win the WCC, Champions League, European Super Cup and Charity Shield so far this season.

We should win the Capitol One Cup, considering our biggest rivals are Swansea City. The Welsh club have impressed in their 18 months in the Premier League, and would have had more of a chance to beat us in a one off final. Over 2 legs the best team should prevail, with Premier League strugglers Aston Villa our expected opponents in the final. Come on you Blues.