HAZARD INJURED

Chelsea’s Eden Hazard picked up an injury during their Champions League quarterfinal match against PSG. It still remains unknown when the Belgium player will be back in action for his club but according to the first-team coach Steve Holland, he could return sooner rather than later.

“Every player is fit at this stage, with the exception of Eden, who should be sooner rather than later. It is still a little bit too early to say for sure. Having a clear week this week is a big advantage.” Continue reading

TACTICS QUESTIONED

Football pundit Glenn Hoddle feels that Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho got his tactics wrong in the Champions League quarter-final match against PSG. Chelsea suffered a 3-1 defeat in the first leg against the French outfit and it has put them on the brink of exit from the competition. Mourinho surprised everyone by naming Andre Schurrle ahead of Fernando Torres as the striker. The Portuguese manager was without Samuel Eto’o, who was ruled out with a hamstring injury, but many expected him to start either with Torres or Demba Ba.

The plan did not make much sense because Schurrle was struggling to get into the match. He was drifting all over the place, which did not help Chelsea to keep the ball. After letting in a goal just three minutes into the first half, Chelsea managed to get back into the match through a penalty from Eden Hazard. However, bad defending from the likes of Cesar Azpilicueta and David Luiz made Chelsea concede two second-half goals, which has put their place in the semifinals in major doubt. Even though they have the second leg yet to come and with an away goal, pundits feel that Chelsea are almost out of the competition.

Hoddle says that Mourinho should have started with Torres rather than Schurrle.

“I don’t think Schurrle playing up front worked. Obviously Mourinho took him off, but I think that was one where he took a risk and it didn’t work. It backfired on him and they had no focus really in the second half. But you’ve got to give credit to Paris Saint-Germain. They probably weren’t happy with the way they were playing after they went 1-0 up and they had a good reaction,” said Hoddle. The second leg will be at Stamford Bridge next week, but PSG want to remain as underdogs.

Chelsea are title favourites

They currently sit atop the Premier League table, nine points clear of the ‘favourites’ for the title and most recently completed a 4-0 demolition of one of their prime London rivals in Tottenham Hotspur; Chelsea and Jose Mourinho can simply no longer deny they are the favourites for the Premier League title this year. With just nine games left of their season, Chelsea can begin to implement the one game at a time philosophy and use the star power in their ranks to widen the four point gulf that currently sets them apart from second-placed Liverpool.

Sure, Man City have been the bookies’ favourites all season long until last weekend, having only just drifted out to an average 15/8 in the market. The Citizens also have three games in hand to recover the nine point gap they are currently facing and should they achieve maximum points they will almost certainly move back into pole position for the title. Continue reading

IVANOVIC PROVES HIMSELF

Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic has established himself as one of the important members of the squad in the last few years. His position has improved even more after the arrival of Jose Mourinho. Despite being a versatile player and capable of playing as a centre back, Ivanovic has been used in the right back position throughout this campaign. Apart from a month when he was out with injury, he has virtually played in every match for Chelsea. This great run of form has seen him be linked with a couple of clubs over the last few weeks.

Paris St Germain are thought to be one of the suitors for his services, but the 29-year-old Serb has rejected any truth in the transfer rumours. He says that he is extremely happy at Chelsea and wants to stay with the London outfit for as long as he can. The impressive form of Ivanovic this campaign has made Caesar Azpilicueta play at left back, which has eventually seen Ashley Cole drop to the bench. Ahead of the international friendly for Serbia with the Republic of Ireland, Ivanovic stated his desire to remain a Chelsea player in the near future.

Ivanovic has also revealed that the club can certainly win the league title ahead of Aleksandar Kolarov’s – his international teammate – Manchester City team.

“I can say this is the happiest I have been at Chelsea because, at the moment, the team is doing well and things are going right for us. We have improved as a team since the beginning of the season, it looks like we are a very strong team but we have the potential to make and build an amazing team. We are here together to help our national team and that is what we are focused on. We don’t talk a lot about the league,” said Ivanovic.

City are Still Favourites: Hazard

Chelsea star Eden Hazard is sticking to Jose Mourinho’s ‘underdog’ script, despite the Blues now being seven points clear of Liverpool at the top of the table and favourites with Paddy Power to win the Premier League.

Chelsea’s early exit from the FA Cup meant that they were able to pull further clear this weekend whilst their rivals enjoyed a rest (in the case of Liverpool) or endured a humiliating cup defeat (in Manchester City’s case). Continue reading

REUS LINKED TO CHELSEA

Young German international Marco Reus is regarded as a player with a lot of potential in the future. The Borussia Dortmund striker is just 24 years old and he is expected to get better once Robert Lewandowski leaves the club in the summer.

The talented forward is just one of the few strikers Germany have coming up in the ranks. He is expected to fully replace the likes of Miroslav Klose and Lukas Podolski, who have been the face of German attack for many years now. Continue reading

Terry up for the challenge

John Terry has insisted Chelsea are looking forward to a gruelling final few months of the season, with the club battling for honours both domestically and in Europe. The 33-year-old scored an injury-time winner to send Chelsea to the top of the Premier League table with a 1-0 victory over Everton, shortening the club’s title odds with Betfair after climbing above Arsenal and Manchester City to take top spot.

While the victory wasn’t the most exciting or attractive three points Chelsea have recorded this season, Terry was just pleased to see his side bounce back from a disappointing couple of results; a draw against West Brom in the league before and the Londoners’ FA Cup defeat at the hands of Manchester City. Continue reading

CHELSA GO TOP

Chelsea managed to go top of the table after a convincing 3-0 win over Newcastle United, which made it 10 matches without defeat for the blues. This includes matches against the likes of Manchester city at the Etihad stadium, where they were expected to struggle.

Eden Hazard scored a hat-trick to remind everyone of his qualities. Despite this impressive result, Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho continued to downplay Chelsea’s chances of winning the title after saying that he is looking only at the fifth place battle tomorrow. Continue reading

Mourinho Keen to be Reunited with Khedira

Chelsea are being linked in the football betting press with a summer move for one of Jose Mourinho’s favourites when he was in charge of Real Madrid – Germany international Sami Khedira.

The 26-year-old former Stuttgart midfielder is currently recovering from the serious cruciate knee ligament injury he suffered when playing for Germany in a friendly international against Italy three months ago. Continue reading

WE’RE SERIOUS

Chelsea is quickly becoming serious title contenders with consistent performances and good results that have allowed them to stay right behind Manchester City and Arsenal in the Premier League.

Bertrand Traore signed a 4 year contract with Chelsea as he became the first signing of Jose Mourinho’s side in January. The 18 years old player Traore had previously signed a contract with Chelsea back in October but had to wait until the transfer window opened up again in order to officially become a player of the Premier League club.

Juan Mata is rumored to be frustrated with the limited playing time he has under the guidance of Jose Mourinho and might make a move away from the club if things don’t take a turn for the better.

Mourinho said: “I want to keep him. I want to keep him. I don’t want him to go.

“That’s my opinion, my wish. But my door is open and the club’s door is open too. When a player wants to speak with us we are there waiting.”

Jose Mourinho knows it himself that the Spanish midfielder is unhappy with the current role that he has right now in Chelsea. PSG is a possible destination for Juan Mata if he indeed leaves Chelsea, PSG has already shown interest in securing the services of the player.

Another player that has been linked with a possible move away from the club is Kevin de Bruyne who joined Chelsea a year and a half ago with a price tag of £6.7million but his chances on playing on the main team are severely restricted.

Wolfsburg will be willing to offload £17 million for the Belgian player but the final decision will be on the hands of Jose Mourinho. Kevin de Bruyne truly wants to make it into the Belgium national team and play for the 2014 World Cup but this may be in jeopardy if he cannot get playing time in Chelsea.