A round-up of news and views relating to Chelsea over the past 24 hours.
Despite last night’s goalless draw leaving them seven points adrift of top spot, Rafa Benitez believes Chelsea can still win the Premier League this season. The Blues have drawn their first two games 0-0 under Benitez, taking them to six games without a victory in the league, but their new manager said that his side were still more than capable of overhauling the Manchester clubs in the title race.
Oriol Romeu also reacted positively to last night’s draw, saying that now Chelsea have sorted out their defence, they just need to find some confidence which will bring them the goals needed to win matches. Romeu, who displaced Mikel in the starting line-up for the Fulham match, said:
“When we get the confidence, the goals will go in. I'm sure about that. We had two clean sheets after a long time without that happening.
So, that's a positive thing and the only thing is that, if we score, we can win. We are defending well and now we have to think of attack and scoring more goals, for sure.”
Chelsea next opponents are West Ham, who have been in poor form themselves. However defender Guy Demel say the Hammers are confident going into the match with Chelsea on Saturday, after only a deflected goal from Robin van Persie saw them beaten at Old Trafford in midweek.
One factor that may damage the Hammer’s chances is the possible absence of Andy Carroll, who is facing a battle to be fit in time for the match. Carroll came off during the second half of West Ham’s match at Old Trafford with a knee injury,
In transfer news, Chelsea have again been linked with Vitesse striker Wilfired Bony, but will face competition from Liverpool for the player. The Ivory Coast international has scored 15 goals already this season, and his agent has said it will be 50-50 whether the player leaves Vitesse in January.
Chelsea have announced their squad for the FIFA World Club Cup in Japan next month. Chelsea’s first match will be against either Ulsan Hyundai or Monterrey on the 13th December.
With reports that Athletico are increasingly confident they will be able to persuade Falcao to stay at the club at least until the end of the season, there has been speculation Chelsea may look at Karim Benzema instead. The French striker has been linked with a move away from Madrid throughout his time under Mourinho, and is reportedly considering a switch to the Premier League.
Finally, there have been reports in the Brazilian press that Metalist striker Taison is close to agreeing a switch to the Blues in January. Taison is valued at around £12 million.
image: © Jan S0L0