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Chelsea pre-game latest: Including Swansea preview and Negredo

Stamford Bridge

A round-up of news and views relating to Chelsea ahead of tonight’s match at Stamford Bridge.

Swansea’s Pablo Hernandez has said his side must find a way to stop Juan Mata if they are to get a result at Stamford Bridge in tonight’s Capital One Cup semi-final first leg. The Swansea winger, who played with Mata at Valencia, believes that if Swansea can hold off Mata and keep themselves in the tie tonight, they can seal a place in the final with a win at the Liberty in the second leg.

Michael Laudrup is set to keep faith with Gerhard Tremmel in goal rather than bringing in Michel Vorm. The German keeper has played throughout the cup run, and is set to start despite Vorm’s return from injury.

Branislav Ivanovic has also spoken about the League Cup, saying a Chelsea win in the competition could be part of a massive season. Chelsea were knocked out of the Champions League in the group stages, and are well off the pace in the league, but are targeting success in the domestic cups and Europa League this year.

The Metalist Kharkiv manager Miron Markevich has urged the club’s new owner to let Taison leave for Chelsea. Chelsea had almost agreed a deal before the ownership of Metalish changed in December, with the new man in charge, Serhiy Kurchenko, believed to want a higher fee for the player.

One player who looks unlikely to join Chelsea this January is Isco, with the Malaga midfielder seemingly set to stay in Spain at least until the summer.

Rafa Benitez believes the arrival of Demba Ba will help Fernando Torres, as the Spaniard will be able to rotate out of the side when he needs a break. Whilst Torres enjoyed a mini-revival when Benitez was appointed, he has looked jaded again in recent games and the manager believes being able to rotate his strikers will ensure he gets the best from both of them.

The Chelsea manager has also told Chelsea fans they need to accept that legends like Frank Lampard will have to leave the club soon as they attempt to develop the squad.

Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas has spoken about Chelsea today, saying that there are no long-term plans at the club, and that they take the easy option of replacing the manager if short term results turn bad.

Alvaro Negredo has alerted a number of Premier League clubs by suggesting he would be keen to play in England. The Sevilla striker, who is reportedly being chased by Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal as well as Chelsea, said he has received positive reports from Mata and Torres about life in England.

image: © geetarchurchy

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