Petr Cech has said that whilst he is hoping to win the Europa league with Chelsea tonight, he hopes the Blues will not be playing in the tournament again in the near future, with their disappointment in this season’s Champions League still fresh in his mind:
“It is not something you say with a lack of respect, but I hope this is the last time I play in this competition. You need to have the right mentality when you go the final. We don’t fear to play the final. We don’t fear failure."
Branislav Ivanovic has said the occasion will be extra special for him if the Blues can beat Benfica, after he was suspended for Chelsea’s Champions League over Bayern Munich last season.
Frank Lampard has said that Chelsea have not been practising penalties ahead of the game, and that there can be no perfect preparation for a shoot-out in a major final. Chelsea won last season’s Champions League on penalties.
There have been reports that Lampard is set to sign a new one year contract at Chelsea, despite months of speculation suggesting he was set to leave the club this summer. Lampard became Chelsea’s record goalscorer at the weekend with his two goals against Aston Villa.
Lampard himself has said he would like to sign a new deal in order to work with Jose Mourinho again, with the Portuguese manager the hot favourite to take over from Rafa Benitez at Stamford Bridge this summer. Lampard also revealed that the closest he came to leaving Chelsea was to join Mourinho at Inter in 2008.
With Radamel Falcao looking likely to join French club Monaco, Chelsea have reportedly switched their attention to Napoli striker Edinson Cavani, and could be close to agreeing a £42.5million deal for the Uruguayan player. However with Rafa Benitez being linked with a move to Napoli, on HITC today we ask if the current Chelsea manager might block a bid for Cavani.
Elsewhere on HITC we suggest Chelsea now have a trump card in their pursuit of Robert Lewandowski, and ask if Marko Marin is the best way to solve Chelsea’s Schurrle/De Bruyne transfer problems. Ahead of the game tonight, Lewis Doe suggests that if David Luiz keeps his head, Chelsea will win the game.
After Arsenal’s 4-1 win over Wigan last night, there is a chance that they and Chelsea could end up with an identical Premier League record this season. If that happens, a play-off will be needed to decide who finishes third in the Premier League.
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