A round-up of news and views relating to Chelsea over the past 24 hours.
Chelsea pair John Terry and Eden Hazard face late fitness tests ahead of the visit of Everton this Sunday. Ramires is suspended, whilst Terry and Hazard are still doubts due to the injuries that kept them out of the Europe League final on Wednesday.
Phil Neville and Leon Osman are out for Everton in David Moyes final match in charge, whilst if Leighton Baines plays the whole match he will have featured in every minute of the Toffee’s Premier League season.
Chelsea are two points clear of Arsenal in third going into the match, but there is a chance that the two sides could end up in a play-off for third place. If Chelsea draw 0-0, and Arsenal win 2-1 they would have to be separated in a play-off, an eventuality that Arsene Wenger has said he would fancy.
If a play-off is needed, it will be at Villa Park on the 26th May.
Rafa Benitez has said that he is completely focussed on winning in Sunday, rather than Worrying about a play-off. The Spaniard also refused to say whether he would participate in a lap of honour with the players after the game, after being criticised by Chelsea fans throughout his tenure at Stamford Bridge.
Andre Villas-Boas has said that if Chelsea appoint Jose Mourinho as manager this summer, they will be favourites to win next season’s Premier League:
"I think Chelsea next season will absolutely be the team to beat, bearing in mind the manager change, and the manager that we expect to come. Plus the strengthening of an already very good squad.”
It has been reported that Chelsea’s proposed signing of Andre Schurrle is being held up whilst Bayer Leverkusen seek a replacement for the forward, and Blues player Kevin De Bruyne is one reason for the delay. Leverkusen want to take the Belgian on loan to replace Schurrle, but De Bruyne is apparently keen to see if Dortmund will make a move for him
Wilfried Bony is in talks with a number of Premier League clubs about a possible move this summer. The Vitesse Arnhem striker, who was the top scorer in the Dutch league this season, has been linked with Chelsea, Liverpool and West Ham in the past.
On HITC today, we look at what Frank Lampard’s new contract could mean for Nathaniel Chalobah and Josh McEachran’s future at the club, and compare Petr Cech and Thibaut Courtois’ stats this season. We also suggest that Sunday’s game gives David Moyes a chance to send a message to Chelsea ahead of his move to Manchester United this summer.
Elsewhere we ask who Chelsea might buy with their rumoured £100million transfer budget this summer, with Fiorentina midfielder Adem Ljajic one possibility.
image: © Tom Cuppens