A round-up of news and views relating to Chelsea over the past 24 hours.
Rafa Benitez has said that Chelsea’s upcoming fixture congestions is to be welcomed as it is a mark of the club’s success. Chelsea will face five games in thirteen days as they continue to compete on three fronts:
“It is better to have this schedule because it means you are still competing.
“With a top side, the last month in the season is when you fight for trophies. We are still there and it is a positive.”
Benitez also said that Chelsea are focussed on catching Manchester City and claiming second place, rather than worried about Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur or Everton overtaking them in the league. Chelsea are four points behind City, and one poi t ahead of Tottenham with a game in hand.
Southampton manager Mauricio Pochettino believes his team can beat Chelsea this weekend, and have had a chance in every game they have played. Southampton have only won two games under Pochettino, at home to Liverpool and Manchester City.
Branislav Ivanovic says Chelsea’s fixture list will be an incredibly tough challenge for every player, but that they will treat every match equally as they look to win a trophy and finish as high in the Premier Leaguer as possible.
Demba Ba and Fernando Torres have been undertaking extra training sessions as they look to rediscover some form in front of goal. The pair have only scored twice between them in 21 matches, with Chelsea heavily reliant on the form of Juan Mata and Eden Hazard to pick up the slack.
Chelsea’s NextGen side are one of three English teams that have gone to Italy to play in the finals of the tournament on Friday. Chelsea face Arsenal in their semi-final on Friday afternoon, whilst Aston Villa play Sporting Lisbon in the evening with the final taking place on Sunday.
Chelsea are reportedly looking to hijack West Ham’s move to sign Vitesse striker Wilfried Bony. Bony’s agent, Francis Kacou, was apparently at Stamford Bridge on Monday to propose a transfer for the £12million rated forward. On HITC today, Dan Coombs looks at a potential Chelsea move for Bony.
Eden Hazard has said he is hoping to cap off a fine debut season with Chelsea by winning a trophy. Hazard also said that he had adjusted to the intensity of Premier League football:
“We have no time for any rest during a match. At Lille there were five or 10 minutes when it was a bit calmer. In England it is always at full tilt for 90 minutes. You cannot give up anything otherwise you concede a goal”
Chelsea’s current record scored, Bobby Tambling, has backed Frank Lampard to get the three goals he needs to overtake his total of 202, according to Lampard:
“We chatted about the goals. He has always been very supportive of me in terms of the record.”
image: © Ben Sutherland