Atletico Madrid v Chelsea Preview: Blues must banish Black Cats loss with a result in Spain

‘Are they in the bottom half of the Premier League, struggling for survival, and expected to be on the end of a beating? No? Oh, that’s OK then. Bring ‘em on!’

Perhaps a little clunky, but that’s roughly our mindset now, thanks to some particularly horrifying results against lesser English opposition. Gone are the days of 7-0/8-0 against the riff-raff flailing at the foot of the EPL; now, they are even waltzing into Castle Stamford, scoring in our goal, tackling our players, taking our points…

Well, a trip to the volcanic Vicente Calderon may well do us some good, with the first leg of the Champions League semi-final sure to get Mourinho’s men back in their groove. For one thing, Atletico Madrid are far from being an inferior side.

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CHELSEA v Sunderland: Preview


Venue: Stamford Bridge
Date: Saturday, 19 April
Kick-off: 17.30 BST

No messing about today, yet another must-win game as Sunderland come for a visit looking to upset us as much as they upset City this week.
No excuses for us either with a late kick-off and the chance of a lie-in, so let’s do it.

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Swansea v CHELSEA: Preview

Venue: Liberty Stadium
Date: Sunday, 13 April
Kick-off: 16.07 BST

By the time we play this afternoon, we’ll know whether any remaining hopes we had for the title were in vain, with Liverpool and City playing the early game. Either way though, if we’re to have a strong finish to the season we’ll have to hope that unlike us, the players have come back down to earth after our heroic Champions League win just days ago.
And having lost our last three away games to Villa, Palace and PSG, we can afford to be anything but complacent at the Liberty Stadium.

MANAGER’S VIEWS
Going into this afternoon’s game, Swansea manager Garry Monk says “I don’t buy we could catch them cold after midweek. The players they have through the squad are top-class players. I am sure they will make changes, but whoever comes in is top class. They are not pushing for the title for no reason. They have experience and class all over the pitch. It’s an extremely tough game, but a challenge we are looking forward to and have to relish.
The journey this club has been on and fighting for is to be on this level, to compete against these sort of teams and we have to make sure we continue that.”

Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho meanwhile, says “They are a good team, they play good football. Especially at Swansea it is never easy and Chelsea knows that better than other teams. They still need the three points, they are not in big danger like other teams but they still need a couple of points to stay in the Premier League and of course they will try to get points out of this game.”

SQUAD NEWS
For Swansea, Kyle Bartley (hamstring) is the only absentee. Nathan Dyer, Pablo Hernadez and Jose Canas are all pushing for starts.
For Chelsea John Terry (foot) and Eden Hazard (calf) are considered major doubts, so the ball boys are safe. Ramires is back after a three-match ban whilst Mohamed Salah and Nemanja Matic are available after being ineligible in the Champions League midweek.

TEAMS
SWANSEA (Possible line-up): Vorm; Rangel, Davies, Chico, Williams; Canas, De Guzman, Britton, Hernandez, Routledge; Bony
CHELSEA (Possible line-up): Cech; Ivanovic, Azpilicueta, Cahill, David Luiz; Matic, Ramires, Willian, Oscar, Salah; Ba

LAST MEETING
Chelsea 1-0 Swansea (26th December 2013)

PREDICTION
We’re unbeaten in our last seven against Swansea in the league, although they did beat us over two legs in last season’s league cup semi final. On current form, Swansea have won just once in their last eight league games and have already lost more games (16) than they did in their previous two Premier League campaigns. Chelsea meanwhile, have lost five of their 16 away league matches, so will we be suffering from travel sickness again today? Personally, I think the result from today’s early game might answer that question.

CHELSEA v PSG: Champions League Preview


Venue: Stamford Bridge
Date: Tuesday, 8 April
Kick-off: 19:45 BST

After a convincing win against Stoke in the Premier League, tonight sees the return of the Champions League and a visit from PSG in the quarter final second leg.
Going into this game 3-1 down from the first leg obviously isn’t the best starting point for us even if it isn’t the first time we’ve found ourselves in this position. This time though, there isn’t a Didier Drogba to help us out of it so we’ll have to hope Samuel Eto’o has his shooting boots on. Read more »

CHELSEA v Stoke: Preview

Venue: Stamford Bridge
Date: Saturday, 5 April
Kick-off: 17.30

All is not well in our world.
Last weekend we lost at Crystal Palace and followed that up with a 3-1 defeat to PSG midweek. Crisis? It certainly sounded like it with much stamping of feet and tantrums being thrown – not least of all from Jose Mourinho who felt defeat in the Premier League made it impossible for us to win the title, whilst the PSG result was simply “ridiculous”.
Today, it’s back to Stamford Bridge and a visit from a Stoke side very much on the up, with a run of five games unbeaten and three wins in a row. Still, we would all do well to remember we’re still 2nd in the table and not out of the Champions League yet, so things are better so far this season than last. Read more »

PSG v CHELSEA: Champions League Preview

Venue: Parc des Princes

Date: Wednesday 2 April

Kick-off: 19:45 BST

After a dire performance against Crystal Palace at the weekend we could probably do without a trip to France to face PSG right now, particularly a PSG side with the likely pairing of Edinson Cavani and Zlatan Ibrahimovic running us ragged anyway. That’s just tough though, because that’s what we’re up against tonight in the UEFA Champions League quarter final first leg.  A French side unbeaten in their last 28 European matches at home, dating back to November 2006 and a side who have invested heavily in talent of late, so no pressure!

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Technology companies combine to unveil revolutionary robotic referee

Betfair has today launched the first ever robotic referee prototype, with plans to open talks with the Premier League and FIFA in the close season.

Using the technology expertise which has allowed them to continually revolutionise sports betting, Betfair has worked with Tab Fire Labs – a sport technology company in the same space as Hawk Eye – to develop the device in the hope of revolutionising football.
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Crystal Palace v CHELSEA: Preview

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Venue: Selhurst Park

Date: Saturday, 29 March

Kick-off: 15.00 GMT

Jose Mourinho must be surprising a few people this season. Aside from him getting the hump against Villa – which he was perfectly entitle to do given Foy’s ‘performance’ – he’s a more relaxed version of our old Special One. More than that though, he has us playing football that’s a pleasure to watch.  We still have a defence as tight as a Scots wallet under Jose and even without the ‘proper’ striker there’s been so much made of this season, our attacking play is, at times, a thing of beauty.

Today though, might be one of those scruffy games we just have to grind out a result because we may ‘only be playing Palace’ with both the history and form books pointing to an easy 3 points but Tony Pulis has done a decent job of turning round a side destined for the drop not so long ago. Arsenal, Spurs and United have all found them hard to beat but then this is a side fighting to stay in the Premier League – and we can’t afford another Villa! Read more »

CHELSEA v Arsenal: Preview

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Venue: Stamford Bridge

Date: Saturday, 22 March

Kick-off: 15.00 GMT

 The press might want to pile on the pressure with talk of not just Mourinho’s unbeaten run in ten meetings with Arsene Wenger but also his record 75 game unbeaten run at Stamford Bridge but given this is Arsenal and there’s really no love lost here, all we really want is to get on with the job in hand without the pantomime. Read more »

Chelsea vs Arsenal: Preview, Team News and Prediction

With a plot fit for the most epic of sport fiction novels, Chelsea’s highly anticipated match against Arsenal this Saturday is riddled with added intrigue, with the two title contenders set to slug it out on a backdrop of high emotion and drama.

Arsene Wenger’s 1000th game for Arsenal will be played out at Stamford Bridge of all places, with the ‘specialist in failure’ given the chance to silence his nemesis Jose Mourinho, the man who has never lost a league game at home for Chelsea.

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