I did say in the match preview, I don’t like going into games with excessive confidence – and last night’s result is the reason why. Complacent Street is never a comfortable place to be and yet, after going a goal up, that’s exactly where Chelsea appeared to take a stroll. Couple that with a few missed chances, a striker we adore but who, realistically isn’t quite match fit and a bit of a defensive lapse and what we have Ladies and Gentlemen – is really not the end of the world. Read more »
Here we go then, our first Champions League game of the season sees us at home to Schalke.
We’re no strangers to the German side of course, having played them a few times now and most recently beating them 3-0 twice in last season’s campaign. This time around, they’re facing us with an injury ravaged side struggling for a decent result so far this season, so understandably they’ll be feeling a bit fragile coming into tonight’s game.
Mourinho will want to guard against any complacency (just in case), although you’d have to imagine he’ll take the opportunity to rest as many players as he can get away with tonight.
Not wanting to turn the blog into a Costa love-fest too early in the season but what a ridiculously good buy he’s looking to be. So far this season, we’ve had 7 goals in four games, so there’s no doubt we’ve got ourselves a striker. It’s not just the goals though, or the fact we managed to get him for little more than Everton paid us for Romelu Lukaku, no, the surprise part of the package for m is his work ethic.
Diego Costa hasn’t come to the Premier League claiming some fluffed cross going in the net “is no surprise” to him because he’s practised it anyway. Diego Costa is here to work and he’s here to work for the team, saying “I play in the fashion that I have to play. If I have to have a physical battle, then I can fight. If I have to play with quality, I can do that too.” And what quality! Read more »
Thank the good Lord this afternoon sees us back to the normality of the Premier League again and for us, it’s a top of the table clash at home to Swansea. Ok, so realistically we’ve only played three games apiece so far but there’s still a respective 100% record each at stake.
Our visitors have had a good start to the season under Garry Monk, including a win against Manchester United. We haven’t exactly struggled for our 9 points so far either, with new signings Cesc Fabregas and Diego Costa making a significant difference in our ability to find the back of the net this season. With his hamstring still niggling and a midweek game against Schalke in the Champions League, only Jose knows if Costa will be risked against Swansea today – either way, I’m sure we can trust his judgement.
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Think Crank meets the Fast and the Furious and that sort of sums up events at Goodison yesterday. The whole game was like one long action sequence, with pauses for goals.
We played keep-ball for a whole 35 seconds before Diego Costa started us off with his third goal for Chelsea this season – not bad for a player who’s hamstring injury was reported to look like keeping him out for six weeks. Bums were still barely on seats when Ivanovic had another go at his push for the number 9 shirt with our second on 3 minutes and might have got off slightly lucky with him looking marginally offside. Read more »
Venue: Goodison Park
Date: Saturday, 30 August
Today’s late game sees us travel to Goodison Park for a game against an Everton side without a win so far. Not that The Toffees have been particularly poor at the start of this season although their defence might have been guilty of a little jet-lag from their summer holidays. Up front of course they now have Lukaku on a permanent basis for the princely sum of £….silly money and he’s been joined by another ex-Chelsea temp, with Samuel Eto’o joining them in the transfer window. Odds on at least one of them scoring today really. Read more »
We may have been on cloud nine after the opening game of the season against Burnley but the first half against Leicester seemed to bring us back down to earth.
The showboat was a bit out at sea for the first 45 minutes, in a display Mourinho called “lazy”, right after he’d given the players the benefit of his vocal chords. But as ever, whatever he said at half time had the desired impact because we came back out for the second half looking a lot livelier and bagged the points. Read more »
Venue: Stamford Bridge
Date: Saturday, 23 August
Kick-off: 15:00 GMT
Monday night saw a really impressive start to the season from Chelsea, with the sort of football mere words don’t really do justice. The fact that Arsenal’s response to Fabregas’ performance was to get bent out of shape, sums up the bargain we’ve bagged with his signing though. In fact, his addition to the squad along with a much more clinical frontman in Costa, probably kept us buzzing all week.
Same again today would do nicely.
Today’s opponents didn’t do too badly last weekend either, opening their account on return to the Premier League by coming from behind twice to get a 2-2 draw against Everton. We’ll need Courtois and co to be a bit more alert than they were for Burnley’s opener!
Ahead of Chelsea’s first home game of the campaign, Jose Mourinho says “Leicester are champions and they come with this winning mentality from the previous season, and they come with high expectations and motivations to play in the Premier League. They know that every point is important in this league, especially for the teams that fight to keep in the division.They had a difficult start, playing Everton is not easy, and they managed to come from behind to equalise and deliver a good game to Everton. Now they come to us and I don’t think it will be different. They are coming to try to get points.”
Leicester boss Nigel Pearson meanwhile, says “I’m looking forward to taking Leicester City to Chelsea in the league rather than the cup. The most important thing is I want to see how our players cope with a big fixture. It’s important for us to play the game and not the occasion. Chelsea at Stamford Bridge speaks for itself. Their record there is very good but we have to think of this as something of a bonus.Not many people give us much hope but we have a strong resolve. If we can be an awkward customer I’ll be happy. But we have some good footballers. We maybe need a bit of time for our players to dictate the tempo a bit better. There are a lot of counter-attacking sides in the Premier League. I don’t want us to just soak pressure. We need to give each other enough options to maximise our offensive players. We have some threats. It’s important for people to enjoy the experience but we will only do that by performing as well as we can. I don’t see my job to be fundamentally different. I’m very pleased to be the manager of a side that has achieved promotion with style.”
For Chelsea, Mourinho has no new injury concerns ahead of the visit of Leicester
Left-back Filipe Luis awaits his debut and Didier Drogba will no doubt get some time on the pitch now he’s really back home.
For Leicester, Matthew Upson (foot), Danny Drinkwater (hamstring) and Matty James (shin) are out although Pearson hopes Jamie Vardy (thigh) and Marc Albrighton (groin) could be fit.
CHELSEA (Possible line-up): Costa; Schurrle, Oscar, Hazard; Matic, Fabregas; Ivanovic, Terry, Cahill, Azpilicueta; Courtois
LEICESTER (Possible line-up): Ulloa, Nugent; Mahrez, Hammond, King, Knockaert; De Laet, Moore, Morgan, Konchesky; Schmdeichel.
Most recent Premier League meeting was 23 August 2003 (Chelsea won 2-1) Leicester have only 4 from 45 visits to Stamford Bridge in the league.
Chelsea have won the last six meetings, scoring 20 goals.
Most recent win v Leicester was 5-2 in an FA Cup quarter-final at home (March 2012)
Chelsea have not lost one of their first two league fixtures of the season since 2006.
Leicester had the best away record in the Championship last season
Leicester’s last Premier League away win was in March 2004 (Birmingham)
I definitely didn’t predict the performance from Chelsea against Burnley on Monday so maybe I should be saying we’re in for a tough time from the Premier League’s other new boys and see if it works again?
So, United kicked off the 2014/15 campaign with their first home defeat of the season out of the way. Not the end of the world really although probably not what they’d have expected given they hadn’t lost on the opening day at Old Trafford since 1972 and Swansea had never won there in the Premier League before Saturday either. Still, if it’s to be another season of records, best to start early. Read more »