Chelsea Team News – Carabao Cup V Bournemouth 

Antonio Conte has revealed his plans for Chelsea’s Carabao Cup quarter final during this afternoon’s press conference, as Bournemouth visit Stamford Bridge tomorrow evening.
The Italian has vowed to mix things up as games come thick and fast over the busy Christmas period.

On the injury front David Luiz remains sidelined and Charly Musonda also has a knock that has kept him out recently. Morata was described as “working very well” following his recent absence due to a back problem. Marcos Alonso will miss out due to suspension.
Conte did confirm that Michy Batshuayi and Kenedy will definitely start, and also hinted that youngsters Dujon Sterling, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Ethan Ampadu may well be involved.. “These players could be involved, why not” added the blues boss. “These players are the future for Chelsea” 

Ampadu looks the most likely having already featured in competition this season.

It’s fair to say Conte is keen to use this competition to give squad players a chance, but there is obviously still a huge desire to progress to the next round, as explained by the former Juventus coach…

“Every competition is serious and our task is to try and win the game, to reach the semi-finals. It’s right in this competition to give the opportunity to the players that aren’t playing with regularity. This is very important”

It remains to be seen what the starting XI will be at Stamford Bridge tomorrow, but one thing is for certain that Chelsea cannot take their opponents for granted. Eddie Howe is without Daniels and King due to injury, and hinted at changes. Especially as the cherries travel to the Etihad at the weekend. However, two blues old boys, Nathan Ake and Asmir Begovic may well be involved against their the club they left last summer.


Is Chiesa Premier League Bound?

Italian winger Federico Chiesa is wanted by Tottenham and Liverpool according to reports in Italy.

Italian newspaper La Stampa suggest the Fiorentina youngster would command a fee of a staggering £53m.

The 20 year old broke into the Fiorentina first team last season, and has gone on to make 48 appearances for Viola, appearing on the scoresheet on 8 occasions. He was called up to the Italian nation squad for the first time earlier this year, but is yet to be capped.

The youngsters father is former international striker Enrico Chiesa who turned out for no fewer than 10 clubs in his homeland, amassing in excess of 500 appearances.

Whether Spurs or Liverpool would be willing to fork out that sort of money remains to be seen. Despite the inflated market in recent years, £53m for potential does seem excessive. However his versatility may be attractive to any potential buyer as he is comfortable playing across midfield as well as playing as a forward.

Hairy Moment For Didier Drogba

Well this a bit errmm.. . Different. Didier Drogba and his hair have officially parted company. 

The Chelsea legend took to social media to show off his new look, and it’s fair to say the new bald slap head look that he is rocking is very different to the dreads that he often sported. He almost looks like a completely different person. I’m sure a social media meltdown is on the way.

It is unknown whether he has simply decided on the dramatic change of style or whether he felt he had no choice due to a reciding hairline.

The 39 year old now plies his trade in the USL with Phoenix Rising, who he also co-owns. He has recently announced he will retire at the end of the season after a career that saw him start off in the French lower leagues before making his name with Marseille. Most notably the Ivorian then spent 8 years at Stamford Bridge where he won 3 Premier League titles, 4 FA Cups, 2 League Cups and of course the Champions League in 2012. After a short spell in China he then went on to win more silverware in Turkey with Galatasaray before a last hurrah at Chelsea where he clinched a 4th Premier League title and also added another League Cup. He then headed over the atlantic for a season in the MLS with Montreal Impact before heading over the border to Phoenix.
Picture courtesy of Football Renders

Championship Starlet A Step Closer To Premier League Move?

Fulham’s teenage star Ryan Sessegnon is reportedly edging closer to a move to a Premier League giant.

The 17 year old has recently changed his agent and it is believed to be a move that could improve his chances of securing a move away from Craven Cottage with reports suggesting Manchester United and Tottenham are interested. 

He and twin brother Steven have both signed with USM who also look after Harry Kane amongst others. 

The youngster burst onto the scene for the cottagers last season, making his debut aged just 16 years and 81 days. He has since gone onto make 53 first team appearances, scoring 11 goals. He plays on the left as either a left back or left winger.

During the summer he was part of the England Under 19 squad that victoriously won the Euro U19s Championship. He finished joint top goal scorer with 3 goals

Reports have suggested Fulham could ask for a fee of around £50m for the youngster who has been likened to Gareth Bale. 

Chelsea Team News – Morata, Luiz And More -Southampton (Home) 

Antonio Conte has just finished his latest pre match press conference ahead of tomorrow’s clash with Southampton the visitors to Stamford Bridge.

First up the Italian spoke of availability following injuries such as Alvaro Morata, who missed the midweek win at Huddersfield. The Spaniard is a maybe with Conte confidently informing the press filled room that the striker has trained the past couple of days and is in contention to play this weekend.

Another notable absence recently has been David Luiz. Amid stories of talks between the two with the Brazilian desiring to sort out his future with the transfer window imminent. Conte spoke of the latest of his injury problems stating his has a big inflammation on his knee and doesn’t know when the former PSG man will be back. Make of that what you will. However, it will certainly not put any rumours to bed in the short term.

Continuing on the absentee front it’s good news as there have been no further injuries this week.

How Chelsea line up remains to be seen, but bare in mind the blues face Bournemouth in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday before the busy festive period and so changes and players being rested is a huge possibility. 

In reference to playing without a recognised striker on Tuesday night… Conte explained it’s an advantage as it doesn’t give the opponent a point of reference. Adding “keeping a good balance remains the key” A possible hint that Morata may not figure from the start perhaps? One possible replacement to lead the line is Batshuayi. On the Belgian…  “He is part of my squad. He was out for three weeks because he had a problem in his ankle and then he struggled a bit to find the right physical condition. Now he is starting to stay in good form” 

With 3 points being paramount to any prolonged title challenge… The former Juventus coach said “We must find the right solution to contend for the title and challenge Manchester City”

On Southampton… The Italian is certainly not underestimating the visitors and commented the blues will find it difficult tomorrow due to the saints “young and fast players” Picking out Long, Bouffal, Tadic and Austin as the most dangerous. He went onto mention how unlucky they were in losing late on at the Etihad recently. 

Luiz In Conte Talks?

Out of favour Chelsea defender David Luiz is in talks with blues boss Antonio Conte over his future according to reports this morning.

Re-signed from PSG last summer in a £30m deal, the Brazilian played a huge part in Chelsea’s title success last season, but has found regular appearances hard to come by of late, with youngster Andreas Christensen proving a perfect replacement. 

Luiz originally lost his place in the team after being sent off against Arsenal. He has also suffered with injury problems of late, making a total of 13 appearances of which 8 have been in the Premier League.

A huge character and personality within the dressing room at Stamford Bridge, the man known for his trademark curly locks may well be seeking some answers about his future with Bayern Munich reportedly showing an interest. 

Whether the no nonsense Conte will give him the answers he wants to hear remains to be seen. 

With the transfer window reopening in just over two weeks, this story could run for some time as their are bound to be other suitors for the 30 year olds signature.

Should David Luiz look for pastures new? Or should Antonio Conte restore him to the starting line up?

Comment below with your thoughts..

Have United Fans Had Enough Of The Mourinho Mentality? 

Manchester United seemingly bounced back from Sunday’s Manchester derby defeat last night with a win at Old Trafford against Bournemouth

However, not everybody that supports the red half of Manchester was satisfied with the overall performance. Romelu Lukaku’s first half goal clinched the 3 points, but the lack of attacking prowess, as United only managed 2 shots on target thoughout the 90 minutes has left some with an axe to grind. 

It’s not the first time the Portuguese tactician has been called into question during his time in the Old Trafford hotseat. 

Many have questioned they are not ‘Playing the United way’… Eeking out odd goal victories amid a ‘backs to the wall’ performance is a million miles away from the free flowing entertaining title winning football served up under the tender of the great Sir Alex Ferguson.

The Mourinho out brigade are slowly starting to rear their heads, but it’s fair to say that with the size of United’s worldwide fan base, what might seem like a vocal section of discontent is actually just a small minority of keyboard warriors. 

Or is there more to it? What is the mood like on the Stretford End? Many may share the notion that all in all it’s the points that matter. Even if we do want to be entertained we can’t always get the wish to be engrossed in a free flowing comfortable victories. On the other hand some would argue they pay enough money and would expect a certain level of entertainment.

Overall, is the criticism unfair or does Jose need to change things? 

United do sit 2nd in the premier and have scored 37 goals. Which is the 2nd most. It’s hard to use Manchester City’s form as a yardstick as their season has been extraordinary so far. 

There have been games where United have convincingly dispatched teams and scored 3 or 4 goals. However the Mourinho out camp would argue there have been more games where United have sat back and negatively held on by the skin of their teeth or approached games from the off with the plan to ‘shut up shop’

So what’s it to be? Happy to scrap for the points by whatever means? Or the need to be satisfyingly entertained? 

Take poll in our Twitter poll here

Or leave your feelings and comments below