Previews

PREVIEW: QARABAG VS CHELSEA

Antonio Conte’s men travel to Azerbaijan for the very first time on Wednesday, and a win would guarantee the Blues a place in the knockout stage of the Champions League. When the draw was made back in August, nobody thought Qarabag would be giving the big boys such a hard time. The Azerbaijani champions managed two impressive draws home and away against Atletico Madrid and could still potentially qualify for the Europa League. Chelsea have recovered well since their lowest point of the season so far, the 3-0 defeat in Rome, and have recorded three successive clean sheets in the Premier League. There is likely to be some rotation in the team, but Conte made it clear that qualifying for the knockout stage on Wednesday is a priority. This might be the ideal occasion to give David Luiz his ‘comeback’ following his spat with the manager,…

PREVIEW: WEST BROM VS CHELSEA

Having endured the final international break of 2017, which was perfectly summed up by two incredibly boring 0-0s from England, football fans can finally look forward to the real football again. It feels like ages ago that Chelsea dismantled Manchester United at Stamford Bridge, in a game that silenced some of the crisis talk that was stirred up in the media. A lot has happened since. Technical director Michael Emenalo has left the club, while youngsters Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Tammy Abraham have impressed on international duty. What Antonio Conte and his men will be focused on, however, is the trip to West Bromwich Albion on Saturday. Their ground has been a kind place to us recently, having wrapped up the league title at the Hawthorns back in May. You wouldn’t normally look forward to facing a side managed by Tony Pulis, but for the first time…

PREVIEW: CHELSEA VS MANCHESTER UNITED

The magnitude of Chelsea’s game against Manchester United on Sunday is almost unimaginable. Lose this game and the Blues can almost certainly kiss their title defence goodbye. But with owner Roman Abramovich visiting Cobham earlier this week, there is even more on the line for Antonio Conte. Training ground visits by the Russian usually mean one thing, and the man in the away dugout this weekend, Jose Mourinho, could probably sing a song about it. For the first time in many years, United actually go into this game at Stamford Bridge as clear favourites. Having spent a ton on money on new players in the summer, Mourinho has finally been able to build a side that simply has to challenge for the Premier League title this season. Chelsea on the other hand look all over the place. Defenders seem to have forgotten how to defend. Midfielders…

PREVIEW: AS ROMA VS CHELSEA

A win in Rome would see Chelsea qualify for the Champions League knock-out stages on Tuesday night, but the task won’t be that simple. Both sides have won all of their matches since the first clash at Stamford Bridge two weeks ago and find themselves in a similar vein of form. Roma have been surprisingly poor at the Stadio Olimpico, losing four of their last eight home matches in the Champions League. Chelsea on the other hand have won once on Italian soil before, having lost the previous three. Our defensive shape was undoubtedly a big problem when the Italians overcame a 2-0 deficit in the home tie a fortnight ago, but a first clean sheet in over a month against Bournemouth on Saturday should give the Blues fresh confidence heading into the crucial match. Another stat that favours Chelsea is the fact that Antonio Conte’s men…

PREVIEW: BOURNEMOUTH VS CHELSEA

Chelsea will be looking to build on a huge win against Watford as they travel to Bournemouth on Saturday. The The Cherries currently find themselves in the relegation zone, having enjoyed a tricky start to the season. However, our shock defeat at Crystal Palace showed that matches aren’t won on paper and based on stats. Chelsea need to be at their absolute best to get a result at the Vitality Stadium. Ahead of our clash this weekend, we spoke to Peter Bell, founder of Cherry Chimes (@CherryChimes), to find out what has gone wrong for his club this season, what Nathan Aké is up to, and how he rates their chances against Chelsea. Chelsea HQ: Bournemouth have had a tricky start to the season and currently sit in the relegation zone. What has gone wrong so far? Cherry Chimes: Bournemouth have had a tricky start to the season and currently sit…

PREVIEW: CHELSEA VS WATFORD

Having lost consecutive league matches, Chelsea desperately need to bounce back with a win against Watford at lunchtime on Saturday. The Hornets are on a great run of form under Marco Silva and currently sit in fourth, two points ahead of Chelsea. They gave the Blues a tough time at Stamford Bridge last season, scoring three goals, but Saturday’s clash could be even tougher, considering Chelsea’s problems. N’Golo Kante is still out injured and won’t be back for another two to three weeks. Victor Moses is still recovering from a hamstring injury, while David Luiz and Tiemoue Bakayoko both picked up knocks against Roma in midweek. This could leave Chelsea with only one recognised central midfielder this weekend, Cesc Fabregas, which is a big worry as Conte. It also shows just how thin our squad is and how badly the Italian was let down by his…

PREVIEW: CHELSEA VS AS ROMA

After a shocker of a result against Crystal Palace, Chelsea have the chance to put things right on Wednesday night, when they face AS Roma in Europe. Following Atletico Madrid’s 0-0 draw with Qarabag, Chelsea could potentially take a huge step towards qualifying for the knock-out stages with a win. However, the Italian giants won’t be push-overs, and the Blues will have to be at their absolute best to get anything out of the game. The last time Chelsea and Roma met was in 2008, also in the group stages, when both sides won their home games. None of the 22 players on the pitch that season still play for their clubs. With Alvaro Morata set to return to lead Chelsea’s front line, Chelsea should still have too much for Roma, even after what happened on Saturday. N’Golo Kante is expected to remain sidelined for at…

PREVIEW: CRYSTAL PALACE VS CHELSEA

After another international break, which felt like it was never going to end, Chelsea are finally back in action against Crystal Palace on Saturday. Palace have not won a single point this season, neither have they scored a goal. They also have two of their best players missing this weekend in Christian Benteke and Ruben Loftus-Cheek. Chelsea fans fully expect an easy win at Selhurst Park, but the Blues also have a few issues to deal with. Top goalscorer Alvaro Morata went off injured against Manchester City before the international break and hasn’t recovered in time. N’Golo Kante, Chelsea’s heart and soul in midfield, picked up a hamstring injury for France and could miss up to three weeks. Chelsea may be alright against Palace this weekend, but against better sides, those injuries could set us back quite a bit. It will be interesting to see whether…

OPPOSITION VIEW: CHELSEA VS MANCHESTER CITY

Following their heroics in Madrid, Chelsea prepare for life back in the Premier League. Manchester City are in town, and the league leaders will undoubtedly prove to be our toughest opponents yet. Pep Guardiola’s men have been flying this season. They’re still unbeaten, having scored 21 goals and conceding two. However, the machine, which has looked like slowly steamrolling towards another title, has lost some key components this week. Benjamin Mendy has been ruled out for nine months with a ruptured ACL, while star man Sergio Agüero was involved in a serious car accident on Thursday. Luckily the Argentine only suffered a rib injury, but it will keep him out for a while nonetheless. Not having those names on the team sheet on Saturday is a massive boost for Chelsea, but City have the recourses this season to replace them with more quality names. We spoke to…

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