GOAL OF THE MONTH NOW LIVE

January’s Goal of the Month competition is now open, with five first-team stunners for you to pick from.

With so many fixtures in a packed month of football, it was no surprise to see plenty of impressive strikes, and we have narrowed them down to five.

All you have to do is follow this link and vote for your favourite goal, and you could be in with a chance to win a signed Chelsea football.

Goal A: Victor Moses v Southampton
Goal B: Eden Hazard v Stoke City
Goal C: Juan Mata v Arsenal
Goal D: Oscar v Brentford
Goal E: Fernando Torres v Brentford 

Last month’s winner was Jyrki Kalliokoski from Finland, who wins a signed Chelsea shirt after selecting Frank Lampard’s strike against Aston Villa just before Christmas.

THE TWEET SPOT: JUAN MATA

He has been likened to Gianfranco Zola by Chelsea fans, but Juan Mata insists he has plenty to do at Stamford Bridge before he is mentioned in the same breath as the Italian.

The Spanish midfielder took part in a Twitter Q&A with @chelseafc recently, where he told us Zola ‘was a really good, important player in Chelsea’s history, but I’ve got a lot of things to do here at Chelsea.’

Keenly nodding in appreciation at the queries that had been submitted using the appropriate #MataQandA hashtag, Mata provided an insight into his life achievements, his ambitions, and his enjoyment of playing alongside three Spanish team-mates here at Chelsea.

No stranger to lifting trophies, he is the proud owner of Champions League and FA Cup medals, and has lifted the World Cup and European Championships with Spain. Not only that, the playmaker won the prestigious Player of the Year award last season – in his first season playing for the club, and @RamblinJamblin was keen to know how it felt.

‘It was a great surprise for me, as it was my first season with Chelsea,’ he responded. ‘It was great for me; I know Ruud Gullit was the last to also win it in his first season here.’

Responding to @fan_chelseafc, who asked how having three other Spanish players in the team has helped, he said: ‘We’re close friends; it’s good to have others here who speak your language.’ Though one friend in particular is concerned with the state of Mata’s locker – ‘It is messy, not quite as bad as Torres says, but it is messy! I’ll post a picture of it one day!’

With new signings still settling, @kcuk87 wondered how Mata is enjoying life alongside Eden Hazard and Oscar. ‘I really like playing with them – they’ve got great quality, skills and I like this kind of football,’ he said. ‘They’ve settled into the Premier League really well, I wasn’t surprised, I think players with quality settle down quicker.’

Outside of football, Mata enjoys seeing the sights of London, and keeping fans up-to-date on his travels via his weekly blog posts, something he thinks ‘is good to share. My blog posts discuss my feelings about everything, not just about football. For example, I’ve just finished the second season of Homeland, it is brilliant!’

As the son of a former pro, there is one obvious influence on his career, though Mata also picked out an Argentine international formerly with Valencia as an idol.

‘My dad played football too, and I remember going with him to the training ground,’ he said, ‘but I really liked to watch Pablo Aimar growing up – I played against him though last season, and couldn’t speak to him because he nutmegged me! I was too embarrassed.’

Looking ahead, there is one major challenge that Mata would like to accomplish with the Blues.

‘I really want to win the Premier League, even though we know it’s difficult,’ he said, ‘but playing here at Chelsea every season you’ve got the opportunity to win it.’

INTERNATIONALS: UNBEATEN BLUES

Both Josh McEachran and Nathaniel Chalobah took part in England Under-21s’ convincing friendly win over Sweden Under-21s on Tuesday evening.

Both played in midfield with Chalobah replacing McEachran with two-thirds of the game played. On a rainy night and on a soft pitch in Walsall, England were still able to impress in a 4-0 victory over a young Sweden side.

Blackpool’s Thomas Ince and Liverpool’s Jonjo Shelvey put the home side 2-0 up, both with close-range finishes, before England won a penalty which McEachran took. It was saved but Ince followed up to score.

Three-nil was the score when Chalobah came on, following his England Youth Player of the Year award this week with his second cap at this level. Sunderland’s Connor Wickham completed the scoring with a header. McEachran made his 10th England Under-21 appearance.

There was also a win for England over Scandinavian opposition at Under-19 level. They beat Demark 3-1 in Doncaster. Chelsea representation was Lewis Baker who came on with 67 minutes played and all the goals scored.

Patrick van Aanholt and Jeffrey Bruma were involved as Netherlands Under-21s came from 1-0 behind to win 3-2 away to Croatia. Van Aanholt played the full game at left-back with Bruma coming on at half-time with the score 1-1.

Thorgan Hazard was a half-time substitute for Belgium Under-21s at home to Spain. The score was 1-1 at the time and that was the final score too.

HODGSON: COLE TO START AGAINST BRAZIL

Roy Hodgson has confirmed Ashley Cole will start against Brazil tomorrow at Wembley and become only the seventh player to reach 100 caps for England.

Hodgson, however, speaking ahead of the friendly against the five-time World Cup winners, hinted that it will be captain Steven Gerrard, rather than Cole, who leads the team out against Luiz Felipe Scolari’s side.

‘He will start the game,’ said the England manager. ‘I’ll have to see then what I do with Leighton [Baines], who has come on very well in his absence. They’re both exceptional players, but certainly Ashley will start.

‘I don’t think he’s ever pushed himself forward during his 100 appearances as a potential captain of the team, he’s just very happy to be a key player.’

Gerrard, who reached the 100 cap mark in the November defeat against Sweden, paid his own tribute to Cole.

‘I look at the players I’ve played with in my career and he’s certainly been probably the most consistent player I’ve played with in an England shirt,’ he acknowledged. ‘He’s proved he’s one of the best left-backs in the world.’

SCOLARI PLAYING IT SAFE OVER DAVID LUIZ

Brazil manager Luiz Felipe Scolari has stated he will not take any unnecessary risks with the fitness of David Luiz ahead of tomorrow’s friendly against England at Wembley.

The Blues player has missed our last three matches after picking up an injury shortly after coming on as a substitute in the Capital One Cup semi-final second leg against Swansea City last month.

The former Chelsea manager chose to include the 25-year-old in his squad for the game, but stressed he will need to pass a late fitness test if he is to play any part.

‘Regarding David Luiz he will (have to) pass another exam with our physios, then we will decide whether he will play or not,’ said Scolari. ‘We will not take any risks with him.’

Meanwhile, the Senegal Football Federation have announced that Demba Ba has withdrawn from the squad ahead of their game against Guinea, after suffering a broken nose during Saturday’s 3-2 defeat against Newcastle United.