PRE-MATCH BRIEFING: SWANSEA CITY V CHELSEA – PART TWO

03.11.2012

PRE-MATCH BRIEFING: SWANSEA CITY V CHELSEA – PART TWO

It is the day of the game and joining club historian Rick Glanvill and club statistician Paul Dutton to complete their look at the match in South Wales is former player Clive Walker…

02.11.2012

FA YOUTH CUP DRAW NEWS

The defence of the FA Youth Cup will begin with an away tie…

02.11.2012

DI MATTEO: MIND ON THE MATTER

Roberto Di Matteo reported a focused squad ahead of the league challenge away to Swansea, albeit one feeling a few effects from testing fixtures played in the last fortnight…

02.11.2012

MATA: SPANISH SWANS

Ahead of this weekend’s meeting with Swansea, Juan Mata gave the official Chelsea website the lowdown on the players who have moved from Spain to South Wales…

02.11.2012

PRE-MATCH BRIEFING: SWANSEA CITY V CHELSEA – PART ONE

The first game in November sees Chelsea go west, looking to stay top of the pile…

02.11.2012

KICKZ KIDS QUIZ IVANOVIC

Participants in the Chelsea FC Foundation’s Kickz programme met Branislav Ivanovic at Cobham for a Q and A yesterday afternoon.

01.11.2012

CAHILL: THAT’S ENTERTAINMENT

Gary Cahill, one of only two Chelsea outfielders to play every minute of the doubler-header against Manchester United, is enjoying being part of a team that looks so good going forward…

01.11.2012

CHELSEA TV HEADLINES: SHOE IN

Chelsea TV went indoors at Cobham for the early evening Blues News bulletin which can be viewed here…

01.11.2012

THE TWEET SPOT: PAULO FERREIRA

Paulo Ferreira tells us he rates Frank Lampard as the best professional he has ever trained alongside, but admits it was Diego Maradona he tried to emulate as a child…

01.11.2012

CELEBRATION TIME FOR THE MAG’S TOP 100

The new edition of Chelsea magazine, which is in the shops today, celebrates its century with a very special edition, bringing you the top 100 players from the club’s history…

01.11.2012

GILES SMITH’S THURSDAY THOUGHTS

Having had his own team selection instincts ignored last night, columnist Giles Smith still appreciated what he witnessed last night from his regular seat in the Matthew Harding Stand…

01.11.2012

TRAVEL WITH THE TEAM THANKS TO ADIDAS

Chelsea and adidas are delighted to offer fans the chance to win a seat on the team plane for our Champions League game at Juventus later this month.

01.11.2012

CAPITAL ONE KICK-OFF CONFIRMED

The date for our Capital One Cup quarter-final tie against Leeds United at Elland Road has been confirmed as Wednesday 19 December with a 7.45pm kick-off…

01.11.2012

STURRIDGE’S START

Having scored his second goal of the season on his first start, Daniel Sturridge was pleased to have helped the team to a win while playing in his favoured centre-forward role…

01.11.2012

CHRISTMAS STORE NOW OPEN

Our Christmas store is now open, offering a range of festive football products and a three-for-two offer on essential items.

31.10.2012

FINAL WHISTLE VERDICT: HEART AND PASSION

After regaining his breath following a thrilling night’s football, Roberto Di Matteo was quick to highlight the character shown by his side in coming from behind to book our place in the last eight of

31.10.2012

IT’S LEEDS NEXT

Following the defeat of Manchester United, we have been drawn away to Leeds United in the quarter-finals of the Capital One Cup…

31.10.2012

MATCH REPORT: CHELSEA 5 MANCHESTER UNITED 4 (AET)

Eden Hazard netted a late, late penalty to make it 3-3 at the end of normal time as the Blues flirted with elimination before goals from Daniel Sturridge and Ramires were enough to make the

31.10.2012

UNDER-19S TAKE POINT FROM THE NORTH

The Chelsea Under-19 side remained in contention for a place in the knockout stages of the NextGen tournament with a 1-1 draw away in Norway on Wednesday night…

31.10.2012

CHELSEA STATEMENT

Chelsea Football Club today (Wednesday, October 31) lodged a formal complaint with The Football Association regarding inappropriate language directed at John Mikel Obi by referee Mark Clattenburg…

31.10.2012

MATCHDAY PROGRAMME NOTES

You can read tonight’s matchday programme notes online…

31.10.2012

ARSENAL FIXTURE MOVED FOR TV

There has been a change to the date for our home Barclays Premier League meeting with Arsenal in mid January…

FA YOUTH CUP DRAW NEWS

The defence of the FA Youth Cup will begin with an away tie.

Our Under 18s have been drawn against either Colchester United or Faversham Town in the third round of the competition won last season with a victory over Blackburn Rovers in the final.

Colchester beat Camberley Town 13-1 in their first round tie on Friday night. Faversham beat fellow Kent club Sevenoaks Town 4-2.

The match between Chelsea and the winners of the second round match between Colchester and Faversham must be played by Saturday 15 December.

We have a proud record in the competition over the last five years having won the trophy twice and been runners-up and semi-finalists.

DI MATTEO: MIND ON THE MATTER

Roberto Di Matteo reported a focused squad ahead of the league challenge away to Swansea, albeit one feeling a few effects from testing fixtures played in the last fortnight.

Following the impressive win at White Hart Lane the players flew to the eastern end of Europe for a Champions League match in Ukraine, before the draining double header against Manchester United that was extended by 30 minutes when the cup game went into extra-time.

Squad news
Di Matteo listed Juan Mata (hamstring) and David Luiz (ankle) as his main concerns for Saturday afternoon’s match.

Ashley Cole has recovered from a swollen ankle and is available but Frank Lampard (calf) remains out. Wednesday’s Champions League match at home to Shakhtar Donetsk will come too soon for the midfielder.

Fernando Torres and Branislav Ivanovic return from suspension but with John Terry still banned, if David Luiz is not passed fit then Ivanovic will play centre-back.

‘From the last few games and with the extra time we played we have a few others that have niggling injuries as well,’ said Di Matteo.’ Mata and David Luiz are very doubtful.’

John Mikel Obi is also in the squad. Di Matteo has no concerns about playing him in light of the club’s formal complaint lodged with The Football Association on Wednesday.

‘Mikel’s frame of mind is good and he is focused on the playing and the training, and he will be ready for the game tomorrow,’ said Di Matteo.

‘He is a very strong character and has a very strong personality. He has shown that in his performances.

‘From what I can see and feel, my players once we get on to the training pitch are fully focused on training and the games.

‘The team is playing well despite the one defeat we had in the league. We showed that we can compete with any other team and the win on Wednesday was a great for the spirit of the group.’

On facing Swansea
Now in their second Premier League season, the Swans are again holding their own against more established sides and go into this weekend off the back of knocking Liverpool and their former manager Brendan Rodgers out of the Capital One Cup at Anfield.

Di Matteo believes some changes have taken place under new manager Michael Laudrup.

‘Swansea still have the same philosophy in keeping a lot of possession,’ he said, ‘but I think they are a bit more clinical now compared with the last couple of seasons when they had a lot of possession but didn’t create too many chances.

‘They go forward a little bit quicker now and score a few more goals than the past, at least in the early stages of the season.’

On Chelsea’s defensive record
Our goals against record in the league this season is only bettered by two clubs but in all competitions our net has been breached more frequently in recent games than in the earlier weeks.

‘In general it has probably been down to a few individual mistakes but our track record is good and surely we will continue that,’ insisted Di Matteo who has been without John Terry for three of the last four games.

‘John is obviously an important player for us for sure and a fantastic defender and when he plays he always plays very well for us. The other players have done fantastic jobs when they have come in but certainly JT is a player that we miss.

‘Other teams are conceding goals but we certainly have to improve our defensive organisation.’

NEWSFLASH: DOUBTS OVER DUO

Roberto Di Matteo reports that Juan Mata (hamstring) and David Luiz (ankle) are major injury doubts for Saturday afternoon’s game away to Swansea.

Ashley Cole has recovered from a swollen ankle and is available.

The manager also says Wednesday’s Champions League match at home to Shakhtar Donetsk will come too soon for Frank Lampard to have overcome his calf injury.

MATA: SPANISH SWANS

Since Chelsea last played Swansea, our 1-1 draw at the Liberty Stadium back in January, the Welsh club has looked south and taken on a very La Liga look.

It is nothing new in that part of the football world. During Roberto Martinez’s 18 months in charge there he also signed Spanish players, but this summer following the departure of Brendan Rodgers, Swansea recruited Michael Laudrup who has a mighty history in the Spanish game, plus four players directly from Spanish clubs.

Ahead of this weekend’s meeting with the Swans, Juan Mata gave the official Chelsea website the lowdown on the players who have crossed the Pyrenees to the Premier League, including some he knows especially well.

Pablo Hernandez (pictured below), like Mata, was signed from Valencia.

‘Pablo is one of my best friends in football,’ Mata reveals about the 27-year-old.

‘I was with him three years at Valencia and I was sharing my room with him for two years. We used to go on holiday together and we used to play golf together. He is a better golf player than me.

‘As a football player he is a right winger, he has pace, he has quality and can cross and score goals. He used to play in the national team as well, when we were in the Confederations Cup three years ago.

Mata and Hernandez

‘He asked me how it was playing in the Premier League and I said positive things about this, and about this country, and I think he is very happy here. He is enjoying his life in Wales and has Spanish friends there as well and he is learning English. I think it is a very good step for him in his life.’

MIchu, currently Swansea’s top scorer in the league with six goals, is another player with whom Mata has a close relationship.

They are from the same city and grew up in the academy of the same club, Real Oviedo, although not together as Michu is one year older.

‘He did really good things last season in the Spanish league, scoring 15 goals at Rayo Vallecano which was the best for a midfielder.

‘So far he is doing very well at Swansea, he is scoring and is playing like a number 9. So he has settled down in the Premier League very well.

‘Chico Flores is a central defender and I played with him in the Under-21 national team. We played together in a play-off to be qualified for the European Championships and he has experience because he used to play in Italy as well.’

Chico is rated an injury doubt for tomorrow’s game but another Spanish defender, Angel Rangel is set to play. He was a Martinez signing who remains. Former Dutch Under-21 international midfielder Jonathan de Guzman joined this summer on loan from Villarreal.

‘De Guzman used to play in Mallorca and when I played against him he was a very dynamic midfielder with the quality to play and to defend as well,’ recalls Mata. ‘He played for Michael Laudrup at Mallorca.

‘Rangel has played for a long time at Swansea and knows this country very well and for me he is one of the most consistent full-backs in the league.’

Finally Mata spoke about Laudrup, one of a select band of players to be a success at both Barcelona and Real Madrid. In his first year as a manager in Spain he took Getafe to the final of Copa del Rey where they lost to Valencia for whom Mata scored.

‘Michael was one of the best European footballers in history and the way he used to play, he is trying to include it now in his teams,’ says Mata.

‘They like to play with the ball from the back and not with the long balls.

‘Last season at Swansea they played well against us, they moved the ball so quickly and nearly won. They changed players, changed manager but they are doing more or less the same this season. The idea is the same.’