Tag Archives: John Terry

Chelsea v Liverpool – FA Cup Final Preview

Liverpool return to Wembley with their sights set on a cup double, while victory for Chelsea in Saturday’s FA Cup final could be the first stage of a more significant success.

In a classic clash between North and South, seven-time winners Liverpool will be keen to get one over their biggest modern day rival, whom they have met an incredible 30 times in the last eight years. Chelsea have been the dominant force in the world’s oldest competition in recent years, winning three of the last five editions. Liverpool have already collected a trophy at Wembley this season though, having captured the Carling Cup by beating Cardiff on penalties and they now have a chance of becoming the first club to win the domestic cup double for a 2nd time.

The pair have previously met 9 times in the competition with Chelsea winning five of those ties and interestingly none of those meetings ever ended in a draw. But the Reds have beaten Chelsea in their last four clashes in all competitions, although the Blues will point to their impressive record of having lost just one of their last 33 FA Cup games. The added subplot provided by Fernando Torres only increases the drama surrounding the game and just over a year from his record £50m transfer from Liverpool to Chelsea, the mercurial Spaniard could strike a deadly blow to his former employers at Wembley. There has been a strong Italian flavour in recent years as Roberto Mancini lifted the trophy last year, 12 months after Carlo Ancelotti did the same with Chelsea and Roberto Di Matteo has a chance to make it a happy treble for Italian managers on Saturday.

Team News

Chelsea

The worry for caretaker manager Chelsea boss Roberto Di Matteo will be at centre-back, where David Luiz and Gary Cahill (both hamstring) are serious doubts to be able to partner John Terry at the back. The likelihood is that neither will be risked and Branislav Ivanovic will start alongside the Blues’ captain. Ashley Cole and Frank Lampard should return to the starting line-up after starting the midweek defeat by Newcastle on the bench, while Fernando Torres’ recent streak of form, including a hat-trick against QPR on Sunday, may not be enough for him to retain his place ahead of Didier Drogba.

Liverpool

Key men Pepe Reina, Steven Gerrard and Luiz Suarez were just three of nine changes for the lacklustre setback against the Cottagers and are certain to take their place in the starting XI this weekend. Andy Carroll, the Reds’ semi-final hero after his late winner against Everton, played the full 90 minutes in midweek having missed the resounding success against Norwich with a slight injury concern and should partner Suarez upfront.

Road to Wembley

Chelsea

3rd Round – Chelsea 4-0 Portsmouth
4th Round – QPR 0-1 Chelsea
5th Round – Chelsea 1-1 Birmingham
5th Round Replay – Birmingham 0-2 Chelsea
Quarter Finals – Chelsea 5-2 Leicester City
Semi Finas – Tottenham 1-5 Chelsea

Liverpool

3rd Round – Liverpool 5-1 Oldham
4th Round – Liverpool 2-1 Manchester United
5th Round – Liverpool 6-1 Brighton
Quarter Finals – Liverpool 2-1 Stoke
Semi Finas – Liverpool 2-1 Everton

Head to Head

29 Nov 11 – Carling Cup – Chelsea 0-2 Liverpool
20 Nov 11 – Premier League – Chelsea 1-2 Liverpool
06 Feb 11 – Premier League – Chelsea 0-1 Liverpool
07 Nov 10 – Premier League – Liverpool 2-0 Chelsea
02 May 10 – Premier League – Liverpool 0-2 Chelsea

Form

Chelsea – LWDDW

Liverpool – LWLWW

Probable Lineups

Chelsea (4-2-3-1): Cech; Bosingwa, Ivanovic, Terry, Cole; Mikel, Meireles; Ramires, Lampard, Mata; Drogba.

Liverpool (4-2-3-1): Reina; Johnson, Skrtel, Agger, Jose Enrique; Spearing, Henderson; Downing, Gerrard, Suarez; Carroll.

Odds

Chelsea – 11/8, Draw – 9/4,  Liverpool – 2/1

Prediction

The FA Cup final has become a traditionally cagey affair – four of the last five have ended 1-0 – and Chelsea know all about coming out on top in them, having reached three of those five finals and won every one.

Both teams have endured inconsistent and frustrating seasons but Chelsea have arguably shown more quality, particularly up front. They have more viable options in attack – if the battering ram that is Didier Drogba cannot break Liverpool down, then the resurgent Fernando Torres will surely relish the chance to further bury his demons against his former side. The stage may well be set for the Spaniard to make the difference off the bench and seal a familiar triumph for the Blues.

Chelsea 2-1 Liverpool

Arsenal v Chelsea – Key Battles

Chelsea travel to the Emirates on Saturday with both sides craving a win in their quest for Champions League football. The visitors currently sit in sixth position, seven points behind third placed Arsenal.

With the Premier League season in the final straight, Chelsea will be hoping to capitalise on their game in hand and edge closer to a top four finish. After a shock defeat against Wigan on Monday, Arsenal suddenly find themselves under pressure. Tottenham still trail the Gunners by five points, but Spurs have a game in hand over their North London rivals. A further loss against Chelsea could start a worrying downward trend for Arsene Wenger’s men. Saturday’s derby could be a defining moment in either side’s season.

Will Chelsea have one eye on Barcelona, or will Arsenal suffer due to their weakened midfield? Into The Top Corner takes a look at the key battles that could define the outcome of this weekend’s big game.

Tomas Rosicky v John Obi Mikel

Arsenal have been hit with a fresh injury blow this week after Mikel Arteta was ruled out for the rest of the season. The former Everton man has been pivotal in one big game already this season, with his strike from distance settling an intriguing tie between the Gunners and Manchester City. Arsene Wenger will now have to look to a resurgent Tomas Rosicky for his main creative outlet in the middle of the park.

Rosicky is susceptible to being outmuscled and Chelsea will hope that John Obi Mikel can contain the Arsenal playmaker. Mikel has had an inconsistent season, but a strong showing against Barcelona will have boosted his confidence ahead of facing Arsenal.

Ashley Cole v Theo Walcott

After keeping Dani Alves quiet on Wednesday night, Ashley Cole once again proved his defensive credentials. The England international was often assisted by Ramires, however, and Roberto Di Matteo may be tempted to rest the Brazilian in anticipation of a visit to the Nou Camp next week. Should that happen, a potentially tired Cole could find himself exposed against the sheer pace of Theo Walcott. Shackling Dani Alves is likely to have taken its toll on the England full-back and Walcott will be hoping to exploit that and beat his man frequently.

Thomas Vermaelen v Fernando Torres

With Didier Drogba set to miss Saturday’s game with a knee injury, Chelsea lose a striker with a record of eight goals against Arsenal. Roberto Di Matteo will have to call on the still inconsistent Fernando Torres to do the damage against the Gunners, and it’ll be a big ask for the Spaniard. An in-form, confident Drogba would have been sure to cause Arsenal trouble and his absence is a big loss for the Blues.

Arsenal’s Thomas Vermaelen has been a rock at the back this season and one of the few players able to leave Tuesday’s loss against Wigan with his head held high. Vermaelen’s ability with the ball at his feet could help to break down a resistant Chelsea, but with defending still being his main duty, he would much prefer to face Torres than Drogba and will be happy with the Ivorian missing out. Whilst Torres can count pace as one of his key assets, Vermaelen should be able to match the Spaniard in that regard, and is would have been much more likely to struggle against the brute strength of Drogba.

John Terry v Robin van Persie

After reaffirming his status as one of the top central defenders in the world against Barcelona, John Terry now faces confronting one more of the best strikers in the game. Robin van Persie fancies his chances against most defenders, but John Terry is never an easy man to get past. With van Persie still avoiding further contract talks, scoring in a derby against Chelsea would be the perfect way for the Dutchman to keep his face in the transfer window. After being shut out by Gary Caldwell in midweek, however, van Persie showed that he still occasionally struggles when decisions go against him, and Terry will look to use this frustration to his benefit.

7 Reasons Why Mourinho Will Not Return To Chelsea

Every time when Roman Abramovich sacks a manager at Stamford Bridge, former boss Jose Mourinho is instantly linked to the hot seat.

Blues fans just cannot get enough of the ‘Special One’ but they need to move on, so here are seven reasons why there is no chance that Mourinho will be returning to Stamford Bridge…

1. Things Have Changed
Two Premier Leagues, two FA Cups and two League Cups in just three seasons made Mourinho Chelsea’s most successful manager, but it made little difference to Abramovich, who showed the Portuguese the door after falling out with him. The Russian hasn’t changed at all since as five managers have come and gone since the Special One’s departure. Why would Mourinho want to work for Abramovich again?

2. He Won’t Have Money To Spend
Wherever Mourinho has gone he has had money to spend. But Abramovich has already spent £140m since the summer of 2010 on strengthening Chelsea and still the squad looks weary. With UEFA Financial Fair Play coming to play soon, the Russian billionaire will not be funding another Chelsea revolution – atleast not in the Mourinho style. The former Porto boss will not be tempted unless he can splash seriously big cash to overhaul the current Chelsea squad.

3. It Will Hamper The Younger Players’ Development
The likes of Frank Lampard, Ashley Cole and John Terry were not won over by the previous boss Andre Villas-Boas, who went for the youngsters over the old England trio. The likes of Daniel Sturridge and Juan Mata really flourished under his management. On the other hand, Mourinho is not know for developing youngsters and so if he returns back to Chelsea will Mourinho favour the newer blood over?

4. Everyone Knows He Wants To Succeed Sir Alex
Mourinho is in awe of the dynasty created by Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United and it rarely happens that he is in awe of something else other than himself. Mourinho has said in the past that he would love to succeed his friendly rival and continue his incredible legacy at Manchester United. He is going to wait for Sir Alex to retire and the Manchester United job to be vacant.

5. Chelsea Aren’t A Big Enough Club
Sorry Chelsea fans, but let’s face it, the Blues don’t even stand anywhere near Real Madrid. When Mourinho went to Stamford Bridge it was from Porto. Having just turned Porto into Champions League winners, Chelsea offered him a challenge of Premier League and more Champions League glory. He then went to the Italian champions Inter and is now in charge of the world’s biggest club. Realistically, there are only three clubs which the Special One hasn’t managed that can be compared to Real when it comes to stature – Barcelona, AC Milan and Manchester United.

6. He Would Have to Get Rid Of His Favorites
Everyone knows Frank Lampard, Ashley Cole and John Terry are his favourites at Chelsea, but if he did come back he would have to face facts, the above mention players are past their peak and not the same old players that were during his times at the club. Abramovich wants a youthful squad and while the Madrid manager is ruthless, he would no doubt prefer to go elsewhere rather than be tasked with dismantling the team he built.

7. He Hasn’t Suddenly Discovered Stylish Play
Mourinho won many silverwares during his time at Chelsea, but they won just a few fans for their style of play. Nothing has changed since, Mourinho has been blessed with huge attacking talent wherever he has gone but his teams still fail to excite. That criticism may seem harsh considering the attacking brilliance of his current Real Madrid team, but still Mourinho trails Barca when it comes to playing beautiful football. Abramovich doesn’t just want to win, he wants to win the Barcelona way and Mourinho will never deliver that kind of sexy football.