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Thursday, April 17, 2008

Latest Chelsea News

David Moyes, the Everton manager, has admitted Mikel Arteta and Leon Osman are major doubts for the match. Arteta is out with stomach muscle problems while Osman is recovering from a hamstring strain. It means Everton are expected to choose from the same squad that drew 1-1 draw at Birmingham City on Saturday. .
Tim Howard needs one more clean sheet to equal Neville Southall's record of 15 for a league season.

Chelsea boss Grant admits Lampard out of Everton clash With Didier Drogba Doubtful

Chelsea boss Avram Grant has confirmed Frank Lampard missed training this week to remain with his family and he is unlikely to figure in his plans for tonight's match at Everton."It is a personal matter with Frank," Grant said. "I tell the players all the time that football is very important but sometimes there are things that need to be taken care of.
"This is more important and I understand that. I hope everything will be okay.
"Frank has not been training he has been at hospital with his mum. I know the feeling and it is not good."

Chelsea are expected to make the trip north without midfielder Frank Lampard and striker Didier Drogba.
Lampard missed Monday's game against Wigan because his mother is in hospital with pneumonia, while Drogba has not trained because of a knee injury.

Everton (from): Howard, Neville, Hibbert, Yobo, Lescott, Baines, Valente, Jagielka, Osman, Gravesen, Fernandes, Pienaar, Carsley, Yakubu, Johnson, Anichebe, Wessels, Arteta, Osman.

Chelsea (from): Cech, Hilario, Ferreira, Belletti, Carvalho, Ben-Haim, Terry, Alex, A Cole, Bridge, Essien, Ballack, Sidwell, Obi, J Cole, Shevchenko, Drogba, Kalou, Pizarro, Anelka, Wright-Phillips, Malouda.

Everton boss Moyes: Chelsea won't win title

Everton boss Dave Moyes has wrote off Chelsea's title chances ahead of tonight's clash.
"Chelsea will not win the title. Manchester United will do that now," Moyes said. "I believe it is United's championship. It would need them to make a real mess of things for that not to happen.
"Chelsea have pushed them hard, but it is United's to throw away now.
"Avram Grant has done a good, steady job. They have a very good squad, you cannot tell who they will play because they can change the team around.
"It is very hard to overhaul Manchester United, they have been doing it at the top for years and years - they are used to it.
"For a new manager to come in and achieve that sort of success in one swoop is not easy."

Cudicini Wants Out
Carlo Cudicini has expressed his desire to leave Chelsea at the end of the season

The 34-year-old joined in 1999 and soon cemented himself as one of the best goalkeepers in England, but has played only played 23 Premier League games for the Blues since Petr Cech’s arrival in 2004.The Italian has four year’s remaining on his current contract at Stamford Bridge, and Chelsea will be keen to keep him given Cech’s recent run of freak injuries.It has been reported that Cudicini’s agent officially informed Chelsea chief Peter Kenyon of the player’s wishes last week, and that further talks are scheduled to resolve the matter.

"There will be another meeting with Chelsea to decide what is best for the club and Carlo," said a source close to Cudicini."There is interest from Aston Villa as well as Manchester City." Martin O’Neill will seek to bring the keeper to Villa Park, as it seems he is unwilling to take up the ₤9 million option to buy current first-choice shot-stopper Scott Carson, who is on loan from Liverpool

Russian trip for Chelsea

Chelsea will play in a prestigious pre-season tournament in Russia this summer. The news was announced today at a press conference in Moscow attended by Chelsea FC Chief Executive Peter Kenyon.Kenyon was alongside senior representatives from Lokomotiv Moscow, the hosts, as well as AC Milan and Sevilla who will also take part in the Russian Railways Cup. The tournament, which is in its second year, is named after Lokomotiv's previous history of being formed by workers of the state railway and will take place between August 1 and August 3.PETER KENYON Kenyon said: "We are delighted to play against such great opposition in Moscow in this tournament."It will be the first time Chelsea has been to Russia for pre-season so this has the added advantage of providing excellent preparation for the new season with the opportunity for our growing number of fans in Moscow to see us play live twice."The matches will be in a cup knockout format with a semi-final, final and third-place play-off, with the draw yet to be made. Matches will be played at Lokomotiv's Central Stadium, which has a capacity of 28,800.Chelsea already has good connections with Lokomotiv following the transfer in January 2008 of Branislav Ivanovic to Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea's previous visit to Russia was to play in the 2004/5 Champions League group phase against CSKA Moscow.According to independent research by TNS (October 2007), Chelsea is the most popular Premier League team in Russia with an estimated 10 million fans. This was part of the same research that estimated Chelsea had a global fan base of 90 million.The club has also recently partnered with the National Academy of Football in Russia to produce a local language version of Chelsea's website, announcement of Chelsea's participation in the Moscow tournament is the latest in a number of pre-season matches to be confirmed.Chelsea will play in Guangzhou, China on July 23 and in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on July 29. Another game on July 26 in Asia is still to be confirmed.
Chelsea supporters intending to protest against SKY moving against Everton from a Saturday to a Thursday evening has been put on hold after Merseyside Police advised them that, should they display the “You Can Stick R*pert M*rdoch Where The Sun Don’t Shine” banner outside the ground, they would face arrest under Section 5 of the Public Order Act.

We here at received a telephone call from Everton’s Police Liaison Officer giving the advice that the banner might prove offensive to R*pert M*rrdoch. When we asked whether we could remove the words R*pert M*rdoch and replace them with the words “Sky TV”, we were told that they might receive complaints from either employees of SKY or their families who may be ‘upset’ at seeing such a sentiment expressed. However, the Police were sympathetic to the aims of the protest but they were not prepared to risk any incidents that might lead to public disorder, especially at a football match. Despite the setback, we here at cfcuk are hopeful that, on behalf of all followers of all clubs, both Everton and Chelsea supporters join in a rousing chorus of “You Can Stick R*pert M*rdoch Where The Sun Don’t Shine” when the Sky anthem is played at the beginning of the match.
The low regard with which the two clubs view the fixture move was highlighted when Chelsea ordered Avram Grant and his players to maintain a policy of non-cooperation with both pre and post match interview with the satellite broadcaster while Everton manager David Moyes spoke for the many who will lose money on advanced flights and hotel accommodation when he said if he were a fan, he would refuse to buy a ticket for the match by way of a protest.This website’s campaign against SKY will continue and we will do everything we can to highlight the callousness and non consideration of the people who arrange the fixtures. It’s not only Chelsea supporters who are affected by the satellite broadcaster’s ineptitude.
League was unfair over fixture switch - Moyes

David Moyes, the Everton manager, has said that the Premier League acted unfairly in allowing the interests of television to force Chelsea into playing two potentially crucial league games in the space of four days.
Chelsea face Everton at Goodison Park tonight in a game rearranged for live coverage by Sky Sports. On Monday evening Avram Grant's team lost momentum in the title race by dropping two points at home to Wigan in a game screened by Setanta.

The flip side of the fixture change is that Chelsea will have an extra two days of rest before their Champions League semi-final first leg against Liverpool at Anfield next Tuesday, but Moyes had sympathy for the London club in having their league schedule disrupted.
"I think it's unfair on Chelsea having to play on Monday and then Thursday," said Moyes, "although Chelsea might now say they are quite pleased it has been moved because it gives them more time to prepare for the Champions League game against Liverpool next Tuesday.

"But we just need to be careful this isn't something that is going to pop its head up at the end of seasons when games are getting tight and tense. It could cause problems and the clubs have a responsibility to say there is a point where they have to say no. The Premier League have to do that as well, but they supported the game being moved. I don't think anyone but the police would have complained if the game was moved to the Friday night."
With the FA Cup finalists Portsmouth only four points behind Everton in sixth place, Moyes believes that securing fifth position is the priority ahead of overhauling Liverpool for the final Champions League berth.

"Portsmouth and Aston Villa are very close, so it's a big week. Those teams could get right on our shoulder if we don't do things right and I am very aware of that.
"The year we qualified for the Champions League, I felt we had to win a big game in the run-in to reach the Champions League and we did that by beating Manchester United. I don't think at the moment we can qualify for the Champions League but we might need to win a big game in the run-in to qualify for the Uefa Cup."
Neville: We Want Points Against The Big Boys

Phil Neville has revealed he is desperate to help end both Everton’s unflattering record against the top teams and Chelsea’s title hopes in one fell swoop at Goodison Park on Thursday night
A win for Chelsea would reignite their stuttering title hopes after their unwelcome home draw against Wigan on Monday left them five points adrift of league leaders Manchester United.And Neville, who played alongside his brother Gary at United before transferring to Goodison Park in 2005, would no doubt be thrilled to prevent Chelsea overhauling that lead, despite his loyalty to his new club.The Toffees skipper is aware that his team goes into this clash having earned only a single point against top-four opposition all season, a statistic that he claims is down to their mental approach rather than any great disparity in quality.Lapses“We have not beaten a top four team this season and if we are to have any aspirations of finishing fourth — and that is still a possibility — then we have got to change things,” said Neville. “But the fact we haven’t beaten one of those sides above us is not because we are lacking quality. Far from it. It has just been lapses of concentration at key moments. “For example, Manchester United beat us twice with goals in the last couple of minutes, while Liverpool beat us here with a late penalty. “Having said that, it still does not change anything. Our record against the big four has not been good enough. “Now we are faced with two games against them in the last three weeks and we need to pick up four points.” HopefulEverton currently occupy fifth place, five points behind archrivals Liverpool, following last weekend’s results, which saw the Toffees draw 1-1 at Birmingham and the Reds defeat Blackburn 3-1 at Anfield.
And although defeat at the hands of the Londoners would see Everton’s Champions League hopes all but extinguished, Neville has not given up on snatching fourth spot from their Merseonlyyside rivals.“I’m still really positive about our chances because football is a funny game at this time of year,” said the 31-year-old.“Maybe one of the sides Liverpool are playing down at the bottom will spring a surprise. But we have just got to make sure we do our job. “If we keep picking up maximum points from our games and forget about anything that is going on around us, I’m sure we’ll be fine. “Everyone is looking forward to the game against Chelsea and we hope the atmosphere is like when we played Fiorentina in the UEFA Cup.”No RevengeChelsea’s last visit to Goodison Park saw them defeat their hosts to earn a spot in the Carling Cup final, where they lost 2-1 to Tottenham.But Neville insists revenge is not a factor, and that he and his team-mates are focused only on performing as best they can.
“We can’t afford to think of revenge,” he said. “What we need to do, though, is raise our game three or four gears from what it has been recently if we want to get anything.” CloseEverton keeper Tim Howard will have the opportunity tonight to equal Neville Southall’s club record of 15 clean sheets in a season.It will be a stern task given Everton have failed to keep Chelsea scoreless since 2004, but Howard is more concerned with helping his team secure a win than getting into the record books.“We both really need the points and, although they have managed to edge it so far, it’s been close against them this season,” said the United States international.“We know we will have our work cut out to get the three points. But we can take confidence from the fact the games have been tight.
“We have them on our own patch and we want to show what we can do. “Everyone here really wants European football again. Ideally we want to be at the big boys’ table of the Champions League. “But we aren’t going to be complaining if we are in the UEFA Cup again. “We owe it to ourselves to get there. We have achieved a lot and we can’t let the season tail off now. We have to keep going because we have been right up there all season. “The aim is still fourth but we’re pushing hard to make sure we don’t finish any lower than fifth. “The season would be a disappointment if we don’t get back into Europe — no doubt about it.”