Chelsea face Nottingham Forest in the EFL/Carabao Cup on Wednesday evening with a kick-off time of 19:45. It will be Chelsea`s third home game in just over a week, and one that ought to see them progress to fourth round of the competition.
With a busy month of games on-going for Antonio Conte`s squad, rotation is likely to be the name of the game. Following hot on the heels of Sunday`s 0-0 draw with Arsenal, there are likely to be a couple of debuts in the starting XI at least.
Listening to the popular sports radio station Talksport this morning, I have to admit to being somewhat taken aback by an interview that took place with ex-Chelsea captain Ray ‘Butch’ Wilkins.
Talking to Breakfast Show stalwart Alan Brazil, Wilkins was asked his opinion on the tackle that saw David Luiz dismissed following his rash tackle on Saed Kolasinac. The opinion of the former Blues coach, in my opinion, beggars belief. I’m not sure what his agenda is, but he certainly seems to have turned away from being Mr. Chelsea in recent months.
Alvaro Morata has had a whirlwind start to his career at Chelsea. Since joining the club during the summer`s transfer window, the Spaniard has slotted into his striking role better than some of his predecessors, that have worn the fated number nine shirt.
In four Premier League games Morata has scored three goals and contributed two assists. Strangely enough they have all come courtesy of his head. Once he finds his feet, the world will be his and Chelsea`s oyster.
Chelsea return to the Champions League to face an opponent for the first time in club history. Qarabag FK will be an enigmatic side in their first trip to Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea took advantage of their year away from the Champions League, concentrating on domestic matters to win the Premier League. As England’s top league is one of the highest ranking in Europe, Chelsea were one of the seeded teams. This, theoretically, gave them an easier passage through the group stages.
Tammy Abraham is embarking on his first season in the Premier League, but a major career decision lies ahead. Nigeria hope he will play for the Super Eagles in international competition instead of the Three Lions.
Chelsea’s Tammy Abraham is on a season-long loan at Swansea City, and is being targeted by the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) as a potential new recruit. The London-born striker has played for England up to the U-21’s, but would qualify to play for Nigeria through his father.
The transfer window has just over 9 days left to run. The season is in full flow and here, at Vital Chelsea, we are fully aware the first team squad is somewhat understaffed. You may not have noticed (only joking).
Chelsea`s official website has the current first team squad listed here, it gives an indication of who and where Chelsea should be looking to strengthen.
Bad news for the Chelsea haters yesterday. Antonio Conte has not lost the dressing room as they would like us to believe. The makeshift team that took to the pitch yesterday afternoon, had listened to the negative media talk during the week, listened to their manager, and booted the anti-Chelsea matter into the heavens.
The full-bloodied ‘backs to wall` performance once again showed that Chelsea know how to win football matches. Antonio Conte`s tactical masterclass, with a team that had never taken to the football field before was pure genius.
Is there really a toxic atmosphere in the Chelsea dressing room as certain sections of the media would love us all to believe? Are the players not performing for their manager as was the case with Jose Mourinho two years ago? Are Chelsea a team in decline?
A typical Chelsea ‘backs to the wall’ performance against Tottenham at Wembley would suggest that there is not much wrong between players and coach. The fight back they started during the second half of last week’s Burnley defeat continued at Tottenham’s new temporary home. The players may change, and managers may come and go but when the chips are down and the world is against them Chelsea FC know how to win.
Players from the African continent have made a significant impact in the annals of Chelsea’s history. These six players – representing Nigeria, Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana – lead the way for the Blues.
Three players from Africa – Didier Drogba, Salomon Kalou and Mikel John Obi – played a major part in Chelsea’s famous victory in the 2012 Champions League final against Bayern Munich.
Just three weeks ago, Chelsea supporters (I’m one by the way) were whinging about how poor the transfer window had been so far. Nobody had been signed, apart from the obligatory second-choice goalkeeper.
There was press speculation that Antonio Conte was also unhappy with the lack of new players and that he was refusing to sign a contract extension, even though he was on an Italian beach. The players were becoming disillusioned, particularly the ‘kids’ because they were not getting enough first-team action. And then there was Diego Costa, ahhh, Diego, who apparently, according to himself, had been told he was surplus to requirements in a text message sent by his manager, presumably whilst lying there, on that beach, in his budgie smugglers.