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Reading vs. Chelsea

Madejski Stadium

30/01/13

20:00

Reading v Chelsea Preview

After scrambling a draw against Brentford, in the FA Cup, Chelsea make the short trip down the M4 to take on Reading, in the Premier League, this Wednesday evening. It`s a game we need to win if our hopes of qualifying for the Champions League, next season, are not to be hampered. Reading, having gotten promotion form the Championship last season, have struggled to make an impact but enter this fixture on the back of a good FA Cup win over Sheffield United. Can Chelsea bring the three points back to West London or will it be another fraught evening?

Vital Quotes:

With the squad depleted through injury, suspension and African Cup of Nations duty, Rafa Benitez may be regretting not calling some of our 23 players who are out on loan, or as Rafa put it at his pre-match press conference,

"It is difficult for us because we play a game every three days. I don`t know if we will get anyone in the transfer widow. We`ve had conversations and now it depends on the club."

"We cannot bring back some of the players who are out on loan because we have an agreement that they will carry on for the rest of the season."

"The squad would be fine if we had everyone available."

"Hopefully the injured players will come back and the African Nations Cup will give us our players back sooner rather than later."

"Then we`ll have the squad to deal with this congestion."


And there I was thinking fixture congestion was associated with a winning team who had the foresight to make allowances for things such as suspensions, injuries and international duty.

Reading Team News:

Brian McDermott, keen to keep Reading in the Premier League in the face of growing pressure, will have to make do without his striker Jason Roberts. Also doubtful is Noel Hunt who faces a fitness test.

Our sources also infer that McDermott`s new signing Daniel Carrico, won`t feature.

Player to watch: Ian Harte

Now thirty-five years of age, the former Leeds United player is still a threat from free-kicks - be warned

Chelsea Team News:

Chelsea approaches this game with numerous players unavailable. Out injured are David Luiz and Oriel Romeu whilst Eden Hazard is serving the second game of a three game suspension received for his altercation with the Swansea ball-boy. Also missing will be John Obi Mikel and Victor Moses, both on international duty with Nigeria.

Chelsea supporters will be hoping that Petr Cech will have overcome the 'niggle` that kept him out of the Brentford game but they`ll also be pondering over the following;-

Will Demba Ba start instead of Fernando Torres?
Will John Terry be fit enough for a second competitive game in the space of four days?
Will Marko Marin be given another start after hi spoor first half at Griffin Park?
Is the squad so thin we might even see Yossi Benayoun pull on a first team shirt?

Player to watch: Juan Mata

Its fast being said that without the influential little Spaniard we look devoid of ideas!

Match Facts & Stats

The record books show that Chelsea have the edge over Reading in competitive fixtures.

Chelsea haven`t lost to Reading since 1930 when Reading triumphed 3-1.

In the five league games since then, Reading have suffered five losses

If you look at all competitions, Chelsea have lost just 3 times in 19 matches.

Ref Watch:

Our officials for this encounter are:- Referee - M. Halsey Assistant - R. Ganfield Assistant - D. Cann Fourth Official - R. East

Match Prediction:

I swear its easier picking the National Lottery winning numbers than a Chelsea result these days. Our form is so erratic that suggesting any game is going to be easy is quite capable of leaving you with egg all over your face. But, Reading have been struggling this season and this is a fixture we should, despite our depleted squad, win. I`m staying loyal to the cause and going for a 2-0 Chelsea win, with Juan Mata and Demba Ba being the heroes. And as for those winning lottery numbers, I`m keeping them to myself!

Next Fixtures:

Our next fixture has us on the road again when we travel to St James Park to take on a Newcastle side that haven`t lived up to the promise shown last season.




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The Journalist

Writer: Merlin Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Tuesday January 29 2013

Time: 5:10PM

Your Comments

All i can do is hope and pray..only the good Lord knows what will transpire tomorrow.
GabeU
move for butland made? does that mean courtois might be going to barcelona? hope not.
blueirishman
Moses really tearing ethiopia apart in the last 15 minutes, chelsea are surely going to make one purchase now that is likely nigeria have qualified, moses scored two penalties, but the way he won it was the brilliant, that is his only sane contribution though
Desmondadonis
Just noticed on the league table that we have the 2nd highest goals scored and 2nd best defence ! Not bad for a team in crisis !!!
ZolaIsALegend
Moussa Sissoko looks good for Castle!! chelsea is gonna be sorry, those are the deals we should have been looking for
denverblue
Expect a big improvement after Brentford. 2-0 to Chelsea in a (relatively) comfortable win.
djdutts
Despite all the negativity surrounding us. I haven't throw in the towel in yet. Expecting the league form to improve starting with a win at Reading.
jollyheart Torres
zolaisalegend.really?? Readin through comments in the last few days i thought we were worse than QPR
Ken4CFC
so rafa says he thinks there won't be any purchases before thursday nite. so there's that bit of excitement killed off in good time. but does he know something or not. it's very probable things are going on that the spanish waiter isn't party to. and of course we have the presss hacks telling this is a resounding thumbs down to the large waiter i'e. not giving him any money to spend. imo not a bit of it. the ins or outs will happen this window regardless of what they have in store for the waiter!
trueblue44
One more thing supporters will be ponderin *will fans be hostile to yossi because of things he said about chelsea at arsenal?
Ken4CFC
One more thing supporters will be ponderin *will fans be hostile to yossi because of things he said about chelsea at arsenal?
Ken4CFC
Exactly Ken . I thought vital were gonna have to set up a councelling helpline !!!
ZolaIsALegend
There goes juve's treble. What a game that was, get petkovic put on the list immediately:) (I'm being mischievous). That draw for qpr against city should give us some incentive to win tomorrow and close another gap.
Blue1989
Lol@zolaisalegend,that got me laughin ma feckin ass off
Ken4CFC
A potential banana peel this fixture is,i hope it doesnt fulfil that potential. We should be in touching distance with Citeh if we can win this match,it will become 2points gap or so. I forbid any form of blip in tonight's game...lets win and get some fresh air cos its getting all stuffy everywhere.
Ohans
Anything less than 3 points is a definite no no...
nelyvanile
4 point gap ohans ,the table is right beside you !
ZolaIsALegend
Hahaha..
Ken4CFC
Chelsea have had a bid accepted by Birmingham for Jack Butland? so confused by this signing...Anyway 3 points is a must tonight - c'mon you blues...
JohnnyOz
hopefully we will win this game and put some gap between us and the fourth spot and also close the gap on Man city. The best news for all after will be on Manu losing and dropping three points.. @ Ken.. Yossi really said some unwise things about us last season and i'm sure that like Lukaku, he was gutted not to have been in the team that won the CL trophy but we should forgive the guy and actually give him some gametime today. Marin also. I believe both are actually good players and since we are stuck with them ( Yossi especially) anyway, we should make a good use of them. Using yossi on the RW would free up oscar to be used in the pivot with Ramires today. Lampard absolutely needs a rest. we cannot continue to play a 34 year old twice a week for 90 mins. no matter how fit he is.
Dwonder
@Zolais.....thanks mate,forgot to check it up there,maybe felt it is not always timely updated. @Johnny,Birmingham accepted our bid,but it appears Butland isnt keen on a move to SB. He has his eyes set on a first team football and doubts he 'll have that at Chelsea. But then,i am yet to know the rational behind that move cos we have a good goalie in Courtois. If the deal eventually goes thru,Thibaut Cfc future may well be in jeopardy.
Ohans
@ Ohans If we are in for him i believe it is for potential trading purposes only unless Courtois is going to be sold. Courtois for me is a superior GK to Butland, so its unlikely for me that he'll be sold, unless there is big money being offered for him...all will be revealed soon i'm sure
JohnnyOz
@dwonder,its good to hear we would forgive him,takin a leaf from recent events,i was think the fans never forgive.
Ken4CFC
The board activated mystery mode a long time ago..i will just watch and see how this butland would be of any help to us.
Ken4CFC
I suppose there is always the issue of home grown players in the squad of 25. Sturridge's home grown place hasnt been replaced yet.
JohnnyOz
I think it would b a bad move for Butland . Cech should be back in a week or two and Butland will just warm the bench for the season . Theres a reason no team has a top class backup keeper and thats because a decent keeper cannot b wasted on the bench . They are a rare breed and will always be needed as first choice somewhere else . Courtois is a fantastic keeper ,they idolise him in Spain and would b more than capable of taking cechs spot next season . But big pete is still one of the best around so its a tricky one for Courtios and Butland ! What a name he has by the way ,wouldnt mind livin in ButLand !!!!
ZolaIsALegend
I think it would b a bad move for Butland . Cech should be back in a week or two and Butland will just warm the bench for the season . Theres a reason no team has a top class backup keeper and thats because a decent keeper cannot b wasted on the bench . They are a rare breed and will always be needed as first choice somewhere else . Courtois is a fantastic keeper ,they idolise him in Spain and would b more than capable of taking cechs spot next season . But big pete is still one of the best around so its a tricky one for Courtios and Butland ! What a name he has by the way ,wouldnt mind livin in ButLand !!!!
ZolaIsALegend
hmmm..... Girl Buttland thats funny @ Zola
JohnnyOz
Butland would be a tremendous signing (especially considering he's English and so fits our quotas). Cech is still fine as our number one but I have said for years that Hilario and Turnbull are both 3rd choice keepers, neither of them good enough as 2nd choice. With Cech beginning to age and becoming a little more prone to niggly injuries, we need a better #2 on whom we can rely. Butland can come and do that for the rest of the season and the chances are, he'll get some games (if only against Brentford, Middlesborough, Sparta Prague etc. but probably more if Cech gets knocks). If that goes well, then we can continue with that next season, ensuring Butland gets some games to continue developing and stepping up a level whilst allowing Courtois to stay in Spain for another year (currying favour with Atleti as an added bonus should we want to do any other deals with them). Alternatively, we can bring Courtois back and let him compete with Cech but he must get games, he is too good not to play all season even if Cech is fit and on fire. In that case Butland could go on loand to a Premier League side where he would get regular football and again continue his development. Longer term, having Courtois (we should not entertain the thought of selling him for a second) and Butland competing for our #1 slot (possibly even Jamal Blackman too) once Cech leaves/retires would be fantastic and put us in the strongest position we have known GK-wise since we had Carlo (best GK in the Prem until Cech arrived) on the bench. It is such an important position, having it sorted for years to come would be fantastic business!
SpanishBlue
Butland would be a tremendous signing (especially considering he's English and so fits our quotas). Cech is still fine as our number one but I have said for years that Hilario and Turnbull are both 3rd choice keepers, neither of them good enough as 2nd choice. With Cech beginning to age and becoming a little more prone to niggly injuries, we need a better #2 on whom we can rely. Butland can come and do that for the rest of the season and the chances are, he'll get some games (if only against Brentford, Middlesborough, Sparta Prague etc. but probably more if Cech gets knocks). If that goes well, then we can continue with that next season, ensuring Butland gets some games to continue developing and stepping up a level whilst allowing Courtois to stay in Spain for another year (currying favour with Atleti as an added bonus should we want to do any other deals with them). Alternatively, we can bring Courtois back and let him compete with Cech but he must get games, he is too good not to play all season even if Cech is fit and on fire. In that case Butland could go on loand to a Premier League side where he would get regular football and again continue his development. Longer term, having Courtois (we should not entertain the thought of selling him for a second) and Butland competing for our #1 slot (possibly even Jamal Blackman too) once Cech leaves/retires would be fantastic and put us in the strongest position we have known GK-wise since we had Carlo (best GK in the Prem until Cech arrived) on the bench. It is such an important position, having it sorted for years to come would be fantastic business!
SpanishBlue
well put spanish - cant knock your thinking but i think we also need to streamline our loan structure etc 23 players on loan is a lot so we need to be careful with future loan dealings...Having said that Academy expenses are exempt from FFP, so the board are utilising that loop hole very well...
JohnnyOz
Am having the feeling the club wants to make Butland the resident 2nd choice keeper as Turnbull is clearly seen as not good enough. That may be the reason why he is reluctant to sign. It means that the club so rate Courtois very highly that he is seen as an outright Cech's replacement. If that's not the case,maybe Courtois will be sold.
Ohans
It appears that Jack doesn't want to talk to us because he wants to play, which is fair enough. The only way we might be able to snag him then would be by offering to loan him out as I suggested above but given that we need better cover than Hilario & Turnbull now, the loan should not be until next season, hopefully he'd be prepared to take his chance waiting for 6 months now. This only works if we then bring Courtois back next season which is a shame as I'd rather see him continue to play regularly in a top league all the while Cech is still doing the business.
SpanishBlue
Smart move by Butland,coming here will only ruin his chances of an England call up. Consistency is needed at his age. I'm really worried about Coutois,the initial plan was 3 season on loan,2 seasons at Athletico Madrid,and one season on Loan at an English side. We have One season and a few months left,and the lad already looks ready to be first choice goalie. Let's just hope we structure and plan his transition properly.
nelyvanile
In ma opinion,We should just get an experience goalie like shay given (loan) to deputise for cech till courtios returns,he is definitely better than what we have in turnbull and hilario..
Ken4CFC
In ma opinion,We should just get an experience goalie like shay given (loan) to deputise for cech till courtios returns,he is definitely better than what we have in turnbull and hilario..
Ken4CFC
begovic to chelsea
Kendemsblue
 

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