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Chelsea vs. Wigan

Stamford Bridge



Chelsea v Wigan Preview

After the defeat, up at Newcastle, last Saturday, the press was intimating that a failure to beat Wigan this Saturday could hasten the departure of Rafa Benitez. Thankfully those rumours seem to have died down as another managerial upheaval, despite the present incumbent being as popular as following through after a night on the tiles, is the last thing we want. Therefore, whilst Rafa remains under pressure, it`s not the sort of do-or-die pressure the press would have you believe. But can Rafa orchestrate a win against a Wigan side that is dicing with relegation? Who knows anymore!

Vital Quotes:

With our form patchy and thoughts of not qualifying for the Champions League next season, Rafa has warned about complacency in the build-up to the fixture against Wigan, commenting,

"We could win all the games we didn`t win."

"It`s a question of sometimes doing the right things at the right moment, a little bit of luck, being more clinical and not making mistakes in defence, but the team is doing well in terms of performance."

"We have to improve the results, especially in the games we were winning. We were training, practising, analysing but also working on the pitch and that`s the main things we can do."

"We are working on the solutions. If you can score two goals and be two up you have to finish the games, and you cannot make these mistakes. You have to be sure you control the game."

Chelsea Team News:

Benitez goes into this fixture with a weakened squad.

Away on international duty and contemplating playing the final of the African Cup of Nations are Victor Moses and John Obi Mikel.

Definitely out injured are Oriel Romeu (long term knee-injury) and Petr Cech (broken finger received at Newcastle)

Possibly out injured is Ashley Cole who was withdrawn at half time, against Brazil, in his 100th appearance for England.

But, on the positive side, David Luiz, having played the full 90 minutes in the midweek international, is back in contention, as is Eden Hazard who has now completed the three game ban received for his tussle with the scheming Swansea ball-boy.

An unexpected absentee, after making his comeback from injury, will be John Terry. Our club captain has suffered inflammation of his injured knee and will be side-lined.

Our possible starting eleven could therefore be:-

Turnbull, Ivanovic, Cahill, Luiz, Cole (or Bertrand), Ramires, Lampard, Oscar, Mata, Hazard, Ba (or Torres)

Or it could be completely different!

Player to watch: Eden Hazard

Before indulging in a wrestling match with that chubby ball-boy, Hazard was getting back to his best. With Chelsea likely to be facing a Wigan team intent on parking the bus, we may need all the creative talent we can muster to open them up.

Wigan Team News:

Roberto Martinez brings his Wigan squad to West London with doubts over Aroune Kone, Gary Caldwel and Antolon Alcaraz.

Kone will have his fitness assessed after returning from African Cup of Nations duty, Caldwell is troubled by a hip problem whilst Alcaraz has a groin injury.

Player to watch: Franco Di Santo

It seems an age since the teenage striker arrived at Stamford Bridge from Argentina. Has he finally realized that enormous potential many suspected he had? Watch him and you decide.

Match Facts & Stats

Our record against Wigan is pretty decent. In 15 Premier League meetings we`ve won 12 and drawn 2. Our only defeat coming back in September 2009, at the DW Stadium.

In those fifteen clashes we`ve scored in every game an din total we`ve amassed 38 goals and conceded just 9

Ref Watch:

Our referee for this fixture is Mike Dean

Match Prediction:

Like I`ve said previously, predicting Chelsea results these days is almost as difficult as predicting which six balls will make some lucky person a lottery millionaire. Contemplating taking on Wigan, you wonder which side will turn up. Will Roberto Martinez go for broke knowing Chelsea have a vulnerable side to them at present, or will he treat every point as sacred and try to hold on to the point they arrive with? My feeling is that Chelsea will huff and puff but they will emerge victorious with all three points, possibly by the odd goal in three.

Next Fixtures:

Our next two matches are both in cup competitions. First up on Thursday is a trip to Prague to play Sparta Prague in the Europa League whilst next Sunday we welcome Brentford to Stamford Bridge for an FA Cup 4th round replay following the 2-2 draw played out at Griffin Park.

The Journalist

Writer: Merlin Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Friday February 8 2013

Time: 4:35PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
It's a must win for us.
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08/02/2013 17:41:00

player to watch Eden Hazard...yup all ball boys will be watching him big time...hope chelsea win but with rafa and torres in our side there is always added advantage to opposing side...
Report Abuse
08/02/2013 18:03:00

i'd take a one legged ba over a fully-fit torres
I hate CR7
Report Abuse
08/02/2013 19:06:00

Hazard rested which is great, he can be at full pelt now. Cech, azpilicueta, ivanovic, Cahill, cole, Luiz, Oscar, hazard, mata, Marin, ba.
Report Abuse
08/02/2013 19:08:00

Chalobah scores for Watford. That's it. Him, De Bruyne and Josh can handle the midfield next season.
Report Abuse
08/02/2013 20:02:00

Luiz and hazard fresh back to the team will be a huge boost for us, I hope they help us get a needed win
Report Abuse
08/02/2013 20:46:00

Zola as manager would be a mistake. His substitution has taken them from a 2-0 score to 2-2 within 5 minutes. No to Zola.
Report Abuse
08/02/2013 21:20:00

Ivanovic needs to be rested.He has made so many mistakes over the last couple of weeks.We will start winning matches if we cut out making mistakes.It's as simple as that.
Report Abuse
08/02/2013 21:22:00

Cech- Azpi-Cahill-Iva-Cole- Luiz-Rami Mata-Oscar-Hazard Ba
Report Abuse
08/02/2013 21:27:00

Iva at the rb is unacceptable for me. Glad we are welcoming a fresh Hazard back . I agree with any of Samex' or Blue1989 line ups
Report Abuse
09/02/2013 00:21:00

Going through some stuffs on our main website I stumbled on benitez's latest where he opined that he have been watching nigeria in action, thumbs up to him for that, I pray moses and mikel will come back with the trophy and without injuries as rafa is already worried about th amount of tackle they get and little protection they seem to get in the tournament. After tommorow, the return of the two afcon players (if fit) will be a major boost for the squad
Report Abuse
09/02/2013 05:21:00
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09/02/2013 05:34:00

I love to read from this site because they say it as they see it......
Report Abuse
09/02/2013 05:36:00

Desperately need a win,anything less than that is unacceptable...hope the vintage chelsea turn up today
Report Abuse
09/02/2013 05:52:00

Kevin De Bruyne along with Thibout Curtouis must not be sold, they have to be given playing chance at chelsea first, this is our future we are talking about. Its like no young player wants to come to chelsea any more cos they know what would happen, they'd just keep gettin loaned untill they are sold. Players like Butland and Isco know this now, even some our loaned out players doing well elsewhere, are reluctant to return to chelsea, like, Lukaku, KDB, Curtouisg. The chelsea board should wise up, if chelsea is to have a future.
Report Abuse
09/02/2013 06:06:00

Courtois, Chalobah, KDB, Josh, Kalas, Omeurou, Lukaku & Piazon will not be sold. They are too special to be sold. They are the best of our young players on loan, the board are aware of this fact.
Report Abuse
09/02/2013 07:20:00

Merlin, please take the composite picture of Demba Ba/ sheep down as my Welsh friend is coming to stay & I dread the affect it could have on him.
Report Abuse
09/02/2013 09:18:00

I knew the only change will be Hazard for Berty. Hope we win.
Report Abuse
09/02/2013 14:22:00

Mata has a virus and is on the subs bench. Luiz starts in midfield. Oscar and Hazard to Roam around while Lamps is pushed forward. Not a bad set up in my opinion.
Report Abuse
09/02/2013 14:23:00


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