CHELSEA IN ARSENALS SIGHTS

Arsene Wenger will finally have reasons to be happy after his team have been on a good run of form in the last month. Ever since the 3-1 defeat suffered against Bayern Munich in the Champions League, they have been able to close the gap on Chelsea and Tottenham in the race for the top four positions.

Arsenal have managed to get 5 wins in the last six matches, which is a form only bettered by Manchester United. The team will be preparing to face Norwich during the weekend. This match will certainly not be easy according to Wenger, but his hoping that his team reduce the pressure by scoring an early goal.

Norwich have almost secured their Premier league status, which has resulted in a huge drop in form over the last couple of matches. Since the 2-1 win against Everton, Norwich have managed just three points in the last five matches. This abysmal run of form has meant that the teams in the relegation zone have been able to inch closer towards Chris Hughton's men. As a result, Norwich need a couple of wins in order to be sure of Premier league survival. Hence, they will be pumped up for the match according to Wenger, who has called on his players to score early in the match to avoid the nerves.

"Once we are in front, the teams who usually defend against us have to come out and that gives us space to develop our game even better. That shows you that when we start our games in a positive way, we can dominate. It shows you just how important the confidence is to go into the games and to have a strong start. I believe our team has always developed a way to play that makes them stronger throughout the season," said Wenger.

DISAPPOINTED

The Chelsea goalie Petr Cech has said that he is disappointed that his team couldn’t make its way into the final 16 of the Champions League.

Chelsea was knocked out of the Champions League from the group stage and currently, the Blues are in Czech Republic to play the Europa League match against Sparta Prague.

Talking to the reporters ahead of the match against Sparta Prague, Cech said, “Obviously, we would have liked to be playing in the Champions League rather than the Europa League, but, unfortunately, we couldn’t qualify and the whole team is disappointed about it. But, we only have to blame ourselves for this situation. We made a lot of mistakes in the group matches and that’s why, we were knocked out of the tournament.”

“The spirits in the camp are still high. We are looking forward to tomorrow’s match. This competition may not be as big as Champions League, but, it’s a prestigious tournament and we want to win it.”

One of Cech’s fingers was fractured when he was playing for Chelsea against Newcastle United. Cech has still not fully recovered from that blow, but, he will feature for the Blues against Sparta Prague.

When asked about the condition of his finger, Cech said, “I am still feeling a bit of pain in my injured finger, but, it’s not that much of a worry for me. I have played with worse injuries than this in the past.”

Chelsea will go into the match against Sparta without two of its senior players i.e. David Luiz and Demba Ba.

But, in spite of the absence of these two players, the manager of Chelsea Rafa Benitez has made it clear that Victor Moses and John Obi Mikel would not be included in the starting XI.

Moses and Mikel have just returned after representing their country in the Africa Cup of Nations and according to Benitez, they need a bit of rest before being included in the team.

ATLETICO KEEN ON TORRES

Atletico Madrid wants to sign Fernando Torres for the second time. The Spanish club is looking to take Torres on loan for 1 year during the next summer transfer window.

Torres had begun his career with Atletico Madrid. He had joined Atletico Madrid in 1995 at the age of just 11 years. He was a member of the youth squad of Atletico for 6 years and then, he got the chance to play for the senior team of Atletico.

Torres’ record for Atletico Madrid is amazing. He played 214 matches for Atletico and he scored 82 goals. These stats are clearly telling that Torres was a real match winner for Atletico Madrid.

At the start of the season, Torres had said, “I love Atletico Madrid. That club is very special for me. I have learnt all my football there. I would love to go back there at some point of time in future.”

A Spanish source said yesterday, “Atletico wants to get Fernando back and Fernando also wants to go back there. He might not get that much money at Atletico, but, he wouldn’t mind getting lesser wages there.”

Apart from Atletico Madrid, some other clubs including Paris Saint Germain, Besiktas and Juventus have also shown interest in the Spanish striker.

Fernando Torres was in decent form in the earlier parts of the ongoing season. He has featured for the Blues in 25 matches in this season so far and he has scored 13 goals. But, he has been a bit out of nick in the last few games and after Chelsea’s defeat against Swansea City in the Capital One Cup match played last week, Torres was booed by the Chelsea fans and the Spaniard is said to be very upset about that. Chelsea had lost that match by 0-2.

DI MATTEO WOULD STILL DROP TORRES

The Chelsea manager Roberto di Matteo has said that he does not regret about the decision he took with the Chelsea striker Fernando Torres for the match against Juventus on Tuesday night.

Chelsea were beaten 3-0 by the Italian team, which left them on the brink of elimination from the Champions League. The Spaniard Fernando Torres was dropped for this match by the manager after recent run of poor form.

The 28-year-old has scored just one goal in the last seven matches, while he looked extremely poor in the match against West Brom during the weekend.
Despite making substantial changes to the team, the Italian was unable to prevent a 3-0 defeat that left Chelsea needing a miracle to progress to the last 16 stage of the tournament.

If Chelsea are indeed going to exit the competition at the group stage, then it will be the first time a team that holds the competition goes out at this stage. Fernando Torres was introduced into the action only as a substitute late in the match. However, he cannot make any noteworthy contribution to the team even then. Roberto di Matteo also has said that the team first needs to strengthen the defence before focusing on attack.

"I thought this was the team to beat Juventus but if the result is negative you always face repercussions. Torres, like all players who don't start, was disappointed but he certainly has a future and we all have to pick ourselves up again. I wanted a different approach tonight and to move the three centre-backs around," said the Chelsea manager after the match. The Italian once again admitted that there is always pressure at the club like Chelsea. He is hoping that the results improve starting with the match against Manchester City this weekend.

TORRES HAPPY WITH FORM

The Chelsea striker, Fernando Torres, has said that he is very happy with the way he is playing in the current season. Torres has looked in terrific form in the matches that he has played in the ongoing season so far. Torres didn’t manage to perform well in the last season. But, it seems that he has learnt from his mistakes and has done his homework pretty well. He is looking a completely different player in this season. He is looking confident and creating much more opportunities this time around.
In the last season, Didier Drogba was the senior striker of Chelsea and Torres had struggled to get regular first team opportunities.

But, Drogba has left Chelsea this summer to join the Chinese club Shanghai Shenhua. So, Torres has been starting the matches for Chelsea in the ongoing season and he has been delivering for the club.

Torres scored a goal in the Community Shield match against Manchester City at Villa Park. Chelsea didn’t win that match, but, that goal gave Torres a whole lot of confidence. He looked in good nick in Chelsea’s opening match of the Premier League against Wigan Athletic.

He found the net in the next match against Reading to help his team win the match by 4-2. However, that was a controversial goal and the television replay showed that Torres was in an offside position when he kicked the ball.

As per Torres, it’s wonderful that he has started the season on a good note, but, he its important not to get complacent and keep working hard. These are the early days in the season and he wants to score some more goals in the further matches.

On being asked whether the team is missing Drogba, Torres said that Drogba is a fantastic player and he performed brilliantly for Chelsea in the last season. But, the team has to move ahead without him now. The team’s performance has been good in the current season so far and hopefully, the team would keep doing well in the upcoming matches.

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TORRES WILL START

Chelsea manager Roberto di Matteo has said that his likely to use the star striker Fernando Torres in the friendly match against AC Milan. Chelsea will be playing against AC Milan in what will be their final pre-season match of the US tour.

They will be playing in only one more friendly – against Brighton and Hove Albion – before taking on Manchester city in the Community shield. Due to the fact that striker Fernando Torres was not part of the first three pre-season friendlies, Chelsea manager Roberto di Matteo is also to hand the Spaniard a few minutes of action against AC Milan in order to help him return to full fitness.

The 28-year-old was given an extended break after taking part in the Euro 2012 with the Spanish national team. He managed to win the competition itself and also the Golden Boot award after having scored three goals. It finished a remarkable season for the Spaniard, who struggled during the early part of the campaign. In the end, he had managed to lift four major trophies – two with his club team and two with his international team. As a result, he has only just returned to pre-season training with his new teammates like Eden Hazard and Marko Marin.

“Fernando is going to play. It’s just a question of how much time. It will be at least 30 minutes. He has had a flight and jet lag and a few training sessions in his legs, so we will have to see,” said the Chelsea manager ahead of the match with AC Milan. Chelsea come on the back of the 3-2 defeat at the hands of the MLS all-stars. This was the first defeat of the pre-season after they had started their tour with the win over Seattle Sounders and the draw with Paris St Germain.

LEARN FROM MISTAKES

Spanish striker Fernando Torres has said that the national team should learn from the mistakes we have made in the past.

The Spanish team will be taking on France in the quarter-finals of the Euro 2012 knowing that the French have been able to avoid defeat against the Spanish in the last seven encounters between the two nations.

The most high-profile encounter between the two came in the 2006 World Cup when the two meet each other on the group stages. Back then, the French national team had the likes of the 35-year-old Zinedine Zidane, which was highly criticised by the Spanish media.

However, they were made to eat in their own words after the French defeated them 3-1 in the group stages, while also going to win the World Cup in the process. Fernando Torres has said that the Spanish national team should learn from this mistake and not be complacent against the French team that now features a lot of youngsters.

The French will be coming into the match after having recently lost their unbeaten run, which stretched to a record 22 matches. Laurent Blanc's men lost 2-0 in the final group match against Sweden, which has now made them play against Spain instead of Steven Gerrard's England.

"That day France taught us a good lesson which helped us to grow up as a team, even if only a few players remain from that time. We will hope that this time, our experience will tilt the balance of the game in our favour. France are a great side who perhaps didn't have their finest day against Sweden. We hope that against us they won't return to their best form, but if they do so we will be ready. These days, Spain, at its best, is very hard to beat," said Fernando Torres.

BOTH MIGHT START

Chelsea interim manager Roberto di Matteo has suggested that he might consider the possibility of playing both Didier Drogba and Fernando Torres in the final of the Champions League against Bayern Munich on May 19.

This is arguably the biggest match in the history of Chelsea, but Roberto di Matteo has revealed that he may make some changes to the team in order to overcome the suspensions.

Chelsea have four important players suspended for the final in the form of John Terry, Ramires, Branislav Ivanovic and Raul Meireles. As a result, they are extremely weak in the defensive positions.

Roberto di Matteo has revealed that he might try to counter-attack by going for an offensive formation that includes both Didier Drogba and Fernando Torres, despite the fact that they both are yet to score a single goal in 19 occasions they have been on the field together.

The 19th time came in the weekend against Blackburn Rovers when Roberto di Matteo played both the strikers, but they failed to score this time around as well. Bayern Munich are also suffering from suspensions, but injuries to David Luiz and Gary Cahill mean that Chelsea are even worse in terms of luck when compared to Bayern Munich.

"I tried a few things to just have a look and see how it could work out. It's always difficult because obviously it's going to be a different opposition. But I've been trying to figure out a few things," Roberto di Matteo said after the Blackburn match. However, it is extremely tough to see him changing the formation of the team that has been so effective since his arrival a few months ago. Didier Drogba is the favourite to start the match, which will also likely to be his last for Chelsea.

AVB BACKS TORRES

Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas has said that Fernando Torres is not present at Chelsea just to score goals, but to also create them as well.

Fernando Torres has come under intense criticism following his £ 50 million move to Chelsea. So far, the striker has scored only five goals in 30 matches for the club, which is one of the worst records you may find in the Premier League at the moment. Many expected Torres to come back fit and ready this season, but he has been overshadowed by the sparkling form shown by young striker Daniel Sturridge.

Now, the remarkable comments from Andre Villas-Boas is certainly going to attract some attention due to the fact that Fernando Torres is the most expensive British transfer ever. Perhaps, one of the main reasons for Fernando Torres failing is because the club did not make proper diligence when it comes to signing him.

He is often regarded as the pet purchase for owner Roman Abramovich, and as a result, managers did not exactly have a great say when it came to signing him. Fernando Torres is used to playing alongside Steven Gerrard at Liverpool, but here at Chelsea, he is employed as a lone striker. This exactly was the problem with Andre Shevchenko a few years ago and the transfer never really worked.

However, Villas-Boas reckons that Fernando Torres is much more important to the team than just his goals. “You are isolating two years to vent your opinion-making. Isolate the last four months with the goals he’s scored. In that time Torres has scored four goals in 12 matches, is that an adequate return? It’s not bad. A striker is not just there to put the ball in the net. He’s there to perform and create,” he stated.

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