Derby Time in London – Chelsea get ready for Tottenham this weekend

19/10/2012 no comments »
Derby Time in London – Chelsea get ready for Tottenham this weekend

International Action

As the squad return from international duty, the players’ focus will no doubt be on the two big games coming up in the next week. Ashley Cole took a step closer to his international century and was one of several Chelsea players in World Cup qualification action over the last week.

However, Cole was rested for the first of England’s qualification double header, when Gary Cahill played the full 90 minutes of a comfortable 5-0 win over San Marino. However, the left-back returned to the team for his 99th cap as a Three Lions side missing the injured Frank Lampard and Ryan Bertrand drew 1-1 in Poland, a day later than planned due to a torrential downpour in Warsaw on Tuesday, to go clear at the top of their group.

There was a meeting of two Blues as Serbia captain Branislav Ivanovic faced Eden Hazard’s Belgium, with the latter emerging on top with a 3-0 win. Kevin De Bruyne, on loan at Werder Bremen, scored for Belgium before they recorded a second win over Scotland.

There was also a good week for Petr Cech, who captained the Czech Republic to a 3-1 victory over Malta before recording a clean sheet with a 0-0 draw against Bulgaria.

Away from World Cup duty, Victor Moses scored twice and John Mikel Obi once as Nigeria beat Liberia 6-1 to secure qualification for the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations, which begins on 19 January, before returning to Cobham ahead of the rest of their fellow Blues internationals.

GULLIT BACKS BLUES SUCCESS

Chelsea return to action after the international break with a tricky away double-header against Tottenham Hotspur and Shakhtar Donetsk – but former Blues Manager Ruud Gullit is backing us to take three points away from White Hart Lane.

Once a happy hunting ground for the boys from west London, we have not tasted victory at the home of Spurs since a 2-0 win in 2005. We have, however, taken a point from our trips in 2011 and 2010, and Gullit thinks we could improve on that this time.

“It’s going to be tough, they are a good team as well and I’m looking forward to the game,” said the man who once masterminded a 6-1 win at the ground. “Tottenham are a team full of confidence and that means they will look to attack – if they do that there will be more room in behind their defence to take advantage of.”

That lunchtime assignment will be followed up by a first-ever trip to the home of Shakhtar Donetsk. The Ukrainian side are coached by Mircea Lucescu – the last visiting manager to lead a side to victory in a Champions League group game at Stamford Bridge!

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