Posts Tagged ‘ Frank Lampard ’

Rubin Kazan vs Chelsea Europa League Preview: Visitors looking to protect two-goal aggregate lead in Moscow

Torres headed goal

 

PROBABLE LINEUPS

 

RUBIN KAZAN

Ryzhikov
Kaleshin, Navas, Sharonov, Ansaldi
Orbaiz, Natcho,
Kasaev, Eremenko, Karadeniz
 
Rondon
CHELSEA

Cech
Azpilicueta, Ivanovic, Terry, Ake
Lampard, Mikel,
Moses, Oscar
, Hazard
Torres

Vladimir Dyadyun will compete for a place up front with Salomon Rondon for the hosts, who have no injury concerns to speak of.

Cesar Navas, Ivan Marcano and Roman Sharonov will fight for two places in the centre of defence, while Oleg Kuzmin may replace Gokdeniz Karadeniz on the right-hand side of midfield.

Chelsea face a potential dilemma at left-back, with the injured Ashley Cole’s (hamstring) usual deputy Ryan Bertrand (virus) unfit to travel. Nathan Ake is the club’s only other natural left-back, while Paulo Ferreira could fill in from his preferred right-back position.

Gary Cahill is still a couple of weeks away from returning after undergoing minor arthroscopic surgery to shave the meniscus on the knee he damaged in last month’s win against West Ham.

With Demba Ba cup-tied, Fernando Torres will continue up front, having scored twice in the first leg at Stamford Bridge.

David Luiz, Ramires and Juan Mata are likely to be rested after playing three games in less than a week, so John Terry, Frank Lampard and Victor Moses should come into the starting line-up.

  • Chelsea have won all five of their previous games against Russian sides, conceding just twice in the process.
  • The Blues beat Spartak Moscow 2-0 on their last visit to the Luzhniki Stadium, in the 2010-11 Champions League group stage.
  • John Terry  will make his 100th European appearance if he plays in Moscow.
  • Rubin‘s only previous home game against English opponents resulted in a 1-0 win over Tottenham in last season’s Europa League.
  • However, the Russians’ only three defeats in their last 22 European ‘home’ games have come when hosting their matches in Moscow, as opposed to their Tsentralnyi Stadion in Kazan.
  • Having already eliminated Europa League winners Atletico Madrid in the round of 32, Rubin could complete an unlikely double of knocking out the holders of both of last season’s European trophies if they overcome Champions League holders Chelsea.

Lampard Proves the Blues’ Hero Again

Lampard celebrating 200th goal

 

Frank Lampard has made a habit of stealing the headlines throughout a glorious 12 years at Stamford Bridge, and he did just that again on Sunday. On an afternoon where the performance of Eden Hazard in Chelsea’s 2-0 victory over West Ham United would normally have taken center stage, the real story was of Lampard scoring his 200th goal in his 595th game the club’s colors. The goal, which came in the 19th minute on a header from a Hazard cross, made the score 1-0 at the time.

And how fitting that his landmark strike should come against former club West Ham, who sold him for £11 million to Chelsea in 2001? Oh, how they must be ruing the day they let him leave East London. More significant from Lampard’s perspective, however, is Sunday’s goal brings the 34-year-old a step closer to Bobby Tambling’s record of 202 for Chelsea—a record that has stood since 1970, when Lampard wasn’t even born.

It was a vintage performance against the Hammers. Lampard has developed a tendency in recent years of scoring against West Ham, and with the added incentive of becoming just the second player in Chelsea’s history to reach 200 goals, he raised his game that bit further. Indeed, had it not been for West Ham keeper Jussi Jaaskelainen, the England international could very well have broken Tambling’s record Sunday by adding more than his 19th-minute score.

Arriving with one of his trademark late runs into the box, Lampard saw the Finnish stopper save well on more than one occasion, while he was also at it with the likes of Juan Mata, Demba Ba and Hazard, who were all denied at some point.

Chelsea dominated this match from the outset, showing very little sign of fatigue in the wake of Thursday’s Europa League victory over Steaua Bucharest. At the heart of the action was Hazard. The Belgian scored the second of the afternoon shortly after the interval, a wonderful strike following his assist for Lampard to open the scores in the first half.

He is proving a fine capture and one who has everything and more to emulate the achievements of his teammate. On Sunday, he was overshadowed by Lampard, however, and the afternoon belonged firmly to the veteran midfielder.

Hitting 200 goals would be a remarkable feat for a striker in the modern game, so that Lampard has scaled such heights from midfield just outlines all the more what an incredible talent he has proved for Chelsea in this past decade.

He brings so much more than goals, but when his time comes and Blues fans reminisce, it will be that outstanding statistic that reminds them of Lampard’s legend.

So it’s a double ton for Lampard, with five of them coming against West Ham. Not exactly what the Hammers had in mind when they agreed to transfer the England international way back when.

Chelsea vs West Ham EPL Preview: Blues looking to maintain push for top-four finish

Chelsea Team celebrating

 

PROBABLE LINEUPS

 

CHELSEA

Cech
Azpilicueta, Luiz, Terry, Cole
Ramires, Lampard
Moses, Mata, Oscar
Torres

WEST HAM

Jaaskelainen
Demel, Collins, Reid, O’Brien
Jarvis, Collison, O’Neil, Diame, Vaz Te
Carroll

Chelsea boss Rafael Benitez is expected to make some changes from the starting XI which beat Steaua Bucharest on Thursday, but club captain John Terry is likely to keep his place ahead of Gary Cahill.

Frank Lampard is set to come straight back into the side, while Victor Moses is also pushing for a recall. Up front, Fernando Torres could get an opportunity to get on a goalscoring run after netting in the Europa League, with Demba Ba having to settle for a place on the bench. Long-term absentee Oriol Romeu (knee) remains sidelined.

As for the visitors, Sam Allardyce will be looking to build on their 1-0 win at Stoke in their previous match. Ricardo Vaz Te may get a starting berth with the away side looking for extra pace going forward.

On loan Liverpool forward Andy Carroll will again lead the line. Joe Cole (hamstring) is set to miss out on facing his former side, while George McCartney (knee) and Kevin Nolan (ankle) are also sidelined.

  • Chelsea‘s Fernando Torres , scored only his second goal of 2013 against Steaua in the Europa League on Thursday. The other one was in the FA Cup against Brentford.
  • The Blues have the joint-second best scoring record in the Premier League along with Liverpool – with 56 goals. Only Manchester United (68) have netted more.
  • The meeting between the two teams earlier in the season finished in a 3-1 West Ham win. Mata gave the Blues an early lead before second half goals from Carlton Cole, Mohammed Diame and Modibo Maiga.
  • The Hammers are the joint-lowest scorers away from home in the league along with Stoke City – they’ve both scored 9 goals.
  • West Ham have only won two of their last eight games in the league – 1-0 wins against Swansea City and Stoke.
  • Three of the last four Premier League games between Chelsea and West Ham have featured over three goals.

Biggest English Premier League Stars at Risk of Summer Transfers

Luis Suarez

Suarez holding his headSince his arrival at Anfield in January 2011, two things have been synonymous with Luis Suarez’s foray into English football: controversial episodes and virtuoso performances. As Liverpool continue to go through a season of transition, the Uruguayan frontman has been a constant source of hope and delight.

With 18 league goals in 26 appearances, Suarez has proved to be a quasi messiah for the red half of Liverpool, with fans subsequently worshiping him in such a way. Sitting eighth in the table, they are eight points adrift of that wondrous fifth-placed gateway finish that would bring European football next season, to a stadium which would almost not know what to do with itself if devoid of any continental competition.

Having crashed out of both domestic cup competitions at early stages, Liverpool can now—reluctantly or otherwise—prioritise on that hallowed league finish. The caveat being: Does this appease the competitive and ambitious Suarez?

Worries exist within Anfield that the creative player, capable of playing either behind the striker in a “trequartista” role or as a lone frontman, may look to move to a club that is competing in Europe’s premier competition at present, rather than in the future pretence that Brendan Rodgers craves.

Pep Guardiola, fresh from his year-long sabbatical of delivering trophies and known to be an admirer of Suarez, will resume his career at Bayern Munich this summer. With Suarez today saying he would consider a move to Germany, Guardiola could exploit the fact that his brother, Pere, represents the Uruguayan.

Gareth Bale

West Ham United v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier LeaguePurchased for £10 million from Southampton during that heady summer of 2007, the Welsh international took a while to find his feet at White Hart Lane. Two seasons and 25 games, in fact.  Battling injury and inconsistent form, Bale was very almost shipped out during the 2009-10 transfer window: Nottingham Forest offered a loan move, whilst Birmingham City made a tentative permanent bid. Only 20, the youngster was frustrated at having been involved in 25 league games and not once experiencing victory.

As soon as that changed—during a 5-0 thrashing of newly promoted Burnley—the floodgates opened. Despite having to compete with the in-form Benoit Assou-Ekotto, Bale showed promise, potential and prodigious talent. Fast-forward a season, to a Champions League tie with Italian giants Inter Milan, and Bale has just left the experienced and once-revered Brazilian left-back Maicon for dead for the third time. Delivering an impressive hat-trick, it may not have been enough to avert a 4-3 defeat to the then-champions of Europe, but the world sat up and paid attention to this lad from South Wales.

This season, under new coach Andre Villas-Boas, Bale has thrived. Anybody who saw his two goals against West Ham on Monday night will see that the previous hoodoo he experienced—that winless streak, that inconsistency, that finding of feet—could be put down to teething trouble. What is not in doubt is that this summer, bids may well rain in for the Premier League’s hottest property. Chairman Daniel Levy, an expert at negotiation who managed to sell Michael Carrick for £18 million, will expect top dollar.

Spain could be a probable destination. Barcelona’s Dani Alves has already publicly stated he would like to see the Welshman become the latest addition at the Nou Camp. Whilst the hierarchy of Real Madrid are also known to be big admirers of his barnstorming playing style—compared to that of a certain Portuguese player—but the expected managerial upheaval may go against them.

Samir Nasri

Samir Nasri dribblingAfter hitting the high notes during the 2010/11 season, both Manchester teams tussled over his signature in a much-publicised transfer saga. In the end, City were victorious, nabbing the Frenchman for a fee reported to be around £25 million. And the investment paid off. In his debut season at the Etihad, Samir Nasri was a pivotal component of the Citizens’ title-winning team.

With nine assists and five goals in 31 appearances, he became a fan favourite, a feat aided by his goading of former club Arsenal during a feisty encounter. But this season, he has struggled to replicate that same scintillating form, with City boss Roberto Mancini recently accusing him of complacency. The writing was on the wall during December’s Manchester derby when he ducked out of the way of a Robin van Persie free-kick, allowing United to nick a 3-2 victory.

One thing is not in doubt: Nasri still has a lot to offer. With near-360-degree vision and the ability to pick out a teammate with a ball through the eye of the needle, the 25-year-old still has a promising career ahead of him.

But one can pontificate whether that is in Manchester or elsewhere. As Mancini prepares for the summer and the season post-mortem that comes with it, it’s looking likely he will stay in a job: chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak has not given the Italian the double-edged, and often ominous, “vote of confidence” but has remained patient.

Preparing for next season, this summer may see a radical overhaul at the Ethad. There will be no room for passengers, and Nasri may head the departure line. Cash-rich Paris Saint-Germain may prove a favourable destination: A return to his homeland could rejuvenate the Frenchman’s performances.

Nani

Manchester United v Reading - FA Cup Fifth RoundIn a season where Manchester United’s defence has been placed under the microscope, it is unexpected that a midfielder should be the one fearing for his place in Sir Alex Ferguson’s squad.

But that is what has been recently reported. With contract talks being prolonged and drawn-out, as well as several seasons of frustrating performances, Luis Nani may soon be heading out of Old Trafford.

He has delivered key performances. During that 4-0 FA Cup thumping of Arsenal in February 2008—who were then only three years without a trophy—he nonchalantly submitted a man of the match performance: two goals scored and the whole of the Arsenal team riled by his apparent “showboating” of juggling the ball on his head. He is a capable member of Ferguson’s squad. He has been known to step it up and grab a game by the scruff of its neck.

This was apparent only last week when, against Reading in the FA Cup, he arose from the bench around the 40 minute mark. After less than an hour on the pitch he had a goal and an assist to his name as United ran out 2-1 winners.

During the recent transfer window, Tottenham were rumoured to have submitted a bid. Whilst they were told nothing would come to fruition, the same cannot be said for this summer. With his contract due to expire next year, he has also been linked with a move to Russian giants Zenit St Petersburg.

And with Crystal Palace’s prodigious England international Wilfried Zaha arriving in the summer—a winger-cum-striker who plays almost in the mould of Nani—the Portuguese midfielder may wish to mimic Ronaldo and depart after six trophy-laden seasons.

Frank Lampard

Frank LampardOne Chelsea player who cemented his place in the club’s folklore that season was Frank Lampard. Born in East London, it is West London where he will be forever fondly cherished and remembered. His ascension to club icon status will be further consolidated when, not if, he can score four more goals to take his Chelsea haul to 203 goals, thus surpassing Bobby Tambling’s 43-year-old record.

With all that in mind, and Lampard continuing to defy his 34 years of age and playing like someone 10 years his junior, why is it he is in the final months of his contract without an extension being offered?

It is well-documented that the inside activities of Chelsea are a myth: Di Matteo’s sacking, Jose Mourinho’s sudden departure, the random purchases of players (Jiri Jarosik, anyone?). But with chairman, owner and chief-in-arms Roman Abramovich’s refusal to budge on his stance, fans and pundits have been left scratching their heads.

If he does choose to depart—and, barring a last minute Abramovich change of heart, it looks likely he will—Lampard should find himself overwhelmed with suitors. As well as his phenomenal goal haul from midfield, Lampard is also a seasoned international, only six caps short of completing his century. Following the renaissance of Paul Scholes and the age-defying accomplishments of Ryan Giggs, a transfer to Manchester United could be a possibility as Lampard would certainly fill the creative void that currently plagues the Old Trafford side.

Failing that, he may move abroad. After David Beckham’s departure, there is a current vacancy at LA Galaxy for an English superstar with a gilded right foot. As well as enjoying time away from the glare of the British media, Lampard would fit the bill.

Options exist in Europe. Andrea Pirlo recently talked of his admiration for Lampard; a move to Juventus could be on the cards.

Talent Watch: Joshua McEachran

Joshua McEachran

 

19 year-old midfielder Joshua McEachran may have thought 2011/2012 would have been his breakthrough season but with Chelsea in disarray it was no time to throw the talented wonderkid into the limelight. Signing for Swansea on loan in the January 2012 transfer window many believed it would be an ideal pairing but with Swansea side in fine form, first team opportunities have been limited. Hailed as one of England’s finest prospects, he has been described as Chelsea’s Jack Wilshere. The England Under-21 international who is contracted at Stamford Bridge until 2016 is fully expected to make the grade at Chelsea and is seen as the idea heir to Frank Lampard. Comfortable on the left or in the middle, McEachran was one of Chelsea’s pivotal players in their FA Youth Cup final win against Aston Villa. Despite his small physique, McEachran has already displayed extraordinary vision and creativity. With excellent technique, McEachran has a fine range of passing and is able to unlock defences with his close control on the ball and composure. With a good football brain, the starlet is able to create space. It is perhaps at international youth level where McEachran has impressed most and represented and captained England at Under-16 level and played a key role in the England U17 side which won the 2010 U17 European Championships.

n 17 January 2012, McEachran completed a loan move to Swansea City. On finalising the deal he told Blues News that he was looking forward to working under former Chelsea reserves coach and Swansea manager Brendan Rodgers. ‘I want to get game time to be honest, and it will be good playing for Brendan. Swansea play really good football and I’m looking forward to it.’ McEachran was given the number 17 jersey. McEachran made his debut for Swansea City against Sunderland coming off the bench in the 66th minute for Gylfi Sigurðsson, the match ended 2–0 loss for Swansea City. McEachran made his first start for Swansea in a FA Cup match against Bolton Wanderers which ended in a 1–2 defeat.

On 20 August 2012, McEachran completed a loan move to Championship club Middlesbrough on a season long loan. After his move to Middlesbrough, McEachran says he joined the club in order first team opportunities and fight his place under manager Roberto Di Matteo. He made his debut appearance for Middlesbrough the next day, in a 3–2 victory against Burnley. He became regular for Boro, creating a strong midfield partnership with Grant Leadbitter .

Honours


FA Youth Cup: 2010
UEFA Under-17 Championship : 2010
Chelsea Young Player of the Year (1): 2011
Oxfordshire Sport Award: Sport Man of the Year 2010

Brentford vs Chelsea FA Cup Preview: West London rivals lock horns for the first time since 1950

Mata celebrating

 

Brentford manager Uwe Rosler will be without on-loan Everton defender Jack Bidwell for the visit of European champions Chelsea after the youngster was sent off in Tuesday’s 2-2 draw with Leyton Orient.

Veteran midfielder Kevin O’Connor (ankle) will also be out, as is Farid El Alagui (knee).

Harry Forrester was rested against Orient in the week and he should return along with Fulham loan star Marcello Trotta and defender Shaleum Logan.

Chelsea will be without Belgium attacker Eden Hazard as he starts a three-game ban following his controversial red card for kicking a ballboy at Swansea City on Wednesday.

Captain John Terry may make a first start following his steady recovery from a knee problem but Rafa Benitez will be without Yossi Benayoun and Oriol Romeu (both knee).

  • Brentford currently lie third in League One, six points behind joint leaders Tranmere and Doncaster Rovers.
  • The Bees have only reached the fifth round of the FA Cup on six occasions since the Second World War.
  • Striker Clayton Donaldson is second in the League One scoring charts this season – he has 15 strikes. He is also joint-second in the scoring charts for the FA Cup, with four goals to his name.
  • Chelsea will have played their west London neighbours Fulham, QPR and Brentford in the same season for the first time ever following this cup tie.
  • The Blues are the current holders of the FA Cup, having defeated Liverpool 2-1 in last year’s final. They have won the competition on seven occasions.
  • Of all the Premier League players to score more than five goals this season, Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard , has the best conversion rate of shots to goals (42 per cent).
  • Brentford and Chelsea are separated by just six miles but have not played each other competitively since meeting in this competition 63 years ago.
  • Brentford’s Griffin Park stadium famously has a pub on each of the four corners of the ground. Supporters may be pushed for time to frequent all of them before Sunday’s game, however, with kick-off set for 12.00.

Report: Lampard Move from Chelsea to LA Galaxy Is “Done Deal”

Frank Lampard

 

The Frank Lampard transfer saga seems to be over as the Chelsea midfielder is reported to have a done deal in place to move to the Los Angeles Galaxy in the summer.

Goal.com reported on Thursday night that the 34-year-old midfielder has a tentative agreement in place to join the Galaxy this summer.

Lampard has been the topic of transfer speculation over the past month with Chelsea willing to let the club legend leave this summer.

The England international would replace David Beckham as a big-name England international playing in the Galaxy midfield.

Lampard would be the latest club legend to leave Stamford Bridge with Didier Drogba leaving for Chinese club Shanghai Shenhua this past summer.

The Blues have installed a transfer policy focused on bringing in young players over the past few transfer windows, a policy that has seen Lampard being placed on the bench more often than he is used to this season.

With young talent that includes Ramires, Oscar, Eden Hazard and others in the Chelsea midfield, the Blues have sought midfielders that will be roaming the pitch at Stamford Bridge for years to come as replacements for Lampard.

For Major League Soccer, this is a huge capture for a league that was looking to replace Beckham with a star that was not only a big name, but a player that could thrive in Los Angeles under manager Bruce Arena.

The two-time defending MLS Cup champions add Lampard to a roster that is full of international superstars like Robbie Keane and Landon Donovan.

Lampard has seen a boost in his form of late with five goals in his last six EPL matches, two of those goals came against Everton on December 30.

When Lampard enters the league this summer, he will take the place of Beckham not only as the club’s third designated player, but as the club’s midfield ace.