Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Football: THE BIG MATCH; Chelsea V Boro at Stamford Bridge, Tomorrow, 1.30pm

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Football: THE BIG MATCH; Chelsea V Boro at Stamford Bridge, Tomorrow, 1.30pm

Article excerpt

KNOW THE FORM

CHELSEA'S comeback against Arsenal last week re-ignited their title aspirations.

The Blues are now just five points behind Manchester United and still have to play the league leaders at Stamford Bridge.

The win over the Gunners extended Chelsea's incredible unbeaten home league run to 78 games.

The victory - which had looked unlikely after they fell behind in the second half - came thanks to a late brace from Ivory Coast striker Didier Drogba.

Their last home league defeat was on February 21, 2004 when they went down 2-1 to Arsenal.

Chelsea's goal difference at Stamford Bridge this season is plus-21 compared to Boro's away goal difference of minus 12.

The Blues lost the Carling Cup final and were bundles out of the FA Cup by Barnsley but are still challenging for the Premier League and Champions League.

THE THINGS THEY SAY

CHELSEA midfielder Michael Essien says a result against Boro is imperative if Chelsea are to maintain their title challenge.

"We've shown character by storming back into contention for the title when not many people gave us a chance," the Ghana international said.

"We need that character to get through the remaining matches successfully.

"It is very important for us to beat (Manchester) United if we are to win the title. But ultimately we must win all our remaining matches to be sure."

PLAYER SPOTLIGHT

CHELSEA boss Avram Grant may be without England duo John Terry and Frank Lampard for Boro's visit.

Captain Terry was forced out of England's midweek defeat to France at half-time with a hamstring injury.

The Blues' top scorer Lampard has been suffering with a heavy cold and is doubtful for tomorrow's game.

Goalkeeper Petr Cech should have recovered from his ankle problem in time to be included in Grant's squad.

In the closing stages at Stamford Bridge, one player Boro will have to keep an eye on is Didier Drogba. The Ivory Coast international has netted seven times in the last nine games.

Nicholas Anelka looked dangerous for France on Wednesday and was upended by David James for the hosts' match-winning penalty.

KNOW THE FORM

A WIN over Derby last week opened up an eight-point gap between Boro and the relegation zone. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.