West Bromwich Albion v Chelsea: match preview

Tony Pulis will have welcomed the international break to give him time to mastermind an upturn in form but, with the champions in town, one wonders whether the Welshman needed longer to prepare. Antonio Conte has fond memories of the Hawthorns after Chelsea secured the title there last season and the Italian will be demanding another win to stay in touch with Manchester City. Graham Searles Kick-off Saturday 3pm Continue reading...

David Luiz returns to squad while Conte insists youngsters are ‘future of Chelsea’

• Brazil defender could face West Bromwich Albion after being dropped
• ‘His exclusion was a technical decision’ insists Antonio ConteDavid Luiz will be in the Chelsea squad to face West Bromwich Albion this weekend, Antonio Conte has confirmed. The Chelsea manager said the Brazilian will be considered for selection having been confined to the stands for the club’s previous fixture, a victory over Manchester United. Continue reading...

Football transfer rumours: Chelsea’s David Luiz to Manchester United?

Today’s fluff won’t let hard times stand in our way Having been one of the mainstays of Chelsea’s title-winning campaign last season, this season David Luiz played all but three minutes of the first eight league games for which he was available (there was also a two-match suspension), then got dropped once and suddenly he’s ready to flounce out of the club altogether. He is, report the Star in their back-page exclusive, “said to be extremely unhappy following his bust-up with Antonio Conte” and also “frustrated that the club’s hierarchy have not backed him” and therefore “could be set for a reunion with José Mourinho”. That’s right, the grumpy Portuguese tactician “is ready to step in” and whisk the centre-back to Manchester, caring not a hoot that Chelsea are “sure to want at least the £34m they paid” for the frizz-faced ace. And Luiz is happy to work once Continue reading "Football transfer rumours: Chelsea’s David Luiz to Manchester United?"

Premier League health check: the overachievers and underperformers | Paul Wilson

The table doesn’t lie but teams such as Burnley and Brighton are exceeding all expectations while Swansea and Everton have disappointed badly. Here’s how the 20 sides rank based on early-season health and vigourThey say the league table never lies, and this is of course true. What they don’t tell you is that during the dog days of an international break, when nothing falls or rises and hopes and fears are put on temporary hold, the narrative becomes a bit less compelling. You get sick of looking at the same thing, in other words, although Burnley, Brighton, Watford and Huddersfield will probably never tire of waiting for winter and the real meat of the season from a position in the top half of the table. As far as the first third of the season goes, some of those clubs are among the big winners, simply for delighting their fans Continue reading "Premier League health check: the overachievers and underperformers | Paul Wilson"

Premier League health check: the overachievers and underperformers | Paul Wilson

The table doesn’t lie but teams such as Burnley and Brighton are exceeding all expectations while Swansea and Everton have disappointed badly. Here’s how the 20 sides rank based on early-season health and vigourThey say the league table never lies, and this is of course true. What they don’t tell you is that during the dog days of an international break, when nothing falls or rises and hopes and fears are put on temporary hold, the narrative becomes a bit less compelling. You get sick of looking at the same thing, in other words, although Burnley, Brighton, Watford and Huddersfield will probably never tire of waiting for winter and the real meat of the season from a position in the top half of the table. As far as the first third of the season goes, some of those clubs are among the big winners, simply for delighting their fans Continue reading "Premier League health check: the overachievers and underperformers | Paul Wilson"

Chelsea sink Rosengard to ease into Champions League quarter-finals

• Rosengard 0-1 Chelsea (agg: 0-4)
• Ji So-yun scores winner in 53rd minuteChelsea are through to the Women’s Champions League quarter-finals for the first time after they beat Rosengard 1-0 in Malmo for a 4-0 win on aggregate. The away goal was scored in the 53rd minute by Ji So-yun, who met Crystal Dunn’s pass from the left with a first-time shot that appeared to take a deflection off Glodis Viggosdottir. Continue reading...

José Mourinho mistakes with De Bruyne, Lukaku and Salah haunt Chelsea | Tim Lewis

Portuguese’s name should be mud for allowing the Premier League’s three best players at the moment to slip through the Stamford Bridge net. Another Chelsea talent drain must not be allowed to happen Dick Rowe, the head of A&R at Decca Records in the 60s, was a kingmaker in the music industry. He signed the Rolling Stones in 1963, gave Van Morrison his break and launched the career of Tom Jones. But Rowe isn’t really known for any of these coups. He’s the idiot who rejected the Beatles. “We don’t like their sound,” it’s said that he told their manager, Brian Epstein. “And guitar music is on the way out.” Decca offered a contract to Brian Poole and the Tremeloes instead. There are similar oversights in all creative industries. Sport is no exception: what, for example, if there was someone who managed to let the three best players in Continue reading "José Mourinho mistakes with De Bruyne, Lukaku and Salah haunt Chelsea | Tim Lewis"