AP Photo/Tim Ireland

No World Cup for Chelsea’s Spanish trio

Leave a comment

Spain has left Chelsea trio Alvaro Morata, Marcos Alonso, and Pedro off its World Cup squad.

Also omitted were Napoli’s Jose Callejoin and Arsenal’s Hector Bellerin.

[ MORE: MLS Things — The Archive ]

Manager Julen Lopetegui did include Blues defender Cesar Azpilicueta and ex-Chelsea man Diego Costa, as well as Manchester United’s David De Gea, Arsenal’s Nacho Monreal, and Man City’s David Silva.

Spain is expected to contend for the tournament crown in Russia, led by a stellar midfield which includes Silva, Andres Iniesta, Isco, and Thiago Alcantara.

Spain is in a group with Portugal, Iran, and Morocco.

Spain’s World Cup squad

Goalkeepers: De Gea, Kepa Arrizabalaga, Pepe Reina

Defenders: Gerard Pique, Sergio Ramos, Azpilicueta, Nacho, Alvaro Odriozola, Jordi Alba, Monreal, Dani Carvajal

Midfielders: Sergio Busquets, Asensio, Iniesta, Isco, Saul Niguel, Thiago Alcantara, Koke, Silva.

Forwards: Diego Costa, Rodrigo, Iago Aspas, Lucas Vazquez.

PST’s Premier League Best XI

Getty Images
Leave a comment

We asked each of our writers to select their Best XI from the Premier League in the 2017/18 season.

[ MORE: PST’s 2017/18 season reviews ]

It’s safe to say stars from Manchester City dominated, but there are quite a few surprises in these squads too with varying formations used.

Below you can pick apart our lineups, and feel free to get involved in the comments section and send in your best XI’s too.


Joe Prince-Wright (4-3-3 formation) 

Goalkeeper: David De Gea
Defenders: Kyle Walker, Virgil Van Dijk, Jan Vertonghen, Ashley Young
Midfielders: Kevin De Bruyne, David Silva, Raheem Sterling
Forwards: Mohamed Salah, Harry Kane, Roberto Firmino


Nicholas Mendola (3-2-2-3 formation) 

Goalkeeper: David de Gea
Defenders: Jan Vertonghen, Nicolas Otamendi, James Tarkowski
Midfielders: Kante, Fernandinho, Kevin de Bruyne, David Silva
Forwards: Mohamed Salah, Harry Kane, Leroy Sane


Kyle Bonn (4-4-2 formation)
Goalkeeper: Ederson
Defenders: Kyle Walker, Jan Vertonghen, James Tarkowski, Marcos Alonso
Midfielders: Kevin De Bruyne, David Silva, Fernandinho, Leroy Sane
Forwards: Mohamed Salah, Harry Kane


Matt Reed (3-4-3 formation)

Goalkeeper: David de Gea
Defenders: Cesar Azpilicueta, Nicolas Otamendi, Jan Vertonghen
Midfielders: Kevin de Bruyne, David Silva, Christian Eriksen, Riyad Mahrez
Forwards: Leroy Sane, Harry Kane, Mohamed Salah


Dan Karell (4-3-3 formation) 

Goalkeeper: David de Gea
Defenders: Kyle Walker, Jan Vertonghen, James Tarkowski, Ashley Young
Midfielders: David Silva, Fernandinho, Kevin de Bruyne
Forwards: Mohamed Salah, Harry Kane, Leroy Sane

Chelsea 1-1 Huddersfield Town: Terriers safe

1 Comment
  • Depoitre scores
  • Alonso equalizes
  • Town out shot 22-3
  • Chelsea Top Four hopes on hold

Huddersfield Town held off a furious late rally to clinch Premier League safety and harpoon Chelsea’s Top Four hopes in a 1-1 draw at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday.

Laurent Depoitre scored for Town, and Marcos Alonso was the only one who could answer for Chelsea.

Town now has 37 points, leaving Southampton and Swansea as the only teams which can be relegated with West Brom and Stoke City.

Chelsea now has 70 points, two behind Liverpool.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Chelsea had the lion’s share of the chances, with Jonas Lossl busy as he’s been all season for the Terriers.

Yet it was Huddersfield who’d break the deadlock, as Aaron Mooy sent a long ball over the top and Wily Caballero’s clearing attempt didn’t cut muster.

The keeper was then clobbered, legally, by Depoitre, who slotted home.

Chelsea leveled in the 62nd minute, as Town’s clearance hammered Alonso in the face and went in like a purposeful header. Surely, it was not. 1-1.

An almighty 83rd minute scramble ended with Lossl’s full-extension tip of a shot off the post. It remained level.

Lossl stopped a hard 89th minute drive from Morata, and the goalkeeper collected a deflected Willian shot moments later.

Plenty of stoppage time was coming due to time wasting from Town.

 

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Chelsea beats Liverpool, keeping Top Four hopes alive

Leave a comment
  • Chelsea creeping on Top Four
  • Giroud scores winner
  • Nothing settled til Championship Sunday

Olivier Giroud‘s first half goal was enough for Antonio Conte‘s Chelsea to top Liverpool 1-0 at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.

Chelsea moves to within three points of third-place Liverpool and sits two points behind Spurs. Both London sides have two matches to play while the Reds have one.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

James Milner was fortunate to avoid discipline after a scissor challenge on Eden Hazard hobbled the Belgian in the 10th minute.

Chelsea was better money for an opening goal, and Marcos Alonso stung a shot that Loris Karius caught in the 17th.

Thibaut Courtois made a fine parry on a 30th minute Sadio Mane rip, then collected a weaker second effort from the Senegalese striker.

Giroud put Chelsea ahead in the 32nd minute, and ran into the stands to give David Luiz a hug following the marker. Tiemoue Bakayoko spotted Victor Moses on the right flank, and his cross was turned home by the meaty French forehead (Do I owe Arlo White money now?).

Fabregas’ cross was absent receiver in the 36th minute, as a back post run would’ve had Chelsea ahead by two.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Hazard worked through a hassle to set-up an early second half chance, but Moses’ cross zipped past a herd of Blues attackers.

Chelsea had a second goal ruled offside when Antonio Rudiger was clearly off to head home Giroud’s header off a corner.

Chelsea stayed stout over the final 15 minutes, and Dominic Solanke nodded a late chance wide of the goal.

PL Preview: Swansea vs. Chelsea

Getty Images
Leave a comment
  • Chelsea defender Marcos Alonso serves the second of his three-match suspension but otherwise the Blues have no fresh injury concerns.
  • A Chelsea win, in Antonio Conte‘s 73rd match, would make him the third-quickest manager in PL history to reach 50 wins, behind Jose Mourinho’s 63 matches and Pep Guardiola‘s 69.
  • Swansea City has won one of their 13 Premier League matches against Chelsea (D4 L8), a 1-0 victory in April 2016. 
  • Center-backs Federico Fernandez and Kyle Bartley are doubts for Swansea City with knee injuries, while Luciano Narsingh (ankle) will be assessed.

With both teams playing to improve their standing in the league, plenty is on the line as Swansea City hosts Chelsea Saturday afternoon. (Watch live at 12:30 p.m. ET on NBC and online via NBCSports.com)

Chelsea, just five points behind fourth-place Tottenham with three games remaining, looks to build on the momentum from last weekend’s FA Cup semifinal win by closing out the season on a high, potentially getting into the Champions League.

WATCH LIVE, ONLINE, HERE

For Swansea, which sits four points above the relegation zone, a win against a top-six side in Chelsea should be enough to keep them up and secure the great escape.

What they’re saying

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte on trying to sneak into fourth place

‘First of all we have to try to get three points. We are playing against a team fighting to avoid relegation. In the last five games at home, Swansea have won four and drawn once. It means they are in good form. If we want to continue to have hope of taking a Champions League place, we need to get three points and try to put a bit on pressure on the teams who are ahead of us. The reality is that Tottenham have a big advantage, but the only way to try to put a bit pressure on them is to get three points tomorrow.”

Swansea City manager Carlos Carvalhal on hosting Chelsea

“I have confidence in my team and in the fans also. The way we played in the last home game against Everton was the same level we played at against Liverpool and Arsenal. The only difference in that game was that the efficiency was not there, but we played very well. We are playing very well at home. We have felt the energy of the Liberty and our players feel comfortable when they are playing there. This is very important. I am sure the fans will push the team again this weekend and this will help us.”

Video Preview

Prediction

Swansea City doesn’t have a great record against Chelsea in the past and with the Blues in good form, it will be tough for the hosts to pull off a stunner. Swansea City 1-3 Chelsea