Tag Archives: Leighton Baines

Chelsea looking to tighten their grip on top spot against local rivals Fulham

Chelsea return to Premier League action tomorrow afternoon with the short trip to bottom of the table Fulham.

Eden Hazard and Jon Obi Mikel should feature, though neither completed ninety minutes against Galatasaray midweek after shaking off their respective knocks, while David Luiz will be assessed ahead of the game.

Goals from Oscar and Mikel secured victory for the Blues when the sides met at Stamford Bridge back in September, and another three points for Jose Mourinho’s men will ensure that they stay in first place.

However, if they fail to win Arsenal will be able to leapfrog them into pole position with victory at Stoke City, while third place Manchester City are playing in the Capital One Cup final at Wembley on Sunday.

Meanwhile, Ashley Cole has been named in Roy Hodgon’s England squad for next Wednesday’s friendly international against Denmark at Wembley.

The 33 year old will have the chance to win his 107th cap, though he will be up against fellow left-backs Leighton Baines and reported Chelsea target Luke Shaw – the latter of which the only as yet uncapped player in the thirty-man party.

Fellow Blues defender Gary Cahill has also been included, as has midfielder Frank Lampard.

Lampard set for special night

Frank Lampard will captain England against Chile at Wembley this evening, on a night where he will receive his Golden Cap.

He will be handed the honour, which is given to any England player who reaches over 100 international appearances, by two men who have been heavily involved in his career – father Frank Snr and Sir Geoff Hurst.

Should he play both tonight and against Germany on Tuesday, Lampard will move to within one cap of Billy Wright, while his Blues teammate Ashley Cole is also currently on 105 caps, and will hope to add to that tally over the next few days.

However, the former Arsenal man is facing still competition from Leighton Baines for a starting place both this weekend and at next summer’s World Cup finals in Brazil.

Manager Roy Hodgson has expressed his joy at his wealth of options in the left-back position with Arsenal’s Kieron Gibbs and Southampton’s Luke Shaw pushing both Cole and Baines in the hope of game time.

Elsewhere, Manchester United are set to offer Wayne Rooney a contract worth around £52m in a hope to bury any interest Chelsea have in signing him.

The forward has been in fine form this season having been strongly linked with a move to Stamford Bridge during the summer.

 

Cole ruled out of Poland game

Ashley Cole has been ruled out of England’s crucial World Cup qualifier against Poland tomorrow evening, as he struggles to recover from a rib injury, the Express understands.

The 32 year old sat out of the Three Lions’ 4-1 win over Montenegro on Friday evening having been substituted with the knock in the Blues win over Norwich City the previous weekend.

Roy Hodgson had been keen to have Cole available for the final group game, despite having a more than able back up to select in the shape of Everton’s Leighton Baines.

England will guarantee qualification for next summer’s World Cup finals in Brazil with three points at Wembley, while anything but victory will almost certainly see Ukraine – who play San Marino, leapfrog them into first place.

Meanwhile, Chelsea are considering a £25m move for Juventus midfielder Paul Pogba in January, according to the Metro.

The France international moved to Turin last summer, after not being offered a contract with Manchester United – the club where he began his career.

He has since made almost fifty appearances for the Serie A Champions – scoring seven goals, and has  been capped for times by France manager and former Blues midfielder Didier Deschamps.