Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : December 29th 2013 Contents A53
December 29, 2013 www.guardian.co.tt Sunday Guardian
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Petr Cech believes Chelsea s
miserly defence can help beat
Liverpool in today s crunch clash
as the goalkeeper eyes another
Following clean sheets against
Arsenal and Swansea, the Czech
goalkeeper is aiming to match
Peter Bonetti s club record of 208
on his 456th appearance. Bonetti
made 729 Blues appearances.
It will not be easy at Stamford
Bridge against a Liverpool side
who have netted 43 goals in the
Premier League this season,
including 19 in 13 games for Luis
Cech, who recorded his 150th
Premier League shutout on Mon-
day at Arsenal, said on
chelseafc.com: "It is a great mile-
stone for a goalkeeper and I am
one clean sheet away from Peter
Bonetti s all-time record.
"It would obviously be fantastic
to get that in the Liverpool game."
The Liverpool contest is
Chelsea s ninth match in Decem-
ber in a month where Jose Mour-
inho s men have claimed five wins,
lost twice and drawn once.
The last two matches---a goal-
less draw at Arsenal and a 1-0
defeat of Swansea---were the first
time Chelsea had kept consecutive
clean sheets in the Premier League
Cech hopes the stubborn streak
Cech eyeing Chelsea record
continues against a Liverpool side bid-
ding to respond from their defeat at
Mourinho s title favourites Manchester
"Beating Swansea with the other
results that day was an important three
points and now we are in a good posi-
tion to go face to face with Liverpool,"
"You need everybody to do as much
as possible to defend and not give
away cheap goals because, as the
fatigue accumulates in this hectic peri-
od, it becomes more difficult to find
the energy to overturn games.
"When you get the lead and keep
a clean sheet it is more easy to win
"Against Swansea we had chances
when we could have killed the game
off but we had to fight until the last
second and we did well.
"Sometimes it is difficult when you
have two games against main rivals
and between you have a game every-
body says that you should win. It is
not easy to concentrate and in that
respect we did very well.
"I had one save to make all game
and we did well at Arsenal and back-
to-back cleansheets is very positive
"If we can score more goals it will
become easier for us."
Cech s continued good form means
Mourinho s summer goalkeeping
quandary could become increasingly
Belgium goalkeeper Thibaut Cour-
tois is on loan at Atletico Madrid for
a third season and impressing and
attracting admirers, including
Bet on Chelsea v Liverpool with Sky
Another Belgian in a rich vein of
form is Eden Hazard, who netted the
winner against Swansea for his seventh
Premier League goal of the season.
Hazard will be hoping for another
strong display against a Liverpool team
expected to provide a stern test.
"A big match, another big match,"
Hazard told Chelsea TV.
"They play very well. They have the
best scorer with Suarez. "(Steven) Ger-
rard is injured, and (Daniel) Sturridge.
Good for us.
"But they re a very, very strong team
and it will be difficult."
Chelsea will be without midfielder
Ramires, who is suspended for one
game after picking up a fifth booking
of the season against Swansea.
Frank Lampard is likely to return to
the starting line-up in place of
Ramires, while Cesar Azpilicueta and
Gary Cahill are in line to return in
defence at the expense of Ashley Cole
and David Luiz.
Fernando Torres could start up front
against his former club as Mourinho
rotates his options.
Torres has two Premier League goals
all season, with Chelsea s strikers hav-
ing a total of five; Samuel Eto o has
two and Demba Ba one.
Former Chelsea striker Jimmy Floyd
Hasselbaink believes the forward posi-
tion is the Blues Achilles heel.
"If they had a Suarez or (Sergio)
Aguero, they would be top of the
league now and a few points clear,"
Hasselbaink, who scored 87 goals in
177 appearances, told BBC One s Foot-
ball Focus. They can keep clean sheets.
They still need an out-and-out
goalscorer. Somebody who is going to
score you 25 goals."
It is something Mourinho has
acknowledged, but the Portuguese has
insisted Chelsea will only recruit in
January in exceptional circumstances
and that the calibre of striker he covets
is not available in the winter transfer
Petr Cech believes Chelsea's miserly defence can help beat Liverpool in
today's crunch clash.
Manager Arsene Wenger is confi-
dent Arsenal can again come through
another severe test of their title cre-
dentials when the Barclays Premier
League leaders head to Newcastle
The Gunners moved back to the top
of the table after they recovered to
beat West Ham 3-1 at Upton Park on
Boxing Day, having gone behind at the
start of the second half before Theo
Walcott s double salvo and Lukas
Podolski s crisp strike put the visitors
back on course.
There is, though, little time for
Wenger s squad to revel in their lofty
position as the hectic festive schedule
continues at St James Park on Sunday
against a team fast closing in on the
top four following the 5-1 demolition
of Stoke which was a seventh victory
in nine Premier League games.
"Newcastle are in full confidence,
they are doing well and won again on
Boxing Day with a big score," said
"Loic Remy is a very good striker,
very quick and makes very good runs,
so we have to keep him quiet. That
will all be another test, but our team
wants to do well, the character is great
and our concentration is top."
Arsenal will be without Wales mid-
fielder Aaron Ramsey for the rest of
the festive matches, possibly even the
third-round FA Cup date with Tot-
tenham on January 4, after he limped
off at Upton Park with a thigh prob-
Ramsey is due to undergo a scan
and Wenger will be hoping that does
not reveal a muscle tear which could
keep the Wales international out for
a longer period.
Wenger, though, does have some
options, with Podolski back from a
four-month hamstring injury lay-off,
while Czech playmaker Tomas Rosicky
was left out completely on Boxing Day
and England international Jack
Wilshere is back from his two-game
Wenger ready for next test
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