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THE
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Discussion Starter #1
On Sunday
Morris is out for the rest of the season. He had surgery on his ankle on Wednesday – an ankle that has troubled him on and off for several years – and he will use the summer break to make a full recovery.

Five players missed the draw at Blackburn on Wednesday.

Celestine Babayaro strained a groin in training the Friday before we played Derby and Gallas who received a kick from Ravanelli and Jesper Gronkjaer who was injured in a penalty area collision both went off in that game.

Babayaro and Gronkjaer started running on Monday, Gallas has been working for full fitness all week, and all have yet to prove they are fully fit.

Mikael Forssell has been injured since the match at Ipswich on Easter Monday which he started. Graeme Le Saux suffered a mild calf strain on Monday of this week in training. Both started running yesterday. Both could yet be involved on Sunday.

At this stage, it is unlikely that all five will be fit and unlikely that all five won’t be. Recovery rates are expected to be different for each injury, but Claudio Ranieri is optimistic that he will have a strong squad in the end.
 

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Zola hopes to start in FA Cup....

LONDON, April 13 (DS)- Chelsea FC legend Gianfranco Zola has begged manager Claudio Ranieri to hand him a final FA Cup chance, Mirror reported.

The Italian has made only several appearances this season, with Ranieri preferring Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink and Eidur Gudjohnsen striking duo.

Zola, 35, said: "It has been difficult for me and I don't like it but it is just part of the game. It has been unusual for me to be left out.

"When I signed my contract I knew I would be competing against the younger players, but I'm not afraid of fighting for my place in the team and it makes me want to win more.

"I still very much have the much different side which included the likes of Frank Leboeuf, Tore Andre Flo and Dennis Wise saw off Aston Villa 1-0 at Wembley."

Zola admits it is impossible to compare the Blues teams of past and present, but is confident Ranieri has started to gel a team which can finally live up to the expectations of chairman Ken
Bates and begin to dominate the domestic scene.

He said: "It is difficult to compare teams which I've played for in different years as the team in 2000 was one which had been very successful and it was a great time for the fans.

"However, this is a team which can potentially achieve something. We have dropped form sometimes in games when we could have done better, but when we have played against the top teams we have done well.

"This team is younger than the team of 2000 and we are doing well and are on the verge of doing even better."
 

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Keyboard Hero
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Chelsea-Fulham
3-1


Come on you BLUES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

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FA Cup SF Preview: Chelsea V Fulham
Chelsea - Fulham | News Archive

Can Jimmy be stopped by Fulham? (allsport)
04/13/2002. BACKGROUND

The bitter West London rivals Fulham and Chelsea meet in the second FA Cup semi-final on Sunday evening at Villa Park. Both teams could do with a cup win to appease their fans after a season which has fallen beneath their expectations - especially for Jean Tigana's Fulham as his job has been rumoured to be in question after a dreadful run in form. Chelsea's boss Claudio Ranieri has overcome a sticky start to his managerial career and was rewarded with a new five year contract just yesterday, however many regard it as a travesty that a team of Chelsea's quality has not been involved in the title race and is unlikely to win a Champions League place.

Mohammed El Fayed's millions have propelled Fulham through the divisions and into the Premiership with real confidence that they will fit in straight away, and given the money Tigana has spent you wouldn't have expected the Cottagers to be anywhere near the relegation zone. However, failure to win any of their last nine league games has left Fulham precariously close to the drop.

After being kept apart for so many years the West London rivalry had subsided but the return of the fixture this season has seen the banter between the two SW6 teams return. After a draw at Craven Cottage and a defeat at Stamford Bridge Fulham are desperate to level matters and reach their first FA Cup final since 1975 and give themselves a chance of winning it for the first time.

TEAM FORM

Chelsea's last six matches: WLWDWD

The Blues have failed to score in their last three away matches, which has seriously damaged their bid to finish in the top four. They were beaten by a late, late goal at Anfield and have since been held to goalless draws by Ipswich and Blackburn. At home it has been a different story as goals have been in plentiful supply in seven straight wins including a 3-0 win against Everton last week.

Fulham's last six matches: WLLDLD

The Cottagers only two wins in their last eleven matches have come in the FA Cup against Walsall and West Brom. In the Premiership they have drawn away to Southampton and Newcastle either side of a home defeat to West Ham, but they are the only two points picked up from a possible 27, which is simply pathetic.

TEAM NEWS

Chelsea are still without brilliant French defender William Gallas with a calf injury and Nigerian star Celestine Babayaro with a groin strain, so John Terry and Marcel Desailly will form the partnership in the centre of defence with Mario Melchiot and Graeme Le Saux either side of them. Jesper Gronkjaer is a doubt so Gianfranco Zola is in line to start on the left wing.

Fulham are still without long time casualty Lee Clark but apart from that Tigana can name the same side that drew away to Newcastle on Monday night. Although he may recall Barry Hayles for either Luis Saha or Steve Marlet.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Chelsea: Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink - Undoubtedly the Blues most influential player. On his day he is up their with the best in the World especially when it comes to scoring a goal out of absolutely nothing. Despite his talent the Dutchman's trophy cabinet is surprisingly bare, but I am sure he will be out to change that by reaching the FA Cup final and lifting the cup.

Fulham: John Collins - The experienced Scotsman has a key role to play in midfield for Fulham on Sunday. With two talented but vulnerable Frenchmen in the centre of midfield the former Monaco star needs to get stuck into Chelsea's midfield to stop them controlling proceedings.

POSSIBLE STARTING XI'S

Chelsea (4-4-2): Cudicini; Melchiot, Terry, Desailly, Le Saux; Stanic, Petit, Lampard, Zola; Gudjohnson, Hasselbaink.

Fulham (4-4-2): Van der Sar; Finnan, Goma, Melville; Brevett; Collins, Malbranque, legwinski, Davis; Marlat, Saha.

SA PREDICTION

Thankfully the form guide is thrown out of the window in games like this, if it wasn't then there would be little point playing this fixture as the gulf in form is massive. The FA Cup is always capable of generating a shock result and Chelsea are prone to having an off day, as they did in the Worthington Cup semi-final, so that should give Fulham hope. However, I am still confident the Blues will win. 3-1

soccerage
 

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Keyboard Hero
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HT
Fulham-Chelsea
0-1


45 more min and we're playin' the gooners in the final.

Don't let us down Blues!!!!

We Shall not be moved!!!!!!...........
 

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Keyboard Hero
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Well done boys.

Arsenal here we come.

:) ;)
 

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THE
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Discussion Starter #7
Fulham 0-1 Chelsea


Chelsea clinched an FA Cup Final confrontation with Premiership rivals Arsenal in Cardiff as they edged out Fulham in an eventful encounter at Villa Park.

John Terry's goal just before half-time proved the difference between the west London neighbours on a night of disappointment for Jean Tigana's team.

Fulham's Louis Saha may ultimately be credited with an own goal, but no-one wanted to take the deciding strike away from Terry.

Chelsea deserved their victory after creating and wasting a host of chances, but Fulham will once again regret enjoying plenty of possession without delivering the final punch.


The victory gave Chelsea the unique distinction of reaching three FA Cup Finals under three different foreign coaches in the last six years, Ruud Gullit, Gianluca Vialli and now the Italian Ranieri.

It was the perfect way for Ranieri to celebrate signing a new five-year contract at Stamford Bridge - but it was an unconvincing display from his side and they will have to produce better on 4 May.

Chelsea were struck by an early blow when they lost former England defender Graeme Le Saux in bizarre circumstances in the third minute.

Le Saux collapsed in agony clutching the back of his leg when under no pressure and moving at walking pace.

It swiftly became clear he could not continue and he was stretchered off, layer returning to the dug-out on crutches.

Terry posted the danger signals for the Fulham rearguard with an uncharacteristic volley which brought an acrobatic save out of Edwin Van der Sar after 12 minutes.

Chances were at a premium in a cagey opening period, but Chelsea were grateful to goalkeeper Carlo Cudicini, who produced a brilliant save to deny Fulham an opening goal.

Sylvain Legwinski exchanged passes with Steve Marlet only to see Cudicini save instinctively with an outstretched hand from eight yards.

Croatian Mario Stanic's individual brilliance almost broke the deadlock as half-time approached, as he beat two Fulham defenders but shot against Van der Sar's legs from an angle.

It was only a brief reprieve for the Cottagers as Chelsea took the lead in the 39th minute from the resulting corrner.

Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink's corner bounced of Mario Melchiot and Terry scored via the legs of Saha.

It may go down as an own goal, but it was clear Terry was taking the credit as he wheeled away in delight.

Fulham mounted a spirited second half fightback, but as so often in their season, their approach play was not matched by their finishing.

Chelsea still looked more likely to add a second, and after Emmanuel Petit shot wide, Eidur Gudjohnsen struck an upright after 66 minutes with a curling drive as Van der Sar could only look on.

The previously low-key semi-final sparked into angry confrontation with ten minutes to go, when Petit and Sean Davis squared up before Terry was involved with a group of Fulham players.

Jesper Gronkjaer, who had just been booked, twice set up Gudjohnsen for what should have been the decider within the space of seconds.

The normally reliable Icelander first shot wildly over the bar with only Van der Sar to beat, then shot tamely wide in a similar position.

Ranieri then made one of his typically eccentric substitutions, removing Hasselbaink for the hate figure of Stamford Bridge fans Slavisa Jokanovic.

But no damage was done and Chelsea were home and dry.



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Chelsea: Cudicini, Melchiot, Terry, Desailly, Le Saux, Stanic, Lampard, Petit, Gronkjaer, Gudjohnsen, Hasselbaink. Subs: de Goey, Jokanovic, Zenden, Ferrer, Zola.

Referee: G Poll (Tring)

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Really sorry about Le Saux. And thsi stupid Swede who calls himself an English coach, since Campell is out for a while he has called up for the next friendly game Brown and ...Keown. Hello, ever heard about some John Terry??!!
 
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