Serbia have a tough job to make it past the group stage of the forthcoming World Cup in Russia. They have favourites Brazil in Group E, the likely team to top the group. For the runner-up, the shot is pretty much open as Switzerland, Costa Rica and Serbia could get the notch.

Serbia have a balance of experience and youth in their ranks. Former Chelsea man BranislavIvanovic, though a shadow of his former self, has a lot to offer in Russia. TheZenit St Petersburg star would be captaining the side as they feature in their 12th World Cup.
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Chelsea have agreed a deal with Eden Hazard’s brother Kylian from Hungarian club Ujpest.

The 22-year old would join the development team at the club. Kylian featured in 42 games for the club in the last two years. He gets to be close to his brother while developing himself at Stamford Bridge.

The Belgian would be involved in development team’s clash with Sunderland, according to reports. The game is slated to happen at home on Sept 9. Moving to the club is not guarantee that he would feature in the first team, with his brother. Eden’s other brother Thorgan also signed for the Blues where he was from 2012 to 2015. He never made any first team appearances.

Thorgan played on loan at Zulte-Waregem and Borussia Monchengladbach before he eventually agreed to join the German Bundesliga side on a permanent basis. Continue reading

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Arsenal playmaker Alexis Sanchez is yet to sign a new deal with the club.

This was expected to be wrapped up as soon as the FIFA Confederations Cup in Russia was over. However, up until now the Chilean is yet to agree to new terms with the north London side.

If the club fails to get him to commit now they could lose him for free months down the line. The FA Cup champions have added two playersin a bid to boost the ranks. A decent left back and a top striker have joined with the intent that Sanchez would remain and help the club win the Premier League or return back to playing Champions League football.

The former Barcelona striker could walk for free if he signs pre-contract in January or stalls until June next year, racking up serious sign-on bonus, leaving the Gunners high and dry despite their player loyalty. The 28-year old is a very good player and a game influencer. He is highly sought after across the continent and it is affecting many things at the club.

Sanchez had revealed his intention of exiting the team but Arsenal had hoped to convince him to remain. This process has been going on for a year without success. And as it continues to drag on, Arsenal might be the biggest losers.

Back in 2008, Sir Alex Ferguson had this same issue with his star player Cristiano Ronaldo. After the club convinced him, the Portuguese remained at the club for another year before his record breaking move to Real Madrid. Continue reading

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Ivanovic to get Premier League medals

Former Chelsea player BranislavIvanovic is set to receive a Premier League medal following Chelsea’s triumph in the Premier League.

Despite the fact that the player is now at Zenit St Peterburg, he made enough appearances for Chelsea at the start of the season to be in contention for a medal.

Indeed BranislavIvanovic has been a solid performer for Chelsea at the start of the season until Antonio Conte made the chance to a 3-4-3 formation.

A player can obtain a winning medal if he has played more than five matches for the winning team during the whole campaign. BranislavIvanovic made more than five appearances at the start of the season before deciding that it was time for him to change club.

Oscar is another player that qualifies for a Premier League winning medals for having made the required number of appearances for Chelsea at the start of the season. Just as BranislavIvanovic, he was found to be surplus to requirement and he ultimately made a move to China. Continue reading

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Chelsea maintained their nine-point lead with 14 games left after an impressive 3-1 win over Arsenal on Saturday.

A result that means the Blues have lost just two of their past 18 top-flight matches. This statistics has however made players and Premier League watchers realized that Antonio Conte has created something new and lasting at Stamford Bridge.

The Blues’ winning streak is no longer a novelty item, as people now understand how the 47-year-old former Italy boss turned around a team that finished 10th last term to a strong force plus setting a new standard for the Premier League.

Chelsea stars: Thibaut Courtois, Eden Hazard and Willian took turns to reveal how Conte turned around the club and bringing the best out of the players by imposing high demands on his players in training and on game day.

Courtois, 24, relishes the demands from his new boss and said that has lead to his improved performances this season earning him the praise of former greats such as Iker Casillas. This, the goal keeper believes can take his play even further.

“It’s good to have a manager who is demanding a lot. You have to be at your top every week, and that makes you a champion. I think I’m on a very good level, but I know I can improve myself,” he said. Continue reading

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Branislav Ivnovic, Chelsea’s defender has been rumored to be in a shock move to the Spanish side, Barcelona.

This came on the heels of the failure of the Catalans coach, Luis Enrique, to successfully replace Dani Alves.

According to reports from several news agencies, once the upcoming transfer window opens, the Serbian defender will likely make the shock move to Barcelona. For eight years, Ivanovic had enjoyed a wonderful spell at Chelsea, after he moved to the London club from Lokomotiv Moscow.

However, since Antonio Conte took over as Chelsea’s coach, Ivanovic has found playing time with the club hard to come by. Also, with Chelsea not quite keen on extending the contract of the defender, which expires at the end of the current season, it is only expected that he would leave in the coming transfer window. Continue reading

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Due to an unimpressive start at the beginning of the season, the Serbian was unable to set himself in the heart of the starting XI of Antonio Conte’s men. This has left him struggling for regular playing time over at Chelsea.

The right back for the Blues who is currently 32 years old has not featured in any of his team’s matches since their unfortunate 3-0 loss to Arsenal. So far, Cesar Azpiliceuta and David Luiz have manned that position, leaving him with nothing.

This has led the Serbian right back to begin weighing up offers from clubs in the Far East and Europe, according to reports from The Mirror. Ivanovic moved out of Lokomotiv Moscow in 2008 and has been with the Blues ever since then. His contract however, would be coming to an end this season and several clubs are preparing to go after him already.

Some of these clubs include Inter Milan and Marseille who have been said to be on the lookout for him. Another club, a Chinese one already has an interest to sign him onto their team.

Ivanovic is already being urged to make the big move to the Chinese club where his former team mate, Ramires is also plying his trade.

However, alleged rumors claim that some of the Premier League clubs could send him an offer at the expiration of his contract with Chelsea. These EPL clubs are Crystal Palace and West Ham. Continue reading

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Chelsea coach Antonio Conte has admitted that he is finding it difficult to get his summer transfer top targets due to the lack of European football as a lure.

The former Italy national team coach has only successfully signed N’Golo Kante and Michy Batshuayi this season from Leicester City and Marseille respectively. Following the underwhelming performance, and subsequently poor finish in the last term, a lot of changes were expected. The management is open to more additions but with no prospect of playing Champions League football, targets are looking away from Stamford Bridge.

“I must be honest, I think we’ll have a problem to reach our targets. I still hope with this transfer market to improve the squad and the team with some new players, but we understand our targets are very difficult to reach.

“But we have a game against Burnley for now which is more important than the transfer market. Then, after that, I hope some more players than now [are gotten] before the deadline,” Conte told reporters.

With few days to the deadline, if Chelsea struggle to win another game, the pressure to get reinforcements would increase – if not this summer, then January unfailingly.
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While Branislav Ivanovic goes down to put Antonio Conte in agony, the news of rapid improvement in the condition of Kurt Zouma would relieve the coach as the France international hopes not to remain out for more than 60 days now.

Ivanovic was looking to win back the fans after losing some of them courtesy a below average PL season. However, now, it’s all uncertain for him as someone might grab his place during the time he recovers.

Zouma, on the other hand, was in form and had held the back line together. He was one of the favourite defenders of Guus Hiddink who deployed him as centre back in most of the games in his reign before the youngster injured himself quite awfully which ended the possibilities of him playing his first major tournament for his nation.

Zouma doesn’t curse his luck too much for getting injured at the wrong time and believes if one plays the game, he has to be ready for injuries as injuries can happen at any time.

In Zouma’s words, “Having a positive standpoint really helps. You can’t be getting depressed thinking ‘Oh I missed an opportunity of playing a major’, you just have to be motivated to go through the recovery and gain more and more strength.”

“It’s not that this is something only I have faced. Many Footballers are victims of such injuries or even worse, but, it’s your perspective, how you take the situation, whether you let it get you down or get you motivated.”

“I try to be cheerful even when I am battling an injury. A joke here and there with mates, a bit of a giggle and it really keeps you positive and that’s what I want, only positivity.”

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