Willian missing for Chelsea’s clash with Arsenal

first_img Based on previous comments made by boss Jose Mourinho, a handshake is likely to be offered to Arsene Wenger pre-match. The Frenchman, who shoved Mourinho in last October’s clash at Stamford Bridge, evaded his rival at Wembley when finally ending his 13-match winless run in the Community Shield. Mourinho was coy on the subject. “I don’t think it’s important now and I don’t think tomorrow people is focused on that. I think people is focused on what happens on the pitch,” Mourinho said. Chelsea are 17th in the standings after their miserable start of four points from five matches, 11 adrift of leaders Manchester City. Mourinho is ignoring everything other than the Gunners. “If we are looking to the table, I don’t think that helps,” he added. “It’s a match I want to isolate from every possible context. It’s just Chelsea-Arsenal and it’s a match that we want to win. If it’s a pre-season friendly against Arsenal, we want to win. Community Shield, the same.” Press Association Petr Cech returns after leaving for North London following 11 years of sterling service at Chelsea. Mourinho added: “Arsenal goalkeeper until the game ends. When the game ends, if he wants to come to our dressing room, the door is open for him.” John Obi Mikel and captain Terry are the only survivors from Mourinho’s first spell. Terry played every minute in the top flight last season, but has been less in favour this term, although Mourinho maintains he is a key ally. “I trust him as always and he’s one of my men,” Mourinho added. Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has no interest in reopening a war of words with Mourinho. Despite the intense media focus on the pair’s simmering rivalry, which has included Mourinho once branding the long-serving Arsenal manager a “specialist in failure”, Wenger would rather his side’s performance on the pitch make the headlines. He said: “No special relationship (between any manager) is my worry, all I worry about is our performance tomorrow. “I respect everybody in the job and focus on what I love and that is football. All the rest honestly does not concern me much. “Realistically people come to watch football and all the rest is a little bit secondary. What is important is the quality of what we will see tomorrow morning at 12.45 and you want people to focus on that.” Asked if he would shake Mourinho’s hand and if he regretted their touchline bust-up, Wenger replied: “I don’t want to talk about that. I have nothing more to say about this situation.” Wenger was asked if he felt Chelsea were in decline. He replied: “I don’t know, I leave that to the specialists. I take care of my team and my own problems.” Chelsea head into the match in need of a kick-start to their Premier League campaign, which has seen the champions beaten three times already and down in 17th place. Wenger, though, says he draws no schadenfreude from the issues facing his rival manager. “It can happen,” he said. “Let’s not forget it is the start of the season and only five games have been played. “For us it is a big game and we know our position at the end of the season will depend on how well we do in the big games. “I do not think too much about where Chelsea stand in the league at the moment. I focus more on us performing well with full power tomorrow.” Striker Radamel Falcao, playmaker Oscar (both knee) and Pedro (thigh) could be available, but are doubtful. Goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois is out for around three months following knee surgery, while defender Papy Djilobodji, who is not in the Champions League squad, could be included. Forward Willian is out of Chelsea’s Premier League clash with Arsenal with a hamstring injury. last_img read more

Wisconsin caps perfect November with St. Cloud State sweep

first_imgThe Wisconsin women’s hockey team continues to surge, as the Badgers capped off an undefeated month of November with a sweep over the St. Cloud State Huskies this weekend.St. Cloud (1-11-2) was already having a dismal season, and its weekend efforts at the Kohl Center surely didn’t lift the Huskies’ spirits.The Badgers got off to a hot start Sunday with three first-period goals. St. Cloud forward Alex Nelson managed to slip the puck between UW goaltender Alex Rigsby’s legs for a goal with about five minutes remaining in the second period, but it was ultimately one of the few highlights for the Huskies.Wisconsin quickly responded with two late second-period goals and finished things off with a Hilary Knight goal early in the third period en route to a 6-1 victory.Wisconsin controlled the puck for the majority of both games, which resulted in the Badgers outshooting the Huskies 86-31 for shots on goal on the weekend. Wisconsin head coach Mark Johnson has stressed the importance of creating opportunities to score all season, which clearly paid off in the St. Cloud series.“I thought we did a pretty good job Friday of creating opportunities,” Johnson said. “Again, [I] thought we created a lot of opportunities, especially in the second period. [St. Cloud’s] goaltender played well and made some pretty incredible saves, but the kids were going hard to the net, and you do that over a course of time and you get rewarded.”The Badgers didn’t lose a step on either side of the puck after losing forward Carolyne Pr?vost to a leg injury Friday afternoon. Pr?vost’s status is unknown, but the Badgers needed lesser-known players to make an impact in her absence.“She brings a lot of energy to the team,” freshman forward Katy Josephs said. “She’s so quick, she’s always going, so I think that everybody kind of felt the need to give a little more.”Josephs was one of many younger players who stepped up in Pr?vost’s absence. She scored Wisconsin’s third goal in Sunday’s game and has been a key part of the team’s third line. UW’s third line also includes freshmen forwards Karley Sylvester and Blayre Turnbull, and although it’s an inexperienced line, the group that has continually improved and contributed two goals Sunday.“They’ve been pretty good,” Johnson said. “I mean the first month where we had a tough schedule, they got to get their feet wet early and they’ve made improvements in a lot of their games. It was nice [Sunday] to see them score a few goals, and if they continue that, it’s going to make us harder to play against.”Sylvester points to open and clear communication as being the biggest reason for the third line’s recent success.“The communication is a big part,” Sylvester said. “We all communicate, call for the puck, talk to each other when we’re open. If we miss one of the passes to each other, we’ll talk about it and be like, ‘Hey I’m open backdoor, just look next time and that helps a lot.’”St. Cloud stayed within reach a little longer in Friday afternoon’s matchup. The Huskies trailed 2-0 entering the third period, but Hilary Knight had two of three third period goals for the Badgers, as they ran away with a 5-0 victory.Wisconsin has won its last 10 games including the sweep over St. Cloud State. Sunday’s game marked UW’s last home game until January 20, since the next couple months include winter break and four straight road series.“We love playing at the Kohl Center,” senior Brooke Ammerman said. “It’s our favorite place to play for all of us. I mean we’re definitely going to miss it, but it’ll be good momentum going into our long road trip ahead.”last_img read more