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HindustanTimes Fri,26 Dec 2014

Football

Chelsea ready for make-or-break stretch
Reuters
London, April 19, 2014
First Published: 01:08 IST(19/4/2014)
Last Updated: 01:10 IST(19/4/2014)

Chelsea assistant manager Steve Holland believes there are plenty of curve balls to come in the Premier League title race and bottom side Sunderland could provide one of those when they travel to Stamford Bridge on Saturday.

Chelsea, who have 75 points from 34 matches, trail leaders Liverpool by two points but with Brendan Rodgers’ side not in action until Sunday, a win over Sunderland would send them back to the top of the table.

But Holland is aware that beating Gus Poyet’s struggling is easier said than done as they drew 2-2 with Manchester City on Wednesday and were only denied victory by Samir Nasri’s 88th- minute strike.

“Sunderland were excellent in the week at Man City and were minutes away from being only the second team in the Premier League to win there this season, so tomorrow will be a very difficult game,” said Holland, who spoke to reporters in place of manager Jose Mourinho on Friday.

“We have to approach it in a professional manner. This game is of huge importance. I personally don’t subscribe to the view that this league title will be decided by one match.

“There are enough difficult games left for all the clubs to suggest there may be other curve balls thrown in.”

Saturday’s game kicks off a vital week for Chelsea, which could determine the success of their season as they play Atletico Madrid in the Champions League semifinal first leg on Tuesday before travelling to Liverpool in the league on Sunday. But Holland remains focused on taking each match as it comes.


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