The skipper of the Serbia national football team, Branislav Ivanovic, has said that the upcoming match against Scotland is going to be tougher than the match against Croatia.
Serbia was beaten by Croatia in a world qualifying match played at Zagreb on Wednesday. Croatia had won that match by 2-0.
The Serbian media had used very strong words for the team after the defeat against Croatia. The fans are also not happy with their team’s outing against the arch rivals Croatia.
The match between Serbia and Scotland will be played on the home ground of Serbia. So, there will be more pressure on the Serbian team in that match.
Talking to the reporters ahead of the match, Ivanovic admitted that his team is under pressure. The Serbian skipper said, “This will be a big pressure game for us. We will be playing in front of our home crowd which is disappointed with us. The media is also unhappy. We have our backs against the wall.”
“This is a test of temperament for us. We need to put all the criticism out of our head and should just concentrate on the game.”
“We are arch rivals with Croatia and the supporters expect us to win every match against them. But, the fans should also keep in mind that the team is going through a rebuilding phase and we will lose a few matches. They must remain patient.”
When asked about the Scotland team, Ivanovic said, “Scotland is a very good team. They haven’t played that well in the world cup qualifiers so far. But, personally I think that they will be very hard to beat.”
The good news for Serbia before this match is that Marko Scepovic has completely recovered from the hip injury that he had discovered in the match against Croatia. Scepovic was on the ground for only 9 minutes in the match against Croatia.
Wednesday evening’s game at the Madejski stadium sees second from bottom Reading host a Chelsea side looking to further cement their place in the top four of the Premier League.
Despite their lowly position, the Royals have lost just one of their last five in the league, and go in to this game on having beaten Sheffield United 4-0 in the fourth round of the FA Cup on Saturday.
Brian McDermott will be without the injured Jason Roberts, while fellow striker Noel Hunt faces a late fitness test having picked up a knock at the weekend. New signing Daniel Carrico is also unlikely to feature.
Top scorer Adam Le Fondre is 11.0 (10/1) to open the scoring, though with his last five league appearances coming a substitute late on, you may prefer to back him to score the last goal of the game at the same price.
Reading are generously priced at 7.5 (13/2) to get the three points, with Chelsea widely available at 1.5 (1/2). The draw is 4.5 (9/2) with a variety of firms.
The visitors go in to the game having been held to a 2-2 draw by League One Brentford in their FA Cup fourth round tie on Sunday.
Away from the cup, they beat Arsenal 2-1 at Stamford Bridge the previous weekend, and have won their last four games on the road.
Goalkepper Peter Cech and defender David Luiz are injury doubts for Rafael Benitez, while Eden Hazard serves the second of a three-match ban.
Demba Ba is 5.25 (17/4) with Bet Victor to strike first, with Fernando Torres, who netted the equaliser at Griffin Park at the weekend, a 6.0 (5/1) shot with Ladbrokes.
The Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic has said that the Chelsea players will not start celebrating because they know that one win in the league cup against a lower level team does not mean that all the problems of the season is over.
After being top of the table only a few months back, Chelsea are 13 points behind leaders Manchester United. This is a massive difference even with the game in hand for the European champions. Prior to the start of the season, the club had the opportunity to win seven major trophies, but they have already lost in three major cup finals.
This doom and gloom has subsequently led to the sacking of the manager Roberto di Matteo, who has been replaced with Rafa Benitez. The former Liverpool manager oversaw the 1-0 defeat by Corinthians in the final of the Club World Cup. However, just a few days after returning to England, Chelsea players managed to pick themselves up and beat one of their biggest rivals Leeds united 5-1 in the League Cup. However, the brilliant second-half performance should not lead players into believing that their problems are over. Chelsea will be looking to close the gap on Manchester United when they take on Aston Villa at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.
"I think it was very important for us to show a reaction after the disappointment of what happened in Sunday's game (against Corinthians). But this is just one game. We have to be more focused and stay like that in every game and try to win the next couple of matches. It is only winning game-by-game that we can get back our mentality and be strong like we were before. For us it's important to get results when we're not playing well, to win ugly. This is very important for the confidence and for the players to believe," said Branislav Ivanovic.
The Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic has been one of the regular players for the European champions this season. He has been at the heart of the defence that has to start of the season so well, but has been faltering in recent weeks.
After the 4-2 win over Tottenham in the league, Chelsea are yet to register a single victory in the league, which has meant that they are now in the third position. They have slipped from the point of a four point advantage to the state of a three-point deficit in the league in the matter of a few weeks.
However, the Serbian defender has said that it is extremely vital that Chelsea do not allow the heads to drop and learn from the mistakes that they have committed in the last few weeks. Chelsea will be taking on West Brom in what would be another tough match for the European champions because West Brom have an excellent record at home this season. Chelsea have struggled for a number of occasions over the last few seasons in the months of November, and Ivanovic is keen to end that spell with a victory. He has highlighted the importance of maintaining a clean sheet against West Brom.
"I think in previous years we had almost exactly the same situation as we now have. We need to learn from these experiences, and from the last game against Liverpool we know we need to be more concentrated as a team to win matches. It's important we get the points from this game against West Brom, we tried hard in the other games but we don't have the points and we need to improve this," said the 28-year-old ahead of the West Brom match. He has already scored three Premier league goals this season.
Chelsea has defeated Reading by 4-2 in a Premier League match played at the Stamford Bridge, London. Both the teams fought hard in the match and the match was evenly poised till the 80th minute.
But, in the last few minutes, the Chelsea players made the difference with some superb shots. The last goal for Chelsea was scored in the injury time by Branislav Ivanovic, according to Chelsea news. The stadium was jam packed with the Chelsea supporters and those who were out there in the stadium watched a thoroughly entertaining match. The supporters would have got their money’s worth.
Chelsea got a penalty in the 18th minute of the match and Frank Lampard pounced on that opportunity to score the first goal for Chelsea. But, Chelsea didn’t manage to maintain the lead for too long as Pavel Pogrebnyak scored the leveller in the 25th minute. That was a brilliant goal.
Garath McCleary gave a cross to Pogrebnyak who put the ball into the left hand corner of the net with a header from a distance of 14 yards. Just a few minutes later, Reading got ahead with the goal of Danny Guthrie who used the free kick to very good effect and beat the Chelsea goalkeeper with a sublime shot. The Chelsea team was not able to equalise the scores in the first half and was down by 1-2 at the half time break.
In the second half, the Chelsea players played with tremendous attitude. It was Gary cahill who scored the equaliser in the 69th minute with an angular shot from a distance of 35 yards. However, the Reading goalkeeper, Adam Federeci, should have saved that goal, but, he didn’t manage to do that and Chelsea came back into the match. There were no more goals till the 80th minute and the match seemed to be going towards a draw. But, Fernando Torres and Ivanovic scored towards the end of the match to secure Chelsea’s victory. Chelsea will play its next match against Newcastle United.
The Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic has said that the current Premier league champions Manchester City will have a strong fight on their hands if they are to retain the title. He has also said that it will certainly not be easy for the Manchester club to once again lift the title.
Manchester city manager to lift the first Premier league title for the first time in 44 years. It is expected that they will now be targeting to conquer Europe. Chelsea were very much similar to Manchester City almost a decade ago after they had just won the league title after a gap of 50 years.
Branislav Ivanovic recently won the Champions League title with Chelsea. He has also been the recipient of the Premier league title within the club two seasons ago. He has said that he wants to lift the Premier League title once again, while also looking to do well in the European competition. As a result, Manchester City will not be having an easy route to the title. Chelsea have spent a lot of money in revamping the squad. Five attacking players have arrived at the club in the summer transfer window for a total cost of £ 60 million.
"Manchester United are always the first favourite when you look at the league. They are always there. City won last year and they will have the motivation to do it again. But the other teams like us are trying to build something new. It's going to be very tough for City. It was the same with us. When you win the league all the other teams, whether they are big or small, they fight and have extra motivation against you," said Ivanovic, who was linked with a move to Real Madrid only a few weeks ago.
Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic has said that Croatian midfielder Luka Modric needs to play for a much bigger club than Tottenham.
He has also recommended that the Croatian should choose Chelsea over any other club interested in securing his services at the moment due to the fact that he is much more essential for the London club.
Chelsea came extremely close to securing the signature of the 26-year-old Croatian midfielder last season, but Tottenham refused to sell him even for a last ditch offer of £ 40 million from the Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich.
Even though the Chelsea have not been linked with the Tottenham midfielder as much as they have been last season, it is still thought that there is a possibility that Modric could end up at Stamford bridge. Chelsea have already secured the signing of a playmaker in the form of Eden Hazard, but they could be looking at the possibility to strengthen the team even more with the addition of Modric. The Croatian midfielder is not expected to cost the same £ 40 million and upwards as he did last season. The latest rumours suggest that Real Madrid could be close to securing his signature, though they are also chasing Luis Suarez.
"I don't know much about it other than what I read in the media. I know there was interest in the transfer window before. Chelsea as a team have needed a player with these qualities. He would fit in quickly and strengthen the squad. He has been in England a long time and knows about the way football is played on the island and the mentality of the players. He has exceptional quality, and moving to a bigger club is necessary for him to take the next step in his career," said Branislav Ivanovic to the Sportske Novosti.
Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard has said that he wants striker Didier Drogba to stay at the club for many more years. The 34-year-old Ivorian striker is out of contract at the end of the season.
Chelsea have offered him only a one-year deal, but it is thought that the striker is demanding a two year contract. However, considering his age Chelsea have not been willing to get into these demands, but in the last two months, Didier Drogba has simply been outstanding. He has almost single-handedly helped them get past Barcelona in the semifinals of the Champions League, while he once again help Chelsea win their fourth FA Cup title in six years.
Drogba has an imperious scoring record at the new Wembley. The Ivorian has scored eight goals in eight appearances for Chelsea at the new Wembley, while he has also scored in three FA Cup finals. After the 2-1 win over Liverpool on Saturday, Drogba extended the record by becoming the first player to score in four FA Cup finals. Following the match, Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard called on for the club to provide Drogba with a new contract so that he can extend his eight-year stay at the club. Drogba was a £ 24 million club record signing back in 2004 when he arrived from Marseille.
"I'm desperate for him to stay. He is a magnificent player. He's a machine. He's unique. He is not just that big man. He is such a handful. He scores goals that matter and that's priceless. There is no-one like Didier as a player, not with the kind of bulldozer thing he has got and with his sublime touch and finish. Everyone has to move on at some stage and you have to find a different player or a different way of playing but for what he has done at this club, he deserves everything," Lampard said.
Chelsea conceded a late equaliser against Wigan athletic to end hopes of winning the title. It seemed that Chelsea's title hopes were written off prematurely when they beat Manchester City at Stamford bridge last week.
However, they conceded a late equaliser against Wigan athletic, which ended any hopes of catching Manchester City and Manchester United. The draw leaves Chelsea with nine points to make up to the leaders Manchester City, who have been in sensational form throughout the season.
Chelsea started the match brightly with Branislav Ivanovic partnering John Terry in the back. David Luiz was once again missing through injury and hence Branislav Ivanovic was replaced by José Bosingwa at right back. The Serbian was impressive during the whole match, but his mistake in the final few minutes of the match gave Wigan athletic a much-needed impetus before the closing moments of the game. In the 87th minute, Wigan midfielder Gomez stepped up to capitalise on the error by goalkeeper Cech to score an unlikely equaliser.
Chelsea had taken the lead through Daniel Sturridge at the start of the second half. The England striker collected a superb long ball from Ashley Cole to slot the ball past Wigan goalkeeper Al Habsi. It looked like it was going to be enough for Chelsea to hold on to the lead, but the nervousness of the Chelsea defence in recent seasons came back to haunt Andre Villas-Boas and John Terry.
The equaliser kills any hopes of Chelsea winning the title this season. Ironically, Chelsea scored six past Wigan without any reply only last season, but this draw will be hugely damaging to their title aspirations this season. Following the draw, Chelsea also conceded the third spot to Tottenham Hotspur, whom they will be facing on Thursday night.