Ahead of the match with Chelsea, Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has stated that the striker Luis Suarez has come a long way since the famous biting incident involving Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic. In this fixture 12 months ago, Suarez was found guilty of biting Ivanovic. The English FA then banned him for a record 10 matches, a suspension that was carried into this campaign as well. However, Suarez has become a player transformed since then. He has managed to get the club close to the Premier league title, while on a personal level he has won several titles like the PFA Player of the Year award.
Jose Mourinho has praised with a special spirit at Chelsea by saying that they have made it into the semifinals of the Champions League with a severely under strength squad.
Two of the signings made by Mourinho in the January transfer window – Nemanja Matic and Mohamed Salah – would not be available till the rest of the campaign in this competition. This coupled with several injuries to the likes of Samuel Eto’o and Eden Hazard means that Chelsea will be tested to the limit. However, they have managed to survive one of the tests after managing to beat PSG 2-0 in the second leg of the quarter-finals.
Serbian defender Branislav Ivanovic has been a constant fixture at the right back for Chelsea this campaign. His performances have been far superior to that of any player in the backline and it has cost Jose Mourinho to field Azpilicueta as the left back.
The Spaniard has even been able to dislodge the default left back at the club – Ashley Cole. Ivanovic has been playing in every match he was fit. The Serbian has also repaid the faith shown by Mourinho by scoring some important goals with the most recent one coming against Manchester city in the league.
Branislav Ivanovic has been in top form for Chelsea this season and in the last two away matches he has been just sublime. His important goal in the match against Manchester City which took them to the top of the table was hailed by Mourinho and the fans and the late equalizer by West Bromwich Albion stole the chances of Chelsea getting a 4 point gap between them and Arsenal who were also held back by the defending champions Manchester United in a goalless draw.
Branislav Ivanovic and Frank Lampard both sustained injuries during Chelsea’s match against Liverpool as they played in December of last year and according to injury updates from Jose Mourinho, the English midfielder might just be able to make his recovery in time for their upcoming match against Manchester United but Ivanovic is not likely to make it.
“Lampard is training all week with the team so normally yes. Ivanovic has not had one training session. He will today but I don’t think he can play’’. Mourinho stated.
Lampard suffered from a muscular problem while Ivanovic picked up a knee injury and both are regular starters for Mourinho but even with their absence, Chelsea has managed to deal well without their 2 key performers.
Branislav Ivanovic is confident that this is the best time for Chelsea to close the gap between themselves and the leaders of the Premier League, Arsenal who are only 4 points ahead of them.
Chelsea took an early scare when playing against Southampton in their hometown Stamford Bridge as the visiting team scored within the opening 14 seconds of the match but the team of Jose Mourinho responded in the 2nd half with Gary Cahill, John Terry and Demba all scoring as they earned all 3 vital points.
With a transfer fee believed to be around of £9.7 million, the Serbian defender Branislav Ivanovic signed with the English club Chelsea on 15th of January 2008.
Although surprisingly enough he did not make any appearances in that season as the coach club Avram Grant stated that he lacked fitness to actually play.
Avram Grant’s contract reached its end in 2008 and despite the success he enjoyed with Chelsea, no extension was made and he was replaced by Luiz Felipe Scolari.
Even with the introduction of a new coach Branislav Ivanovic could barely find any playing time with Chelsea besides a few appearances made as a substitute in the Premier League and League Cup matches. At one point Unibet were offering a betting market on him leaving Chelsea in the next transfer window.
The Chelsea midfielder, Kevin de Bruyne, might make a move away from Stamford Bridge during the mid-season transfer window. His agent, Patrick de Koster, has hinted that.
De Bruyne is currently practicing with U-21 team of Chelsea. He has been made to do that after his poor outing in the Capital One Cup game against Swindon Town.
The new Chelsea boss, Jose Mourinho, had shown some faith in de Bruyne at the start of the ongoing season and had given him starting opportunities in the first couple of Premier League games, but, the Belgian winger couldn’t stand up to the manager’s expectations and lost his place in the starting line up.
Cash rich Paris Saint Germain have made it no secret their desire to bring Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic to France ahead of the new season and are reportedly ready to make an £ 8million bid for the Serbian international but according to sources close to the player, the utility defender wants to stay at Stamford Bridge.
The 29 year old is adept at playing both at right back as well as the centre of the defense and new Paris Saint Germain manager Laurent Blanc wants to bring him in as a cover for Gregory van der Wiel but the Serbian is keen to commit his future with the London club and sign a contract extension. Ivanovic was one of the stand out performers for the Blues in their almost disastrous campaign under Rafael Benitez last term and is a threat from set pieces as well.
The football season is over for this year and for football fans the end of season can be frustrating once any initial joy or sadness wears off, and this is where a football themed slots game like Soccer Safari can provide the ultimate distraction.
Soccer Safari is a slots game with a distinctly summer feel to it, thanks to the World Cup theme (originally created as part of the last World Cup), centring on animals playing in their own tournament deep in the jungles of Africa. The likes of cheetahs, buffalo, warthogs, lions and rhinos are all wonderfully brought to life by the video graphics, and the action provided at the beginning, is really enjoyable to watch before you get to the game itself.