Spinning like a Swan Lake ballet

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Tony Conte (back to camera) and Rafael Benitez when they managed Juventus and Napoli. PICTURE: GETTY IMAGES


Tim Harrison

By Tim Harrison

Chelsea fans in need of a serious dose of football have a bonanza on Saturday when the men take on Newcastle at lunchtime at the Bridge, and the ladies battle Yeovil five hours later.

Tony Conte is having to rotate like a ballerina in Swan Lake as the games pile up, with 13 games in six weeks – a punishing schedule on anyone’s knees.

After a midweek reunion with Paul Clement’s Swansea, the beleaguered Toon Army visit at 12.30pm on Saturday, with Chelsea determined to build on a valuable – and not wholly unexpected – point at Anfield.

That match saw the Blues match Liverpool move for move, and although they fell behind through a Mo Salah goal, a freak cross/lob from Willian levelled.

Salah is a player, like Kevin de Bruyne, who slipped through Chelsea’s fingers because the ‘fit’ didn’t seem right at the time.

The Anfield draw reaffirmed the view that Eden Hazard is back to his mercurial best after his summer injury, and that if the Blues do half as well as Watford at St James’ Park last weekend, a victory is well within grasp.

Chelsea Ladies, meanwhile, embark on three home ties at Kingsmeadow in a week after their international break, with Yeovil, Spurs and Man City pitching up.

The first tie, in the Conti Cup, has been brought forward a day to Saturday 2 December at 6pm.

The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and unless specifically stated are not necessarily those of Hammersmith & Fulham Council.

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