Chelsea V Everton at Stamford Bridge : Match Preview
Villas-Boas plays down talk of job for life Andre Villas-Boas has played down talk he could stay at Chelsea for the rest of his career, admitting he had expected to be at Porto for many years. Blues chairman Bruce Buck last week declared the club may finally have found their Sir Alex Ferguson figure in Villas-Boas, claiming the 33-year-old could end up staying at Stamford Bridge for 15 years.
That is the maximum time Villas-Boas plans to spend in his current profession and, with the Portuguese on Friday celebrating the second anniversary of his entry into management, he was making no predictions about what the future might hold. "It's the 14th October, which is the day I started at Academica," said the precocious Villas-Boas, who is preparing for Saturday`s Barclays Premier League clash at home to Everton.
"I have this idea of not being in the game for a long period of time. "Bruce's words weren't said to collide with my words, on my future, but I really don't know what will happen." Villas-Boas is Chelsea's seventh manager in the eight years since Roman Abramovich bought the club, with the Russian ruthlessly dispensing of those he deemed to have failed in the job. Buck last week gave Villas-Boas a ringing endorsement, revealing Abramovich was particularly pleased with the attractive brand of football the new manager was beginning to implement. But Buck also seemed to acknowledge success had to follow if the Portuguese was not to suffer the same fate as most of his predecessors.
Villas-Boas said: "A longer or shorter stay can or cannot be related to success. "Last year, I went through the same (at Porto). "We won four trophies and my emotions told me I'd be there a long time. But now I'm here." The short-term goal is to cut the gap to Manchester United and Manchester City at the top of the Premier League. Providing Chelsea win their next two games, they will achieve that, with the Manchester derby coming up a week on Sunday. They might even move level on points on Saturday, with United travelling to Liverpool and City hosting Aston Villa before Villas-Boas' men take on the Toffees.
"If it doesn't happen, it doesn't happen," Villas-Boas said. "In the next two weeks, there are two weeks of Premier League contenders playing against each other, so the others have to make the most of it. "We'll have difficult games in Everton and QPR, but we will try to get six points." Overcoming Everton will be easier said than done, with David Moyes' men having made themselves Chelsea's bogey team in recent years. Carlo Ancelotti never managed to beat them in his two-year stint, while the Merseyside club are undefeated on their last five Premier League visits to Stamford Bridge. Predicting a "battle", Villas-Boas said:
"They are in a good situation and, once again, they are proving that David Moyes' work is something fantastic. "Even with all the difficult financial problems they have, it's a club that's well organised and should make the English public proud." David Luiz could be rested having only returned to the club on Thursday after playing a full 90 minutes twice for Brazil in the past week. Fernando Torres serves the second instalment of his three-match ban.
Everton manager Moyes will run the rule over a number of players including Tim Cahill, who withdrew from the Australia squad during the international break, John Heitinga and Leon Osman. Jack Rodwell should be available after his red card against Liverpool was rescinded, although the midfielder then sat out England Under-21s' match in Norway as a precaution and will have his condition assessed.
Moyes was pleased to see Rodwell's red card reversed - but admits it was of little consolation. Rodwell was sent off by referee Martin Atkinson in the 23rd minute of the Merseyside derby at Goodison Park on October 1 for an innocuous-looking challenge on Luis Suarez. The Toffees were subsequently beaten 2-0, with Moyes left fuming at Atkinson's decision, which he felt had "ruined the game".
The Football Association last week upheld Everton's formal appeal but while Moyes was glad with that outcome, he has stressed that no amount of support for his view that Atkinson got it wrong will make up for what happened during the match. "It is pleasing and it was correct - the right decision was made (by the FA)," Moyes said. "We've tried to move on from it, but obviously it is still very much on our mind. "It was a big derby game and we wanted to try to win it if we could, but that was hindered. "The hardest thing is that every single person I meet in the street comes up and says 'it was the worst decision I've ever seen."' end
Chelsea V Everton - view commentary, squad, and statictics of the game live.
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