Ready for the league leaders

Last updated : 31 January 2010 By Tony Scholes

It's five weeks since we last played at home and a lot has changed around Turf Moor since that Boxing Day draw with Horwich when the visiting chairman Phil Gartside didn't even bother to say hello to a dear friend then managing Burnley.

Today sees a first home game for new manager Brian Laws and for his new backroom team of Russ Wilcox, Stuart Gray, Billy Mercer and Tom Little who will all be in the dug out, and a first home game for Graham Alexander since being appointed player/coach.

The game couldn't be more difficult, but this really is the time to put everything behind us and get behind the new regime. Let's move on and forget about dishonest biblical characters.

Our Opponents

There's not a lot I can say about Chelsea that hasn't been said. They are for me the best team in the country right now and their performance back in August when they beat us 3-0 at Stamford Bridge was the best team performance I've seen in the Premier League this season.

They come to Burnley bang in form. Unbeaten since a defeat to Manchester City at the beginning of December they have won their last five league and cup games, scoring nineteen goals in those games.

Click HERE to see all Chelsea's results this season

Team News

Carlo Ancelotti has confirmed that neither Didier Drogba nor Salomon Kalou will play and haven't made the journey to Lancashire. They are also without Michael Essien, Juliano Belletti and Jose Boswinga, so impressive in the game at Chelsea, through injury.

Also ruled out still is John Obi Mikel who is still involved in the Africa Cup of Nations.

Last time out they beat Birmingham 3-0 at Stamford Bridge and the team was: Petr Cech, Ricardo Carvalho, John Terry, Branislav Ivanovic, Ashley Cole, Florent Malouda, Deco, Frank Lampard, Joe Cole, Michael Ballack, Nicolas Anelka. Subs: Ross Turnbull, Paulo Ferreira, Alex, Nemanja Matic, Fabio Borini, Yuri Zhirkov, Dean Sturridge.

Click HERE to see the full Chelsea squad

Burnley will almost certainly give a debut to new signing Leon Cort whilst we can expect Nicky Weaver to replace Peruvian Diego Penny as the substitute goalkeeper. Frédéric Nimani is also likely to be named as a sub again but fourth signing Danny Fox is ineligible for today's game as we await international clearance.

Stephen Jordan is likely to be out again, so with Fox unavailable and Easton gone back to Scotland for now it will almost certainly be Christian Kalvenes at left back.

Elsewhere in the team we await news on Graham Alexander and Chris McCann who both picked up injuries at Horwich last Tuesday. Also out today is David Nugent who, for now, is caught up in football's biggest current farce - it's called Portsmouth.

If neither make it I expect us to line up: Brian Jensen, Tyrone Mears, Clarke Carlisle, Leon Cort, Christian Kalvenes, Andre Bikey, Martin Paterson, Wade Elliott, Kevin McDonald, Chris Eagles, Steven Fletcher. Subs from: Nicky Weaver, David Edgar, Michael Duff, Joey Gudjonsson, Robbie Blake, Steven Thompson.

Last Time

Our last home league game against Chelsea was a much needed win as we continued to fight against relegation in 1983.Two Billy Hamilton goals and a Terry Donovan penalty gave us a 3-0 win.

The team was: Alan Stevenson, Brian Laws, Willie Donachie, Micky Phelan, Martin Dobson, Brian Flynn, Tommy Cassidy, Trevor Steven, Billy Hamilton, Terry Donovan, Derek Scott.

We have to go back to August 1974 for our last top flight meeting at Turf Moor and a game that was played in front of a backdrop of abuse aimed at Bob Lord as news broke that Martin Dobson was on his way to Everton.

We lost the game 2-1 with Chelsea scoring two late goals after Leighton James had given us the lead with a penalty.

The team that day was: Alan Stevenson, Peter Noble, Keith Newton, Billy Ingham, Colin Waldron, Billy Rodaway, Ian Brennan, Ray Hankin, Paul Fletcher, Doug Collins, Leighton James.

Previous games against Chelsea

Previous 20 Seasons












Akinbiyi (* - after extra time, won 5-4 on penalties)







Click HERE to see all our results against Chelsea