Chelsea: Breaking News On Robinho

Breaking news on SSN:

 

Sky Sports News understands Chelsea have lodged a £19.7million bid for Real Madrid forward Robinho.

Chelsea boss Luiz Felipe Scolari has made no secret of his desire to link-up with his Brazilian compatriot and now the Blues have upped the transfer ante.

Earlier this week Robinho refused to rule out a move to Stamford Bridge, while Chelsea chief executive Peter Kenyon has openly declared the club’s interest in the player.

Real Madrid have repeatedly expressed a desire to keep the South American in the Spanish capital but the recent signing of Rafael van der Vaart does give them amble cover in Robinho’s position, even when taking into account Wesley Sneijder’s injury troubles.

Robinho was thought to be unsettled by talk he could be used a makeweight in Madrid’s bid to land Cristiano Ronaldo, a deal which has now been shelved.

Chelsea earlier this month conceded their bid to sign Robinho would be their last of the summer should it prove successful.

Thoughts?

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Who will be top of the Premier League at the end of September?

Everyone knows that the Premier League title isn’t won in the first couple of months of the season. However, a good start is vital to all of the big four. Chelsea need to start well under their new boss and if Manchester United start well they will feel uncatchable after winning the double last year. Then there is Liverpool. If they start well they will begin to fancy their chances of challenging at the top for the first time in years. Poor starts to the campaign have often been their problem. As for Arsenal, if they start well – like they did last season – they may start to believe they can go the distance last time around.

I mentioned that the title can’t be won by September, however – it can be lost. If Arsenal and Liverpool make bad starts they won’t feel confident about playing catch up to Chelsea or Man Utd. Their mentality will almost instantly change to hoping they can finish third in the league. For these two teams more than anyone else, a good start is very important.

So, why am I going on about this? Well, I thought it might be interesting to predict what type of start each of the big four might have. Then, we could see who might be leading the way in the Premier League come the end of September. Will Chelsea start brightly under Scolari? Will Manchester United put their injury problems behind them to lead the way once again? Or will it be Arsenal or Liverpool going against all football odds and getting themselves a head start? Let’s find out…(kind of!)

Chelsea:

Chelsea v Portsmouth: I’m going for a 2-0 win for the Blues. I think Pompey could struggle a bit this year and I’m confident Scolari will get off to a winning start.

Points: 3

Wigan v Chelsea: Not an easy game at this stage of the season, but Chelsea will grind out plenty of away results under the new regime. 1-0 victory.

Points: 6

Chelsea v Tottenham: I don’t really want to say it but I think that Spurs will have a decent year. Under Juande Ramos they will play good football and I’ve been impressed with their signings. 1-1.

Points: 7

Man City v Chelsea: Under new boss Mark Hughes, Manchester City are under a lot of pressure to better last season. Considering they qualified for Europe last season, this could prove difficult. No eye-catching signings lead me to conclude that Chelsea will walk away with a 3-1 victory.

Points: 10

Chelsea v Manchester United: A lot depends on whether Ronaldo and Rooney are back for Ferguson. Nevertheless, I expect a score draw. Chelsea to dominate, but somehow Man Utd will scrape a 2-2. I’m annoyed just thinking about it!

Points: 11

Stoke v Chelsea: Well, this one is a no-brainer. 3-0 win for a Chelsea side that may rest some players after the Man Utd game. Stoke will be going down this year, I’ve never been more certain of anything.

Points: 14

So, at the end of September I expect Scolari’s Chelsea to be unbeaten on 14 points. A good start for the new boss. However, will it be enough to see them lead the table? Let’s take a (slightly less detailed) look at my predicted fortunes for the rest of the ‘big four’.

Manchester United:

After picking up an opening day victory over Newcastle United and a hard-fought win over Pompey at Fratton Park, Manchester United travel to Anfield to face Liverpool. I expect Rafa Benitez’s men to win this one. After losing to them twice last year, they are due to beat them. Then comes the draw at Stamford Bridge for Utd, followed by a home victory over Bolton Wanderers to finish September on 10 points, with a game in hand over Chelsea.

Liverpool:

The Reds will start off with a draw away at Sunderland, followed by their first victory of the season at home to Middlesbrough. This is followed by another draw – this time at Aston Villa – after a crucial Champions League qualifying game. Then there is the victory over Man Utd and a third home win of the season against Stoke. A defeat in the Merseyside derby at Goodison Park leaves Liverpool on 11 points after six league games.

Arsenal:

Finally, we take a look at Arsenal. They will start off with a home win over West Brom, but as the game at Fulham is sandwiched in between two Champions League qualifiers, they will slip up and draw the match. Victories over Newcastle and Blackburn follow, before a draw at the Reebok Stadium against bogey team Bolton and a comfortable win over newly promoted Hull at the Emirates Stadium. Meaning that Arsene Wenger’s men finish September on 14 points after six games.

All this means that Chelsea and Arsenal will be sitting joint top of the Premier League at the end of September. Liverpool will be in third on 11 points, while Manchester United will be sitting in fourth with a game in hand. You may as well base all of your Premier League betting on this! Seriously though, this is all just a bit of fun. It gives us the chance to have a look at how tough each team has it in the opening couple of months.

I’m aware that other teams outside the ‘big four’ could start well and be in amongst this lot, but realistically, in terms of the title, it is all about these four teams and that’s what I wanted to put across. It will be interesting to see how accurate I am with these predictions. Let me know if you agree or if you completely 100% disagree. It’s all about speculation in pre-season after all!

Thomas Rooney – Freelance Sports Journalist