Monday 19 August 2019

Chelsea defender Gary Cahill: We need to keep this momentum going

Gary Cahill is expecting another tough test against Tottenham on Sunday
Gary Cahill is expecting another tough test against Tottenham on Sunday

Gary Cahill hopes Chelsea can gather momentum from claiming consecutive wins for the first time in two months into Sunday's London derby at Tottenham.

The reeling Barclays Premier League champions followed up last Saturday's 1-0 win over Norwich with a 4-0 Champions League victory at Maccabi Tel Aviv which leaves their Group G fate in their own hands.

A truer test of their resurgence will come at White Hart Lane, though, where Chelsea lost 5-3 on New Year's Day.

"It's important we keep this momentum going," Cahill told Chelsea TV.

"It was (important) for a number of reasons. First and foremost and the most important one was for the Champions League and to make sure we put ourselves in a position to try to qualify top.

"But as well to build the momentum off the back of the Norwich result and keep building these wins and try to gather these wins to turn this around.

"It was important for a lot of reasons and very pleasing."

Chelsea are likely to be without John Terry against Spurs after the captain suffered an ankle injury on a pitch boss Jose Mourinho described as "dangerous".

Ramires also suffered an injury on the eve of the encounter, ruling the midfielder out of the matchday squad.

The full extent of the injuries is likely to be determined by scans, while Mourinho will have work to do to inspire Diego Costa back to form after the pair's half-time bust up in Haifa.

The absence of Terry may hinder the Blues, but they have 48 hours' additional preparation time than Spurs, returning from Israel on Wednesday as their rivals flew out to Azerbaijan for their Europa League clash with Qarabag, which takes place on Thursday.

Sunday's 1200 kick-off time has irked Mauricio Pochettino, whose side have lost three times in 18 games in all competitions this season.

Chelsea sit 10 points and 10 places behind Spurs in the Premier League.

"We've got this week to prepare for the Tottenham game," Cahill added.

"They're playing very well at the minute. I've no doubt it'll be an entertaining game and one where we're hoping to be on the end of right result."

Chelsea's defeat of Norwich ended a three-match losing streak in the Premier League and the win over Maccabi leaves Chelsea certain of qualification for the Champions League last 16 if they beat Mourinho's former club Porto at Stamford Bridge on December 9.

Porto lost at home to Dynamo Kiev, who play Maccabi Tel Aviv in the final game and could also qualify, with the Israelis eliminated.

"We knew at half-time they (Kiev) were leading so it meant it was even more important for us," Cahill added.

"We knew, if we won, it would be in our hands at Stamford Bridge. So bring it on."

It was Cahill's goal which began a rout which materialised only late on as 10-man Maccabi made Chelsea work for victory.

Willian's free-kick goal and late headers from Oscar and Kurt Zouma, who is likely to replace Terry in the starting line-up, completed the win.

PA Media

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