Dangerous Hazard ahead for Sky Blues

GARDEN OF EDEN: Eden Hazard is ready to dazzle for EPL champion Chelsea, which plays Sydney FC tonight at ANZ Stadium.
GARDEN OF EDEN: Eden Hazard is ready to dazzle for EPL champion Chelsea, which plays Sydney FC tonight at ANZ Stadium. Mike Hewittgetty IMAGES

SYDNEY FC coach Graham Arnold joked he may need to park "two double-decker buses" in defence to keep out Chelsea's star-studded attackers in tonight's sold-out clash at ANZ Stadium.

The comment was, of course, in reference to regular criticism of Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho's strategy of "parking the bus" to limit scoring opportunities by opposition teams.

Arnold will not employ the tactic tonight, despite the threat presented by the Blues trio of Loic Remy, Diego Costa and Eden Hazard, named the player of the year in the EPL last season by the Professional Footballers Association and the Football Writers Association.

Mourinho said he would play the stars as part of his responsibility to the game.

"We want a very good match. We feel always responsibility. You cannot lose, you cannot just play for fun, you have to go for a result," the Portuguese said.

"We are still celebrating (the league title), yes. We are already thinking about next season, yes. But, this is our last game of the season as a club. We want to compete, we want to try and give a good show.

"It's very important for us as a club. It's been a very long time since Chelsea has been here and to come just a week after we are champions is even a bigger responsibility for us."

Despite the criticism of its defensive style - the Blues did have less goals scored against them than any other side last season - Chelsea did score more than anyone else (73), except Manchester City (83). And Mourinho clearly wants that to happen again next season.

Striker Didier Drogba may have left the club, but speculation suggests the Blues are interested in Colombian goal-scorer Radamel Falcao despite his disappointing season at Manchester United.

Falcao, who played at Old Trafford on loan from Monaco, is presently in South America to prepare for the Copa America tournament, and acknowledged his agent had received "a few offers".

Meanwhile, Arnold said it was mind-blowing to be taking on Chelsea just three days after a 1-0 loss to fellow EPL power Tottenham.

"To have them (Chelsea) out here a week after winning the premiership in England and being here to play against us is special," he said.

"It just adds that bit extra to Australian football which is huge for us. The A-League is young, it's developing and for them to add to the game of football here in Australia, and to have 83,000 people here on Tuesday night, it's mind blowing."



ANZ Stadium, 8pm

Topics:  chelsea sky blues sydney fc

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