English Premiership

Rafa welcomes AFCON heroes

2013-02-16 13:39
Rafael Benitez (AFP Photo)

London - The return of African Nations Cup heroes John Obi Mikel and Victor Moses will add an extra dimension to Chelsea's squad for the last three months of the season, interim manager Rafael Benitez said on Friday.

The Nigerian pair, who helped their country beat Burkina Faso 1-0 in last weekend's Nations Cup final in Johannesburg, could be recalled by the European champions for Sunday's FA Cup fourth-round replay at home to third tier Brentford.

"It's important to have happy and confident players around... and they have brought that confidence and belief back with them," Benitez told the club website (www.chelseafc.com).

"Both of them progressed as individuals through the tournament. Obi has more experience and you could expect good (midfield) performances from him but Victor is just coming through and I could see he has grown and improved.

"To be so influential is a great achievement for Victor," added Benitez of the winger Chelsea signed from fellow Premier League side Wigan Athletic at the start of the season.

The Londoners also welcome striker Demba Ba and utility player David Luiz back to the squad after they missed Thursday's 1-0 Europa League win at Sparta Prague.

Chelsea were much the better team in the Czech Republic and the scoreline should have been more emphatic, said Benitez.

"We have been practising finishing today," added the Spaniard. "We had three or four counter attacks where we could have done better so we have to watch and practise and hopefully we will improve."

Brentford came close to causing an upset in the original tie at Griffin Park and Chelsea needed a late goal from Fernando Torres to escape with a 2-2 draw. The winners will travel to second tier Middlesbrough in the fifth round.

NEXT ON SPORT24X

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
  • Blitz
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @00:00
  • SS1
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @01:00
  • SS2
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @02:00
  • SS3
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @03:00
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Fixtures
13 February 2016
Sunderland v Manchester United, Stadium of Light 14:45
Norwich City v West Ham United, Carrow Road 17:00
Everton v West Bromwich Albion, Goodison Park 17:00
Swansea City v Southampton, Liberty Stadium 17:00
Crystal Palace v Watford, Selhurst Park 17:00
Bournemouth v Stoke City, Vitality Stadium 17:00
Chelsea v Newcastle United, Stamford Bridge 19:30
14 February 2016
Arsenal v Leicester City, Emirates Stadium 14:00
Aston Villa v Liverpool, Villa Park 16:05
Manchester City v Tottenham Hotspur, Etihad Stadium 18:15
27 February 2016
West Ham United v Sunderland, Boleyn Ground 14:45
Stoke City v Aston Villa, Britannia Stadium 17:00
Leicester City v Norwich City, King Power Stadium 17:00
Southampton v Chelsea, St. Mary's Stadium 17:00
Watford v Bournemouth, Vicarage Road 17:00
West Bromwich Albion v Crystal Palace, The Hawthorns 19:30
Logs
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team
Vote

Who was the best summer signing in the EPL?

 
 
/Sport
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Featured

As the Absa Premiership nears the Christmas break, a little over half the season remains. Who will be crowned champions when all is said and done? Which teams will be relegated? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.