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
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Fixtures
19 April 2014
Tottenham Hotspur v Fulham, White Hart Lane 13:45
West Ham United v Crystal Palace, Boleyn Ground 16:00
Cardiff City v Stoke City, Cardiff City Stadium 16:00
Newcastle United v Swansea City, St. James' Park 16:00
Aston Villa v Southampton, Villa Park 16:00
Chelsea v Sunderland, Stamford Bridge 18:30
20 April 2014
Norwich City v Liverpool, Carrow Road 13:00
Hull City v Arsenal, The KC Stadium 15:05
Everton v Manchester United, Goodison Park 17:10
21 April 2014
Manchester City v West Bromwich Albion, Etihad Stadium 21:00
Logs
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team
Vote

Which team do you think will win the English Premiership?

 
 
Featured Blog

The stock of Bulls and Sharks 2014 Super Rugby jerseys are slowly becoming available after the festive season break, writes blogger Baylion.

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Newsletters Sign up for the Morning Glory, Super 15 and Soccer newsletters

Blogs Yes your opinion counts. Get it out there

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

Mobile Sport24 on your mobile phone - WAP, alerts, downloads, services

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

TV schedule Plan your couch time with our searchable sport TV guide

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

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