LITESPORT 30 Friday, 14 August 2009 London Lite ITS OUR TURNDrogbas confident Chelsea will leave United feeling Blue DIDIERDROGBAhasvowedtoend ManchesterUnitedsluckythree- year reign as Premier League champions. The Ivory Coast forward believes Sir Alex Fergusons side have ben- efited from the rub of the green since Chelseas last title winning season of 2006. Drogba, who will spearhead the Blues attack in tomorrows sea- sonal opener against Hull at Stam- ford Bridge, said: Sometimes to succeed you need to be a bit more lucky and I think Manchester United had this in the last three years. In some games they have not played well, but because they have this winning mentality which was maybe better than us in some games, they created this little bit of luck. I think Ronaldo was a big part of the success of Man- chester United in the last few years.Theywillhavetochange their game, but they still have Nani, who is quite the same. They are still danger- ous and will be trying to keep their title. I hope this year is going to be more difficult for them andwewilltry to create more prob- lems than the other seasons and bring the tro- phy back. Chelseas title assault last sea- sonwasunder- mined by a s e r i e s o f uncharacteristically poor results at home -- including a goalless draw against tomorrows opponents which turned out to be Luiz Felipe Sco- laris final game at the helm. And Drogba is eager to ensure Stamford Bridge retains its status as a fortress. He said: We need to go back to winninggamesregularly,eveneasy games where we think were going to win and then we draw, as well as importantgamesagainstteamslike Tottenham where we lost a lot of points last season. It is really important to go back to this mentality of winners and not be just 100 per cent concen- trated, we need to be 110 or 120 motivated to achieve big things. Itisimportanttobeready.Weare still focused on winning the League and performing well. Drogba (left) endured a torrid time of it last term withinjuriesand disciplinary matters over- shadowing his decisive contributions to his sides run to FA Cup glory. But after recently penning a new con- tract, the 31-year-old is confident his troubles are behind him. He said: This year is different because I know that I am fit. Thank God I have had no inju- riesor anything, I just want to stay like this. The season is about to start and I think I will improve. Upson keeps focus despite transfer talk MATTHEW UPSON is adamant he has not been distracted by transfer rumours linking him with a move away from Upton Park -- and is determined to help West Ham start the season with a win. The central defender has reportedly been a target for Arsenal and Manchester City over the summer, but says he is totally focused on beating Wolves. Ive seen some of the speculation about me during the close season but you cant let these things cloud your thinking, said Upson, who looks certain to be West Hams captain at Wolves tomorrow. Im enjoying playing in a team which is trying to play the right way. Im enjoying the day-to-day life of the club and Im improving as a player which is the main thing. For me, its a massive season, the biggest of my life. Im in good shape and Im ready for it. The Hammers have been boosted by the news that Czech Republic international Radoslav Kovac has agreed a three-year-deal with the club after a successful loan spell last season. Happy Hammer: Matthew Upson DIOMANSY KAMARA insists he will remain with Fulham despite being linked with a move to French champions Bordeaux. The Senegal striker has been talked about as a potential replacement for Marouane Chamakh, should the want- away Morocco international quit Les Girondins for the Premier League. My representatives have been on the phone with the Bordeaux president. People have also spoken about a possible exchange with Marouane Chamakh, he said. But Laurent Blanc hasnt called me. And when a coach doesnt phone you, that signifies that a club doesnt really want you. It would have been an honour for me to be coached by Laurent Blanc. But my priority now is Fulham. CHELSEA v HULL LATEST BETTING MATCH ODDS Chelsea 1-6, Hull 11-1, draw 9-2. FIRST GOALSCORER Drogba 7-1, Anelka 9-2, Lampard 5-1, Malouda 8-1, Essien 10-1, No Scorer 12-1, Cousin 14-1, Geovanni 14-1, Terry 14-1, Ghilas 14-1, Hunt 20-1, Carvalho 28-1. LAST MEETING 7 FEBRUARY 2009 CHELSEA 0 HULL O (PL) OF all the unlikely points Hull managed to plunder last season, this one at Stamford Bridge proved the most valuable. It came at the start of a slump in form which saw them fall from the dizzying heights of a UEFA Cup spot to within a fraction of making an instant return to the Championship. Luiz Felipe Scolari lost his job following this embarrassing result. MATCH FACTS Hull were just one of four away sides to keep a clean sheet at Stamford Bridge in 2008-09. The Blues are looking for an eighth successive opening day win in the Premier League, a divisional record. The Tigers have scored just four goals in their last nine Premier League games. Hull were the most dangerous team from corners last season, scoring 10 times. Chelsea have scored 33 opening weekend Premier League goals, more than any other side. Last season Nicolas Anelka was the first top scorer in the Premier League to fail to reach 20 goals since the 1998-99 campaign when Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, Michael Owen and Dwight Yorke scored 18 each. BY JAMES GOLDMAN bigawasRonaldothinkI Man-ofsuccesstheofpart chester United in the last few changetohavewillTheyyears. havestilltheybutgame,their thequiteiswhoNani, They are still danger- ous and will be trying to keep their title. I isyearthishope morebetogoing cult for themdiffi trywillweand c re at et o seasonsotherthe and bring the tro- titleChelseas assault last sea- under-wasson abymined o fs e r i e s uncharacteristically --homeatresultspoor thewinningonfocusedstill League and performing well. Drogba (left) endured a torrid termlastitoftime andinjurieswith decisivehis histocontributions sides run to FA Cup glory. recentlyafterBut con-newapenning is31-year-oldthetract, dent his troublesconfi are behind him. He said: This year is different because I know that I am t. Thank God Ifi have had no inju- wantjustIanything,orries to stay like this. aboutisseasonThe to start and I think I will improve. PORTSMOUTH v FULHAM TOMORROW, 3PM WOLVERHAMPTON v WEST HAM TOMORROW, 3PM LONDONCALLING ARSENAL ARSENEWENGERiswithout TomasRosicky(hamstring), SamirNasri(leg),TheoWalcott (back),JohanDjourouandLukaszFabianski (knees),whileAbouDiaby(groin)isadoubt. FIRST FIVE GAMES:Tom Everton(a)Aug 19 Celtic(CLQL1,a)22Portsmouth(h)26Celtic(CLQL2, h)29ManUtd(a) CHELSEA YURI ZHIRKOV must wait to make his full Chelsea debut as he is still struggling with a knee injury. Florent Malouda will start on the left. FIRST FIVE GAMES:Tom Hull(h)Aug 18 Sunderland(a)23Fulham(a)29Burnley(h)Sept 12 Stoke(a) FULHAM BREDE HANGELAND will start at Portsmouth, despite the speculation over his future. Clint Dempsey will be assessed today after returning from international duty with USA. NEXT FIVE GAMES: Tom Portsmouth (a) Aug 20 Amkar Perm (ELQL1, h) 23 Chelsea (h) 27 Amkar Perm (ELQL2, a) 30 Aston Villa (a) TOTTENHAM SEBASTIEN BASSONG will make his full Tottenham debut against Liverpool on Sunday. The former Newcastle defender will partner Ledley King in the Spurs defence. FIRST FIVE GAMES:Sun Liverpool(h)Aug 19 Hull(a)23WestHam(a)25Doncaster(CCR2,a)29 Birmingham(h) WEST HAM GIANFRANCO ZOLA will decide whether Danny Gabbidon or James Tomkins should start alongside Matthew Upson at Wolves. Knee victims Valon Behrami and Luis Boa Morte are out. FIRST FIVE GAMES:Tom Wolves(a)Aug 23 Tottenham(h)25Millwall(CCR2,h)29Blackburn(a) Sept 12Wigan(a) CHAMPIONSHIP CRYSTAL PALACE P1 W0 D1 L0 Pts1 SWANSEA are interested in striker Alan Lee. The Irishman will keep his spot in the starting line-up in the place of injured Stern John at Bristol City. NEXT FIVE GAMES:TomBristolCity(a)Aug 18Ipswich(a)22Newcastle(h)27ManCity(CCR2,h) 31Peterborough(a) QPR P1 W0 D1 L0 Pts1 MIKELE LEIGERTWOOD and Akos Buzsaky are expected to keep their places in the QPR team to take on Plymouth. Both players started the 5-0 win over Exeter after injury lay-offs. NEXT FIVE GAMES:TomPlymouth(a)Aug 18BristolCity(a)22NottmForest(h)25Accrington (CCR2,h)29Scunthorpe(a) READING P1 W0 D1 L0 Pts1 NOEL HUNT could start at Newcastle after his substitute return against Burton. Matthew Mills is expected to make his full league debut. NEXT FIVE GAMES:TomNewcastle(a)Aug 18Swansea(a)22SheffUtd(h)25Barnsley(CCR2,h) 29Barnsley(a) WATFORD P1 W0 D1 L0 Pts1 SCOTT LOACH, Ross Jenkins and captain Jay DeMerit should all come back into contention this weekend after returning from international duty. NEXT FIVE GAMES:TomSheffUtd(a)Aug 18 NottmForest(a)22Blackpool(h)25Leeds(CCR2,a) 29Swansea(a) LEAGUE ONE BRENTFORD P1 W1 D0 L0 Pts3 LEWIS PRICE is expected to be reinstated in goal against Kamaras quick to quash talk of Bordeauxmove index.html2.html3.html4.html5.html6.html7.html8.html9.html10.html11.html12.html13.html14.html15.html16.html17.html18.html19.html20.html21.html22.html23.html24.html25.html26.html27.html28.html29.html30.html31.html