Terry still believing, United host Fulham
Chelsea captain John Terry has told his team to forget their UEFA Champions League setback last night as they look to keep their unlikely Premier League title hopes alive.
The Blues, who lost 1-0 to Manchester United in their quarter-final first-leg at Stamford Bridge last night, host basement boys Wigan on Saturday knowing their need to win their remaining eight games to stand a realistic chance of retaining their crown.
Carlo Ancelotti's side, who sit fourth, are 11 points behind United, but have a game in hand and have still to travel to Old Trafford in the league. And England skipper Terry insists there is still plenty to play for.
"We must now focus on the capture of the Premier League points on Saturday, but have the bonus of a near fully-fit squad," he said on the club's official website. "We've got Wigan at home at the weekend, we're still in the title race. We're many points away but we've got one of the strongest squads in the league.
"Everyone is fit apart from Alex at the moment, who's just match sharpness away, and we can get everyone involved at this key part of the season."
Chelsea will be hoping Manchester United slip up at home to Fulham, whose cause will be helped by the absence of Wayne Rooney. The striker was handed a two-match ban by the
Arsenal are United's closest challengers, but have slipped seven points behind the leaders with a game in hand on the back of three straight draws. The Gunners head to struggling Blackpool on Sunday knowing failure to win again will all but end their title hopes. The omens are good, though, with Blackpool just a point above the bottom three and with just two wins this year.
Manchester City will bid to strength their top-four ambitions on Monday night when they travel to Liverpool. Roberto Mancini's men are third, a point clear of Chelsea and six ahead of Tottenham, having played a game more than both teams.
They will have their work cut out against the Reds strikeforce of Andy Carroll and Luis Suarez, though, which the England international feels is set to flourish. "In training we've been on the same team and working hard together,'' he said. "We've played a couple of games together now which has been promising, so I am looking forward to it.
"As you can see, Luis is fast, can get around people and has fast feet, and he has shown he can finish. As we continue to train together, he'll get to know my movements as much as I will know his. I'm positive we can score lots of goals for the club. I'm hoping it will be any time now that I will get a goal, and he will probably give me the assist."
Elsewhere on Saturday, Tottenham will look to bounce back from their Champions League mauling by Real Madrid with victory at home to Stoke as they chase a top-four finish. Second bottom Wolves host Everton and third bottom West Ham travel to Bolton with both teams knowing even a draw could be enough to lift them out of the drop zone, if other results go their way.
Two sides just two points above the bottom three, Blackburn and Birmingham, go head to head at Ewood Park. West Brom, who came from behind to beat Liverpool 2-1 last time out, travel to out-of-form Sunderland. On Sunday, another side with plenty of work still to do to preserve their top-flight status, Aston Villa, host Newcastle.