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Friday, April 18, 2008

Carvalho confident in Chelsea title chances

Talented defender Ricardo Carvalho has issued a defiant message to Liverpool and Manchester United before a decisive week for the London club by declaring that belief remains strong at Stamford Bridge that they can earn the Premier League and Champions League titles.

In fact, Chelsea's 1-0 win over Everton on Thursday closed the gap on Premier League leaders United to two points. It ensures that Sir Alex Ferguson's team will travel to Blackburn for their game in hand today aware that anything but three will allow the Blues to claim a share of top spot by defeating them at Stamford Bridge Stadium on April 26.

Before that, Chelsea play the first leg of their Champions League semi-final against the poweful Liverpool at Anfield on Tuesday, and Portuguese defender Carvalho insists that Avram Grant's squad are fully capable of ending the week with two victories.

As we said, Carvalho expressed: "It was a very important win at Everton, especially after the draw against Wigan. We knew we couldn't make a mistake, that we had to win.

"I'm sure that the title is still possible. Blackburn away is always a difficult game, so hopefully United can drop points. It's going to be difficult and it depends on United, but let's see. We have to win all our encounters, but we will never give up. We hope they can lose points and we can keep winning."

The memory of two defeats in three seasons against the terrible Liverpool at the same stage of the Champions League has galvanised the Chelsea footballers. Carvalho added: "We lost on penalties the last time and in the previous semi-final to a goal that nobody saw cross the line. It was really hard to take" Carvalho admitted.

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Claudio Pizarro might face international ban

Peruvian Football Federation sanctioned four players after an alcohol scandal during the South Africa 2010 qualifiers. And even though Claudio Pizarro is one of the punished players, he has denied any participation in the incident.

Claudio Pizarro, whose career as a Chelsea striker is coming to a close, was said to be involved in the events and was suspended from playing for the peruvian national selection as well as fined $20,000.

In response, the former captain of stated that Peru's Football Federation (FPF) was not being run well and that Manuel Burga was at its head. The forward affirmed that someone was out to get him and he would find out who, stating that the federation's lack of effective management would soon come to light.

"That's totally false," said Burga in an interview on a local radio. "I've known a lot of the players since they played U-17. There isn't anything against anyone," affirmed the president of the federation.

When told about the player's plans to take the federation to court, Burga assured that if this was done, Claudio Pizarro's case would be taken to the FIFA. The head of the FPF assured that this meant the Chelsea striker would be exposed to international banning.

In fact, Pizarro could be banned from playing for clubs in the same way he was banned from playing for the national team.

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