Chelsea boss to ring the changes


Soccer:Andre Villas-Boas has confirmed he will make changes for Chelsea’s Premier League game at Wolves tomorrow.

Blues boss Villas-Boas was concerned about the risks of asking some of his players to start twice in 48 hours following yesterday’s home defeat to Aston Villa. Branislav Ivanovic and John Obi Mikel (both hamstring) remain sidelined, along with Michael Essien (knee).

Chelsea fans showed their anger at the team's poor run of form by leaving Stamford Bridge in their droves before the end of the 3-1 home defeat by Villa.

While Villa's delirious players ran to the corner of the ground to celebrate with their supporters, the rest of the stadium was half-empty - a sure sign the Chelsea faithful are growing increasingly impatient with Villas-Boas.

The young Portuguese, however, looks unlikely to buckle under the weight of expectation at a club that has gone through seven managers in seven years.

"The fans have a right to show their disappointment," Villas-Boas said after Chelsea dropped to fifth in the Premier League table. "The resentment they feel we must take on board.

"It's fair and we respect them. They are the people who represent this club and its history and they are the most important people. It's a pity and we regret putting on a show like this," said Villas-Boas after the Londoners were sunk by goals from Stephen Ireland, Stilian Petrov and Darren Bent. "There is no running away or excuses."

Chelsea, who won the Premier League and FA Cup double under Carlo Ancelotti 19 months ago, have taken three points from their last four matches.

Trailing Manchester City by 11 points at the halfway stage of the season, and with the leaders having a game in hand against Sunderland today, Villas-Boas has conceded the title race is all but run for the 2005, 2006 and 2010 champions.

"The Premier League seems very difficult for us now," said the 34-year-old who took over when Italian Ancelotti was sacked at the end of last season. "That is the reality we face based on these December fixtures. But there are still two good tournaments for us to go for in 2012: the Champions League and the FA Cup."