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Chelsea vs Hull City at the Premier League

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Third place Chelsea host eleventh place Hull City at Stamford Bridge this weekend, a win for the Tigers could put them in the top ten whereas a Chelsea could step up to second.

Indeed, Hull have a mammoth task onh thier hands to beat the Blues, as Chelsea hold a hundred percent record against the three promoted clubs this season.

Chelsea also boost the strongest attack in the Premier League with forty-four goals scored and Hull have the weakest defence at forty-six goals conceded.

Kose Bosingwa and Frank Lampard of Chelsea and Michael Turner are the only remaining players to have started all of Premier League encounteres this season for their respective clubs. Turner has been on the field for every minute of Hull's League encounteres.

Nicolas Anelka is the top scorer in the Premier League with seventeen goals in all competitions but he has failed ot find the net in his last eight League appearances.

Hull's Nick Barmy needs two goals to reach one hundred club career goals and squad mate Dean Marney will be making his 150th club career appearance (Tottenham, Swindon, QPR, Gillingham, Norwich and Hull).

If selected Chelsea's Michael Ballack will be making his one hundredth appearance for the Blues.

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Germany vs. Norway: Ballack will be present

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Chelsea popular player Michael Ballack and Bremen's Torsten Frings have both been recalled to the Germany squad to face Norway in a friendly next Wednesday, but there is no place for Lukas Podolski.

Frings's Werder squad-mate Mesut Oezil, 20, has been called up for the first time as has Hoffenheim's Andreas Beck, while Borussia Moenchengladbach teenager Marko Marin is in line to win his fifth cap against Norway.

In fact, veteran Frings returned after being dropped from the starting side for the World Cup qualifiers against Russia and Wales last October which led to captain Ballack stating senior players deserve more respect and loyalty from coach Joachim Loew.

Ballack's words sparked a public row with Loew, but the matter was later resolved after the Chelsea midfielder apologised.

Neither player was selected to face England in last November's friendly, which Fabio Capello's side won 2-1 at Berlin's Olympic Stadium, as Ballack was injured and Frings was not considered.

Meanwhile, after some impresive performances for Bremen, Oezil had to choose between Germany and Turkey, from where his family originates, and the Germany Under-21 popular player was delighted with his promotion to die Mannschaft.

"I am pleased about the invitation and hope to take my chance in the German national squad," expressed Oezil on the German Football Federation (DFB) website.

"It’s true that it is the correct choice.

"The decision was not an easy one to make, because my family and many friends originate from Turkey.

"It was not a decision against my Turkish roots.

"My family is now the third generation in Germany and I have always felt my chance lay with the DFB.

"So I hope I can continue my success with the Germany Under-21 squad at the European Championships in Sweden this summer."

Loew had been waiting to see if Oezil would opt to play for Germany and the pair spoke last Friday.

"The Turkish federation have been trying to win over Mesut recently and he was in a difficult situation," expressed Loew.

"We understood and had to wait until he decided who he wants to play for.

"In a telephone call with me last Friday, he told me he wants to play for the Germany squad.

"He is another candidate for the midfield and he will get his chance against Norway."

As well as midfielders Frings and Ballack, Bayern Munich defender Philipp Lahm is also back in the squad after injury, while Bayer Leverkusen's Stefan Kiessling has earned a re-call.

Kiessling's only international encounter appearance was in March 2007 against Denmark in the 1-0 defeat at Duisburg.

"Stefan has played very well so far in the Bundesliga and has earned his chance," expressed Loew.

But there is no place in the Germany squad for Bayern's Lukas Podolski, who is third-choice striker at Munich and has struggled with a back injury and illness this season.

"The qualities of Lukas are undisputed and he played very well for the national squad last year," expressed Loew.

"Still, for three months he has been injured and suffered illness, so regular training was not possible for him," expressed Loew.

"We want to give him time to get his form back and this clash was too early for him.

"We hope he will be back for the World Cup qualifiers against Liechtenstein and Wales in Cardiff later this season."

Germany squad:

Goalkeepers: Rene Adler (Bayer Leverkusen), Tim Wiese (Werder Bremen)


Andreas Beck (Hoffenheim), Arne Friedrich (Hertha Berlin), Andreas Hinkel (Celtic Glasgow/SCO), Philipp Lahm (Bayern Munich), Per Mertesacker (Werder Bremen), Serdar Tasci (Stuttgart), Heiko Westermann (Schalke 04).


Michael Ballack (Chelsea/ENG), Torsten Frings (Werder Bremen), Thomas Hitzlsperger (Stuttgart), Marko Marin (Borussia Moenchengladbach), Mesut Oezil (Werder Bremen), Simon Rolfes (Bayer Leverkusen), Bastian Schweinsteiger (Bayern Munich), Piotr Trochowski (Hamburg)


Mario Gomez (Stuttgart), Patrick Helmes (Bayer Leverkusen), Stefan Kiessling (Bayer Leverkusen), Miroslav Klose (Bayern Munich)

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