April 12, 2017 / 6:34 AM / 5 months ago

Chelsea can handle big-game challenge - Desailly

FILE PHOTO - Football Soccer - Paris St Germain v Chelsea - UEFA Champions League Round of 16 First Leg - Parc des Princes, Paris, France - 15/16 - 16/2/16 Marcel Desailly Action Images via Reuters / Lee Smith

(Reuters) - Chelsea face a pair of season-defining fixtures in the next two weeks but former captain Marcel Desailly sees no reason for the Premier League leaders to feel daunted by the challenge that lies ahead.

Chelsea remain on course for a domestic double and first travel to Manchester United on Sunday hoping to maintain a seven-point advantage in the league before taking on Tottenham Hotspur in an FA Cup semi-final at Wembley six days later.

“These two weeks are the key moments and games for Chelsea but they will make it. There’s no reason why the players should shake in front of these various events,” Desailly, who won the FA Cup with Chelsea in 2000, told Sky Sports.

“It’s just that they have to finish correctly. The FA Cup is there against Tottenham, there are many major important games such as United this weekend, so you have to be careful.”

Later this month, Chelsea will host Southampton before they embark on a tough away game to Everton, who have won their last seven league matches at Goodison Park.

Chelsea finished 10th last season and Desailly felt the reintegration of Victor Moses in the squad and the additions of midfielder N‘Golo Kante and wing back Marcos Alonso have been key to the club’s change in fortunes.

“When you look at last season where it was very difficult,” the 48-year-old added. “This year you have three new players: Kante, Alonso and Moses and you just change a little bit of the tactics, it’s just an amazing season for Chelsea.”

Reporting by Shravanth Vijayakumar in Bengaluru

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