WILLIAN: VERY IMPORTANT GAME
The Blues welcome Southampton to Stamford Bridge on Sunday, the first of three Barclays Premier League games in the space of a week, with Willian confident we can maintain the pressure on those teams above us.
Having swept West Ham United aside last weekend in comfortable fashion, Jose Mourinho's side suffered midweek disappointment in the Champions League, undone by a late Basel goal in Switzerland.
Willian played all but the last four minutes at St Jakob-Park before being replaced by Kevin De Bruyne, and though he wasn't involved at Upton Park, the Brazilian is hoping we can match our performance against the Hammers when we take on Mauricio Pochettino's men, who have already won at Anfield and drawn at Old Trafford.
'This game is very important for us because we need to put in a good performance after the disappointment against Basel,' he tells the official Chelsea website. 'We have an obligation to play well and to win the game. We are playing at home, after all, and we need to build on last week's win against West Ham and hopefully keep the pressure on the teams above us in the league.
'A victory will give us even more motivation in what is a busy period and hopefully we can get it with a strong display. They are playing well at the moment and they have been since the beginning of the season.
'Sunday is going to be a very difficult game but we know what we have to do. There are certain difficulties we will face but the most important thing is to be patient and play our own game, like we did against West Ham. We need to take control of the ball and play our passing game, it's an important match and we need a victory.'
The Blues remain unbeaten at home in the Premier League, with the 2-2 draw against West Bromwich Albion earlier this month the only occasion on which we've dropped points in front of our own supporters.
With Sunday's encounter preceding trips to both Sunderland and Stoke, however, the attacker is aware of the importance of performing both at home and away.
'This is a big club, we are playing at home and when you play in front of your own supporters you are expected to win the game,' he says.
'However, if we want to be challenging for the title we also need to do well away from home. After Sunday's match we face two tough away games in a row so a good performance against Southampton will be good for confidence ahead of Sunderland and Stoke.'
Willian's performances since making his debut for the club in our opening Champions League game of the season have improved to such an extent that he was called into Luiz Felipe Scolari's Brazil squad for their recent friendlies against Honduras and Chile.
A huge smile appears on the player's face as he reflects on the two games, and perhaps more significantly, a first senior goal for the national side.
'It's a dream for every player in the world to represent their country, and when you get there the feeling is one of pure joy and happiness,' explains Willian. 'When you go out on the pitch with Brazil it's absolutely unbelievable and I was just happy I was able to contribute in a positive way.
'I played in the first game against Honduras, I did well and scored which was brilliant. Then, in the second game - against Chile - I came on as a substitute and did okay again. It was a wonderful feeling and all I want to do now is continue to work hard for Chelsea.
'I never think that the form I'm producing at a certain time is good enough, I never allow myself to get too comfortable because that is what drives you on, I always think there is room for improvement, that's the way I keep myself motivated and improve.
'I want to play in the game against Southampton and I want to play better than I did against Basel. It's not only in matches, though, it's important to perform on the training pitch because if you do well there you are more likely to play well in games.'
FREE TO VIEW: Sky customers can tune into channel 421 to watch our exclusive pre-match show for free!