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Hudson-Odoi in his own words, Minto on Beckham and Lampard’s call for togetherness in today’s match programme

Toni Rudiger features as the cover star on today’s matchday programme following the German’s brace in our last outing at Leicester, while Callum Hudson-Odoi discusses his Ghanaian upbringing and reveals the story behind his Twitter handle.

Two-goal Toni is also the subject of Previously, which looks at his best bits as a Blue following his starring role at the King Power Stadium before our winter break, which was his 100th Chelsea appearance.

Hudson-Odoi is the focus of this issue’s In His Own Words, in which the teenager talks about his Ghanaian parentage and his experiences growing up with Chelsea and England. 

'I've been a Chelsea fan since I joined and, trust me, when you play for the club you support, it's a massive feeling,' he admits. 'You just can't believe it. All those years I was sitting in the stands and looking at players like Didier Drogba, Eden Hazard and Willian, because they are in the sort of positions that I play and I wanted to try and emulate them. So, when I got my chance and I was on the pitch with Hazard for the first time, it was such a great feeling.'

In his programme notes, Frank Lampard urges the Chelsea fans to make the difference from the stands across a crucial upcoming run of home fixtures. ‘This is an opportunity for us to now show what we can do here, with two important league matches at home, followed by Bayern Munich in the Champions League,’ writes the boss.

‘We will need the support of the fans in the stands and the players are focused on delivering on the pitch.’

Cesar Azpilicueta reiterates that rallying cry in his captain’s column, targeting three points against Manchester United. ‘It’s a big one and, after two consecutive draws in the Premier League, we must show the desire to get the three points because we want to get back to winning ways and recover the consistency that we are all working for,’ says the Spaniard.

Lampard’s assistant Joe Edwards features in this edition’s Within The Ranks, where he looks at the huge run of fixtures over the coming weeks and discusses Billy Gilmour’s recent step up to the first-team dressing room.

Elsewhere, former Blues defender Scott Minto picks out David Beckham for the latest Stargazing and reveals what it was like to come up against the most famous footballer of his generation.

Another star in own era, Charlie Cooke, features in Secrets of the Dressing Room as we look back at the Swinging Sixties in west London and the pressure of replacing the heart and soul of the dressing room at that time, Terry Venables.


-This season’s matchday programme remains at £3.50 and is available in and around Stamford Bridge, the Megastore and online. Cashless payment is now available from certain sellers.

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