Football

Makelele relishes return to Stamford Bridge

EPL
 CHELSEA SWANSEA

Swansea City assistant coach Claude Makelele retains fond memories of his successful spell as a Chelsea player, but the Frenchman will temporarily sever ties with the London side when his current team face the Premier League leaders tonight.

The former Chelsea and France midfielder Makelele spent five years at Stamford Bridge, winning two Premier League titles along with two FA Cups and a League Cup success among his 217 appearances.

"Chelsea gave me a lot in my career. Now I go there not as an enemy, but as an opponent who works for a different club," the 44-year-old Frenchman told Swansea's website.

"The fans of Chelsea understand I am on a different side now. But I can't and won't forget my time there.

"I see two clubs - Real Madrid and Chelsea - as my home.

"I am happy to go 'home' on Saturday. But my focus now is with Swansea and, hopefully, we will get a good result there."

Swansea have won four of their last six league games, a run of form which has propelled the club from the depths of the Premier League up to 15th, four points ahead of the bottom three with 13 games remaining.

"It will be a difficult game. To win at that stadium is very difficult - it's one of the most difficult places to win in the Premier League," Makelele said.

"Forget about the table - that's the first thing (manager) Paul (Clement) will tell them."

Tonight's game also marks the return of Clement to Stamford Bridge, the Swansea manager having worked as Carlo Ancelotti's assistant at the west London club. - AFP

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