A round-up of stories relating to Chelsea over the past 24 hours.
John Terry looks likely to captain Chelsea in Saturday’s lunchtime game against Arsenal. Terry was given a £220,000 fine and a four-match ban for a racial slur aimed at Anton Ferdinand but the 31-year-old will have 14 days to respond to the verdict and no ban will be effective until the Chelsea captain decides on appealing.
And Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo says he has no qualms about Terry's temperament ahead of the Arsenal game following a tumultuous week: 'He's a senior player, he's a professional player as well and he's got all the experience in the world'.
Anton Ferdinand has spoken out on Twitter following the ‘guilty’ verdict levied at John Terry and claimed that ‘footage don’t lie’. Ferdinand has not spoken on the matter due to legal complications involving the civil court case and the FA trial but issued such a response on the social networking site.
Sir Alex Ferguson believes John Terry may look upon the four-match ban punishment as ‘lenient’ and accept the verdict in efforts to move on. United manager Ferguson compared the punishment to that of Luis Suarez’s eight-game ban and with the case having already taken a year to resolve, Ferguson hopes Terry and football will move on from the affair.
John Terry returned to training this morning and will be available to play. Otherwise, Frank Lampard has overcome an ankle injury that ruled him out of Chelsea’s midweek Capital One Cup win against Wolves but forward Daniel Sturridge remains sidelined with a hamstring injury. Chelsea have no other injury concerns heading into tomorrow’s game at Arsenal.
Cesar Azpilicueta has been speaking about two of Arsenal’s players ahead of tomorrow’s game. The right-back played against Olivier Giroud in the French league and marked out the striker’s ability to play with his back to goal and link up with teammates in the attacking game. And the Spaniard was complimentary of compatriot Santi Cazorla who likewise made a move to London this summer: ‘He’s a fantastic player with a great touch who can also score goals’.
Chelsea are reportedly interested in AC Milan 17-year-old Bryan Cristante. A report in Italy-based TuttoMercatoWeb claim the highly-rated midfielder, who broke into Milan's first-team last year but is yet to feature this season, has been touted to Chelsea and his agent is in London now to broker a deal.
According to Sky Sports, Chelsea are monitoring the progress of 15-year-old Swede Ihan Naser. Naser trained with Chelsea earlier this month and scored in a youth game against Crystal Palace for the Blues. Naser is currently with Gunnilses IF in Sweden.
image: © Ronnie Macdonald