A round-up of news and views relating to Chelsea over the past 24 hours.
John Terry could return to Chelsea’s starting line-up for the match with Arsenal this Sunday. Rafa Benitez has yet to make a decision on his team after training was made impossible by the wintry conditions today. Mikel and Moses are enjoying better weather away at the African Cup of Nations, whilst Oriol Romeu is still out injured.
Arsenal welcome Laurent Koscielny back from his one match ban after the defender sent off against Manchester City last weekend. Tomas Rosicky and Mikel Arteta are out injured, and Gervinho is away on international duty.
Rafa Benitez has urged his team to remain calm for the match, and reacted bullishly to claims from Arsene Wenger that Chelsea could be fragile at home:
"If you score three goals in the first half, it won't be fragile.
"The main thing is to keep calm, keep pushing and trying to go forward in the right way, and then we won't give any help to the other teams.”
Benitez also said that Arsenal’s attacking intentions could help Chelsea find space when they attacked themselves, and denied that the unrest from the home supporters, who were vehement in their opposition of the Spaniard’s appointment, was affecting was team:
“The atmosphere doesn't affect the players. We are professionals and we concentrate on our job. If we win, I'm sure they'll be happy.”
Frank Lampard is reportedly close to agreeing a move to LA Galaxy after it was made clear that Chelsea will not be renewing the midfielder’s contract. Lampard is able to discuss summer moves with foreign clubs at the moment, and is likely to go to LA as one of their “Designated Players”, replacing David Beckham.
In other transfer news, Barcelona might be lining up a summer move for Chelsea left back Ashley Cole. Cole’s contract expires in the summer, and the 31 year old is unlikely to receive an offer of an extension from Chelsea.
Watford manager Gianfranco Zola has dismissed rumours that he might be in line to take over from Rafa Benitez at Stamford Bridge in the summer. Chelsea’s number one target was believed to be Pep Guardiola, who will join Bayern Munich at the end of the season.
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