A round-up of news and views relating to Chelsea over the past 24 hours.
Rafa Benitez has ruled captain John Terry out of tomorrow’s clash with Wigan after the centre back suffered an inflammation in his knee. Terry only recently returned from a lengthy lay off, but this latest knock is not expected to keep him out for long.
Peter Cech and Demba Ba have both been declared fit despite suffering broken bones in the last week. Demba Ba has had a mask fitted to protect his nose, with was broken in during last weekend’s match at Newcastle.
Eden Hazard also returns to the squad after serving his three match ban for kicking out at all ball boy during the Capital One Cup semi-final draw at Swansea. The Belgian has said that although he was frustrated to be banned, the rest might have done him good:
“I didn’t play the last three games due to that suspension.”
“I’d rather it not have been like that, it was frustrating, but on the other side I have fresh legs. The rest did me well.”
Wigan might also be without their captain, as defender Gary Caldwell has only been rated at 50/50 to make the match after pulling out of international duty midweek. However they will be able to call on Arouna Kone, who returned from international duty with the Ivory Coast during the week.
Chelsea go into the match tomorrow on the back of four games without a win, but Rafa Benitez has insisted they have been playing well:
“We could have won all the games we didn't win. It's a question of sometimes doing the right things at the right moment, having a bit more luck, being more clinical, not making mistakes in defence.”
After reports suggested that Benitez’ job could be on the line if Chelsea failed to beat Wigan, Roberto Martinez commented on the pressure that the Spaniard was facing at Stamford Bridge by saying all managers faced similar scrutiny in the Premier League:
"Believe me, being a manager of a club comes with pressure. It is pressure you put on yourself."
There was speculation that Chelsea had changed their mind and were set to offer Frank Lampard a contract extension after his fine recent performances, but last night his agent, Steve Kutner, has said they had not heard anything from the club to suggest their position on Lampard had altered. On HITC today, Mathew Nash argues that even if Chelsea do offer a contract, Lampard should turn it down, whilst Jenny Leigh looks at whether Gerrard and Lampard should go to the World Cup in 2014.
Also on HITC, we look at whether Rafa Benitez might look to use Yossi Benayoun to try and reignite Fernando Torres in the last few months of the season. The Israeli has previously played under Benitez with Torres at Liverpool.
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