A round-up of news and view relating to Chelsea over the past 24 hours.
Chelsea will be without Gary Cahill and Cesar Azpilicueta for the trip to face Middlesbrough in the FA Cup fifth round tomorrow night. Cahill has a virus, whilst Azpilicueta has discomfort in his leg. Rafa Benitez is likely to rotate his side due to their heavy fixture list.
Middlesbrough have a trio of ineligible players, with Josh McEachran unable to feature against his parent club and both Kieron Dyer and Sammy Ameobi cup tied after prior participation in the tournament. Tony Mowbray's side will also be without Jonathan Woodgate and striker Lukas Jutkiewicz.
Tony Mowbray knows his side face a tricky job in attempting to knock out last seasons FA Cup winners, and has warned his players that they will need to work harder than Chelsea if they are to be successful on the night.
Benitez has denied reports that he and John Terry had a training ground bust up, and said that he has a fantastic relationship with the players at Stamford Bridge. There has been speculation that Terry is unhappy with a lack of playing time since he returned from injury, but Benitez said the meeting had following the loss to City was completely normal:
"This was a normal meeting between players and technical staff, which happens after every game. It was normal talk, nothing else. You show your disappointment, that is normal."
Gareth Bale's late striker moved Tottenham Hotspur ahead of Chelsea into third in the Premier League on Monday night, and on HITC today Jenny Leigh looks at which of the top London clubs needs Champions League football the most? Spurs overtook Chelsea in Andre Villas-Boas’ 27th league game, the same number of matches he had at Chelsea before being fired. On HITC, we look at whether he will be able to keep Spurs ahead of Chelsea in the coming weeks.
Hamburg are looking to extend the stay of on loan Chelsea defender Jeffrey Bruma. The 21 year old has only ever made 10 appearances for the Blues, and the German club's sporting director Frank Arnesen has said he will look into the possibility of ensuring the player stays at Hamburg for at least another season.
image: © jorge-11