A round-up of news and views relating to Chelsea over the past 24 hours.
Chelsea will still be without Gary Cahill and Ashley Cole for the visit of Sunderland this weekend, but Demba Ba will return to the squad after missing out against Rubin Kazan in the Europa League. Ba will be looking to displace Fernando Torres, who scored a brace against the Russian side last night.
Paolo Di Canio will be in charge of Sunderland for the first time on Sunday, and has a string of injury problems in his team. Lee Cattermole, Wes Brown and Steven Fletcher are long term absentees, with David Vaughan and Carlos Cuellar also struggling to be fit for the match at Stamford Bridge.
Di Canio has been embroiled in controversy about his political views since his appointment at Sunderland, but John Terry has backed the Italian as a “nice guy” after playing against him early in his Chelsea career.
Terry also said that Chelsea had to be completely focussed on the game with Sunderland despite the excitement after their Europa League win. Chelsea put themselves in command of the tie against Rubin with a 3-1 win, But Terry has said the club must ensure they qualify for next year’s Champions League:
“We must win and keep winning games in the league and really push.
"Because that is what this club feeds off - the Champions League. We must be involved in that.”
Victor Moses has backed Fernando Torres to go on a scoring run after firing two past Rubin last night. The Nigerian winger described Torres as a natural goal-scorer, and said the Spaniard will now get his confidence back. However on HITC today Mathew Nash argues that Torres finding the net against the likes of Rubin Kazan and Brentford does not mean he is back to his best.
In transfer news, Chelsea are reportedly close to finalising a deal for Leverkusen forward Andre Schurrle, with the Blues set to play £12million and send Kevin de Bruyne on loan to the German side. On HITC today, we question whether risking losing De Bruyne in the move is an unwise gamble for Chelsea to take?
image: © Ronnie Macdonald