A round-up of news and views relating to Chelsea over the past 24 hours.
John Terry and Frank Lampard are likely to return to Chelsea’s starting line-up for the trip to play Fulham tomorrow night at Craven Cottage. Both were left out of the FA Cup loss to Manchester City on Sunday. Gary Cahill and Ashley Cole are expected to miss out again due to injury. Marko Marin is also a doubt for the match.
Damian Duff is out injured for the home side, as are Ashkan Dejagah and Mohammed Diarra, whilst former Chelsea midfielder Steve Sidwell is suspended.
Rafa Benitez has said he sees Lampard and Terry as part of his squad, and cannot guarantee they will start in Chelsea’s remaining games this season:
“We've had a lot of games and still have nine or 10 to play, so all the squad and players are important. It has to be the same until the end. We have to manage the squad, and will do so until the end.”
The Chelsea boss said his team needed to make a fast start against Fulham on Wednesday night and avoid a repeat of their lackluster first half against Manchester City if they are to win the match.
Benitez also played down suggestions that David Luiz is set to take over as Chelsea captain in the future, saying that he wanted to focus on Chelsea’s upcoming fixtures and give equal credit to all of his players.
Luiz has said that finishing in the top four and winning the Europa League would mean that Chelsea’s season was a success. Chelsea have already missed out on seven potential trophies this year, but the Brazilian defender believes a strong finish can turn the season around.
Chelsea’s crucial Premier League match with Tottenham Hotspur has been rearranged to take place on Wednesday 8th May. The game might be key in settling the Champions League places in the Premiership, having originally postponed to allow Chelsea to play their FA Cup semi-final.
Chelsea have reportedly agreed a £20million deal for Bayer Leverkusen forward Andre Schurrle, with the two clubs set to finalise the summer transfer on Friday. Initial speculation had suggested Kevin De Bruyne would go to Leverkusen on loan as part of a deal, but the German side have rejected the idea in favour of a cash only transfer.
On HITC today we report on how Hoffenheim’s decision to sell Demba Ba to West Ham for just £800,00 has been described in the press as the German club’s worst ever piece of business, and also look at whether could use Kevin De Bruyne as part of a long term attempt to sign Mats Hummels.
image: © Jason Bagley