A round-up of news and views relating to Chelsea over the past 24 hours.
Gary Cahill and Ashley Cole have both returned to fitness ahead of Chelsea Europa League semi-final with Basel, with Oscar also recovering from a slight groin injury. Philipp Degen is the main injury concern for the home side, who are aiming to knock out their second Premier League side after defeating Tottenham Hotspur in the quarter-finals.
Petr Cech says Chelsea are hoping to make history by winning the Europa League this season and make up for their disappointment in the Champions League:
“We could be the first team in history to have won the Champions League and the Europa League back to back. That would be a great achievement.”
Rafa Benitez believes Basel will be a serious challenge to Chelsea’s chances in the tournament, highlighting the threat that the Swiss team can pose on the counter attack.
Arsene Wenger has warned Chelsea not to underestimate Basel, and suggested that the Swiss side have proven they raise their game against English opposition after their performances against Spurs and Manchester United over the past two seasons.
The FA have handed Luis Suarez a ten match ban for biting Branislav Ivanovic in the 2-2 draw at Anfield last Sunday, after determining the standard three match ban for violent conduct was insufficient.
Fernando Torres has suggested that part of the reason for his struggles at Chelsea is that the Blues side plays more as a group of individuals, rather than a team like Liverpool:
“It's difficult in this team because we really depend too much on individuality.
"We have players like [Eden] Hazard, [Juan] Mata, Oscar and [Frank] Lampard - they are talented players so we are not speaking about tactics. It's a bit more difficult than my time with him [Benitez] in Liverpool.”
Borussia Dortmund’s chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke has said Chelsea are a “black hole” to him since Peter Kenyon left, and also stated that he has far better contacts at other Premier League sides like Manchester United and Arsenal.
On HITC today we look at the former Chelsea star who has said Abramovich is just a rich fan, and also ask if Chelsea’s Premier League position will decide which manager they end up with next season.
image: © Ronnie Macdonald