Chelsea latest: Oscar injured, Mata commits, Courtois confident

Oscar Chelsea

All the latest news and views from Stamford Bridge.

International fixture week has, thus far, not been kind to Chelsea. Having already learned that Eden Hazard is a doubt for Belgium after leaving the mid-week training ground with an injury, Jose Mourinho's attacking midfield problems continue as Oscar has suffered an ankle knock whilst with the Brazil squad.

Hazard remains upbeat that he will be fit to face Scotland, however, Oscar is almost a certainty to be omitted from action, with Blues team-mate Ramires likely to take his place in the Samba Stars selection.

Fellow attacker Juan Mata was at the centre of a potential transfer saga as mainstream media linked the out-of-favour Spaniard with a Stamford Bridge exit. The player, though, has reiterated his happiness in West London, claims his time at the club has seen him play the best football of his career and expressed his desire to claim back a first-team role.

He told Chelsea TV: 'I think it’s normal in every transfer window that there are lots of rumours but I’m happy here. It’s been a very, very good two seasons for me here, maybe the best of my career, and what I want this season is the same. I’ve had plenty of rest and now I’m feeling really good. The best thing for me is to play because I love to play.'

Also making an appearance on Chelsea TV, were England duo Frank Lampard and Gary Cahill, who spoke of their Three Lions commitment ahead of a World Cup qualifying fixture against Moldova.

Lampard identified the midweek match as one in which the national side will need to raise their game for, he said: 'We've got four games to go now and we need to go into them with the mentality to win them.

'Ukraine's a very tough game; we played them a few years ago in the group stages and lost 1-0. We managed to get a result at the Euros, but we played them at Wembley earlier in the group and they were good. They have a lot of good young players and it will be very tough.

'But we're a good team as well so we need to go there confident in ourselves.'

Summer recruit Christian Atsu, meanwhile, has spoken of his affection for Mourinho and how he wants to emulate the impression left on the club by fellow Africans; Didier Drogba and Michael Essien.

He is quoted by the BBC to have said: 'When Chelsea came to me, I seized the opportunity to work with a great club and a great coach. I hope someday i will make impression, as have done Essien and Didier Drogba.'

After David Luiz confirmed he had no intention of swapping Blue for Barca, Thibuat Courtois has joined the cause of loyalty and confessed he too wants to forge out his own path in the first-team under Mourinho.

He told Belgian journal DH: 'I’m not afraid of fighting for my place with Cech. I’m not afraid of anyone. I have faith in my ability and I know that Mourinho doesn’t let a player’s status affect his selection decisions.'

And finally… Zlatan Ibrahimovic wrote in his autobiography that he would die for Jose Mourinho…

image: © Ben Sutherland

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