As the injury problems at Chelsea finally looking like we’re over the worst, yesterday brought more bad news in the shape of our super striker, Didier Drogba, due to a fever.
With Benayoun now looking like he’ll miss the majority of the season, and with Kalou, Alex & Lampard all still not yet ready for first team action, the Villa match sees us play something of a ‘weakened’ team for our trip to the Midlands.
Ancelotti named his team yesterday, stating that the line up will be Cech, Ferreira, Ivanovic, Terry, Cole, Ramires, Essien, Mikel, Kakuta, Malouda and Anelka, meaning the subs bench will certainly contain a few younger players such as Van Aanholt, Bruma, Borini, McEachran & possibly Mellis alongside Zhirkov and the returning Bosingwa.
Speaking ahead of the match, Ancelotti spoke of Terry’s return from the injury that kept him out of England’s mid-week match; “This is a different moment, he is not 100 per cent, no. He had a problem with his back and tried to train, and it wasn’t perfect. I’ll ask him if he’s fit to play, but he is in my team at the moment. But Villa are dangerous from set pieces because they have good jumpers.”
“Today we can speak about injuries but in three days it is different, maybe just Lampard or Drogba,” he added. “We can do nothing about Drogba, it is a fever, and the problem of Sturridge, a knock on his ankle during the game.”
When asked about his subs he said; “On the bench we have a goalkeeper, Turnbull, we have Bosingwa, Zhirkov, Van Aanholt, McEachran, and we have to choose from Borini or Mellis. Bruma is our fourth centre-back, and tomorrow he will be on the bench.”
He added; “I am not forced to use them, I think we need to have this quality, we have trust. Tomorrow we have Kakuta and I trust Kakuta. Everyone says McEachran is a fantastic player, I am not complaining about this, I am happy.”
Villa striker Emile Heskey is a doubt due to shin and calf problems. John Carew is set to get the nod if Heskey fails a fitness test. New Villa boss Gérard Houllier raised a smile amongst many blues supporters, and many neutrals too, claiming that Heskey is as good as Didier Drogba!
The Frenchman said; “Drogba is a fantastic centre-forward, probably the best in the world. He’s got everything. He can score by himself, be on the end of crosses, head the ball, take free-kicks, and he works very hard for the team. Emile has got some attributes that look like Didier, but he doesn’t seem to use them. When he uses them, he’s the centre-forward you saw in the last few games.”
With Chelsea four points clear of our closest rivals in the league, we will remain top no matter what happens this weekend, however we must guard against complacency and hope that, with the players we have missing, their replacements step up to the plate, and make sure of another three points.
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