Chelsea are away at Brentford in the fourth round of the FA Cup on Sunday and manager Rafa Benitez has given an injury and team news update ahead of the game.
Speaking at his weekly press conference on Friday, Benitez gave the latest injury news on defender John Terry and David Luiz as they prepare to take on the League 1 outfit.
Luiz has been ruled out of the game with the Brazilian aggravating an ankle injury after coming on as a substitute in Wednesday’s 0-0 draw at Swansea, and he is now also a doubt to face Reading in midweek.
However, Benitez may be able to call upon the services of captain John Terry with the 32-year-old training well this week and is in contention to start this weekend.
The Blues will be without Nigerian duo John Obi Mikel and Victor Moses due to their African Cup of Nations commitments while attacker Eden Hazard will also be missing through suspension after being controversially sent off for ‘kicking’ a ball-boy on Wednesday night. Here is what Benitez told Chelsea’s official website:
‘At the moment we have David Luiz who will not be available,’
‘Terry has been training again so he is fine, maybe he will have a chance. He was doing really well in the training sessions and was on the bench just in case we needed him at the end. He is doing well, progressing and will have a chance to play.
‘The rest of the team we have to check tomorrow how they are. David Luiz will not be available, two players in the African Cup of Nations, so we cannot rest too much but cannot push them too much.’
Benitez was asked to elaborate further on the extent of David Luiz’s injury and the Spaniard explained that the defender was forced to miss the Arsenal game with an ankle problem but his risk backfired when he pulled up after coming on as a late sub in Wales.
‘He had a problem before. He had treatment, didn’t play the other game and we were protecting him,’ the manager said. ‘I was talking with medical staff and him before the game about whether we could take the risk.
‘I waited until the end and didn’t want to risk him but we had to play him and after 10 or 15 minutes he felt something and we had to move him to the middle of the park. He won’t be fit for this game and it will be difficult for him to be ready for Reading.’
Benitez told Chelseafc.com
We’ll have a full match preview for Chelsea’s game against Brentford up on the site on Saturday but now we’ve seen the team news, what would be your preferred starting eleven? Leave your suggestions in the comments section below.