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Chelsea Team News: Mourinho Gives Update On Cahill, Azpilicueta & Cole
Chelsea entertain Crystal Palace at Stamford Bridge on Saturday afternoon looking to close the gap at the top of the Premier League.
Ahead of the game, boss Jose Mourinho has been speaking to the media and gave Chelseafc.com a team news and injury update including the latest on Gary Cahill, Ashley Cole, Cesar Azpilicueta and Ryan Bertrand’s fitness.
Cahill was forced to miss Wednesday’s 1-0 win over Steaua Bucharest in the Champions League with a thigh injury and the problem is going to keep him out of this weekend’s action too. The injury isn’t thought to be serious but Mourinho isn’t taking any risks over the centre-backs fitness meaning David Luiz will once again partner John Terry at the back.
Long-serving defender Cole was recalled to the starting eleven for the first time in seven games in midweek after losing his left-back spot to Spaniard Cesar Azpilicueta. The 32-year-old put in a steady display against Bucharest but Jose has confirmed that Azpilicueta will return to the team this weekend with Cole expected to feature against Sunderland next week in the Capital One Cup.
Ryan Bertrand has been missing in recent weeks with a knee problem and Mourinho confirmed he’ll be on the sidelines around another 7 days. He told the clubs official website:
‘It’s such a big accumulation of matches so it’s important to try to keep them in good condition. I don’t risk players so Cahill tomorrow is not involved. Is he injured? No, but he’s almost injured, so we decided to kill the ‘almost’ and protect the little pain he’s feeling in his quadriceps.’
‘I need the team to change, I need fresh people, I need Azpilicueta to play tomorrow and Ashley to be fresh to play at Sunderland,’ he said.
‘I’m not saying we have a compromise on that, I’m not saying it’s a law that in this period it’s one or the other one, I trust both and I choose the one I think is better for the occasion. It’s good to have options.
‘Bertrand’s injured, he’s been out of training for about two weeks and will probably need one more I guess, something like that.’
Chelsea head into the weekend action sitting joint second in the Premier League – five points off leaders Arsenal – and with the Gunners playing fourth-placed Manchester City on Sunday, the Blues will be hoping to apply the pressure by cutting the deficit to just two points with a win over the Eagles on Saturday.
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