Chelsea are expected to include both Ramires and Willian in their starting line-up for this evening’s Champions League last sixteen second leg against Galatasaray, with both midfielder suspended for Saturday’s clash with Arsenal.
Ashley Cole is doubtful having been absent from training on Monday, though David Luiz is fit and could replace the cup-tied Nemanja Matic, while Mohammed Salah is also ineligible having represented Basel earlier in the competition.
Former Blues forward Didier Drogba is expected to start for the visitors, with the tie finely poised following the 1-1 draw in the first leg in Istanbul three weeks ago.
Meanwhile, Jose Mourinho is confident that the Ivory Coast international will return to the club in some capacity in the future, according to the Metro.
This evening will see Drogba return to Stamford Bridge for the first time since leaving the club following their triumph in the final of this competition in May 2012.
The forward, who was taken to London from Marseille by Mourinho in 2004, scored 157 goals in 341 appearances, plus the winning penalty in the shoot-out victory against Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena.
The Blues boss believes that the 36 year old will return at some point as either ‘a player, coach or ambassador’.
Chelsea will have David Luiz and Jon Obi Mikel available for this evenings Champions League last 16 first leg tie against Galatasaray.
Both players missed Saturday afternoon’s 1-0 win over Everton, but have made the trip to the Turkish capital ahead of the game.
Oscar has also made the squad despite being substituted at the weekend with an ankle injury, while Mohammed Salah and Nemanja Matic are both cup-tied having already featured in the competition with Basel and Benfica respectively.
Didier Drogba is expected to lead the line for Roberto Mancini’s men, giving him the chance to come up against the Blues for the first time since leaving Stamford Bridge at the end of the 2011/12 campaign.
He did score in a 3-2 win against Jose Mourinho’s Real Madrid in the second leg of last season’s quarter finals, though Galatasaray lost the tie 5-3 on aggregate.
With the Manchester City, Manchester United and Arsenal all having lost the first leg of their last sixteen ties against Barcelona, Olympiakos and Barcelona respectively, the Blues are in the best position to guarantee English representation in this season’s last eight for the first time since two years ago, when they went on to lift the trophy in Munich.
Posted in Chelsea News
Tagged Arsenal, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, David Luiz, Didier Drogba, Galatasaray, Jon Obi Mikel, Manchester City, Manchester United, Mohammed Salah, Nemanja Matic, Olympiakos, Oscar
Chelsea will use the money they received from Manchester United for Juan Mata to try and beat them to the signature of Southampton defender Luke Shaw, according to the Mail Online.
With Ashley Cole now 33 and yet to be offered a new contract, the Blues are keen on bringing in the highly rated left-back while United are looking to continue rebuilding after breaking their transfer record at the weekend by bringing in Mata.
The club are still in a £20m profit this month despite bringing in Nemanja Matic and Mohamed Salah, and are confident they have the financial muscle to get a deal for Shaw over the line.
However, the Daily Star understands that the South Coast club have absolutely no intention of selling the 18 year old.
Manager Mauricio Pochettino has reiterated that the Saints are keen to keep hold of all of their star players this month.
Elsewhere, reports in Spain suggest that an agreement has been made between Chelsea and Atletico Madrid for a swap deal for Thibaut Courtois and Diego Costa, the Mail Online understands.
Courtois has spent the last three seasons on loan with the La Liga side, while Costa, who is currently the second top scorer in La Liga behind Cristiano Ronaldo, is wanted by a host of European clubs.
Chelsea remain without Frank Lampard and Branislav Ivanovic for Sunday afternoon’s visit of Premier League champions Manchester United.
The pair are unlikely to return until later this month, so Ashley Cole is set to continue at left back with Cesar Azpilicueta playing on the right.
New signing Nemanja Matic could be included to make his second Blues debut, ironically in place of David Luiz, the man for whom the Serbia international was used as a makeweight to land in 2011.
The sides played out a goalless draw at Old Trafford back in August, while there last meeting at Stamford Bridge ended in a 1-0 win for the Blues in the quarter finals of the FA Cup.
Last season’s corresponding league match was won by United in October 2012, while Chelsea won in extra time when the sides met in the League Cup four days later.
Meanwhile, Ryan Bertrand has been loaned to Aston Villa for the rest of the season, Sky Sports understands.
The full back has been used sparingly this season, making just one appearance in the Premier League, and two in the League Cup.
He could make his debut tomorrow afternoon when Villa travel to Anfield to face Liverpool.
Chelsea have completed the signing of former midfielder Nemanja Vidic for a fee in the region of £20m, Sky Sports understands.
The 25 year old originally moved away from Stamford Bridge in 2011 as part of the deal that saw David Luiz arrive from Benfica.
He has returned on a five and a half year deal, and becomes the Blues first signing of the January transfer window.
During his first spell at the club, the Serbian international made just three substitute appearances before moving to Portugal.
He could make his second Chelsea debut in Sunday afternoon’s clash with Manchester United.
Meanwhile, the club have been boosted in their hopes of signing Southampton left-back Luke Shaw following the news that chairman Nicola Cortese has left the club, according to the Express.
The 18 year old has been linked with a move to a number of clubs though both Cortese and manager Mauricio Pochettino have dismissed any speculation that they will sell.
However, with rumours that the Saints boss will follow his former boss out of the door at St Mary’s, the Blues are waiting to pounce.
Finally, midfielder Nathaniel Chalobah has returned to the club following his loan spell with Nottingham Forest.
The England U21 international made twelve appearances for the East Midlands side, scoring twice.
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho is set to make a decision on whether or not to offer veteran trio John Terry, Frank Lampard and Ashley Cole new contracts, the Telegraph understands.
The Englishmen, aged 33, 35 and 33 respectively have made a combined total of well over 1,500 appearances for the club all have deals that are set to expire in the summer.
Club captain Terry is likely to be handed a new deal after playing every league match since Mourinho returned to Stamford Bridge.
Lampard has only missed a handful of games this season, though his position may be compromised by the expected return of Nemanja Matic.
However, with the Blues boss such a fan of the club’s all-time top scorer, a one-year extension could well be on the cards.
Cole has been used sparingly over the past few months and, with rumours that the club are interested in signing Southampton’s Luke Shaw, appears to be the most under threat.
Meanwhile, the club are willing to listen to offers for David Luiz, according to the Daily Star.
Spanish champions Barcelona, who had a bid of almost £21m for the Brazil international knocked back in the summer, are ready to return with an improved offer.
The Mail Online understands that Chelsea are close to agreeing a deal that will see Benfica midfielder Nemanja Matic return to Stamford Bridge, two-and-a-half years after he moved in the opposite direction.
The 25 year old was initially used as a makeweight in David Luiz’s transfer to Chelsea, and now looks set to return to West London with a medical expected on Tuesday.
During his first spell with the Blues, he made just three substitute appearances before spending a season on loan with Vitesse Arnhem – the Dutch club that currently has no fewer than five Chelsea players in their first team squad.
The Serbian international was part of the Benfica side that lost 2-1 to Chelsea in last season’s Europa League final, while he won the Portuguese League Cup the previous year.
Elsewhere, the club are set to partly finance their move for Matic with the funds they are due to receive from Wolfsburg for Kevin De Bruyne, according to the Mirror.
The Bundesliga side are set to complete ta £17m move for the Belgium international in the next few days.
De Bruyne has made just two starts for the Blues, having spent last season on loan with Werder Bremen.
Fernando Torres will miss this evening’s Champions League clash against Schalke with a leg injury.
The Spain international, who scored twice in the 3-0 win over the Bundesliga side in the reverse fixture at Stamford Bridge last month, is also set to miss Saturday’s game with West Bromwich Albion.
Ryan Bertrand is also unavailable; along with long term absentee Marco Van Ginkel.
Three points for Jose Mourinho’s men will see them tighten their grip on top spot, with third place Basel hosting Steaua Beucharest in Group E’s other game.
Meanwhile, Napoli have joined Chelsea in the race to secure the services of Benfica midfielder Nemanja Matic, TalkSport understands.
Former Blues’ interim manager Rafael Benitez, who took the reins at the Serie A club in the summer, is keen to bolster his midfield options in January with moves for Javier Mascherano and Lucas Leiva also mooted.
Matic made three appearances for Chelsea before being used as a makeweight in the deal that brought David Luiz to Stamford Bridge in 2011.
Elsewhere, Mark Schwarzer has announced his retirement from international football.
The veteran goalkeeper is Australia’s most capped player having made 109 appearances since his debut – World Cup qualifier against Canada in 1993.
Benfica have told Chelsea that they will need to pay £38million for former player Nemanja Matic, according to the Daily Star.
The Serbian playmaker signed for Chelsea in 2010, but made just three appearances before being used as a makeweight in a deal to bring David Luiz to Stamford Bridge six months later.
He was one of the stand players for Benfica in a season which saw them reach the Europa League final, which they lost to Chelsea in Amsterdam last month.
Meanwhile, Borussia Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc has claimed that Blues midfielder Kevin De Bruyne is keen on joining the German club, Sky Sports understands.
The 21 year old, who recently returned from a season long loan with Werder Bremen, was also recently linked with a move to fellow Bundesliga side Bayer Leverkusen as part of the deal which saw Andre Schurrle move to Stamford Bridge.
However, Zorc believes that it is the players wish to join the Champions League runners up.
The Belgian international is yet to make an appearance for the Blues, having signed from Genk last July.
Elsewhere, the club appear to have won the race to sign Bristol City’s highly rated teenager Jacob Maddox.
The 14 year old is said to have agreed a four year deal with Chelsea, who will pay City a compensation fee for his services.
Former Blackburn Rovers boss Steve Kean has been linked with a shock move to Stamford Bridge as Jose Mourinho’s assistant manager, should the former Blues boss retake the reins.
The Mirror have reported that Kean, 45, is the preferred choice of Mourinho, who’s former assistant Steve Clarke is enjoying his first managerial position at West Bromwich Albion.
Kean parted company with Blackburn Rovers in September having endured a barrage of abuse from a number of the clubs supporters following their relegation from the Premier League.
The Scot was previously approached by the Blues in 2008 to join Luiz Felipe Scolari’s coaching staff, though he decline the offer and remained assistant manager at Coventry City.
Elsewhere, Nemanja Matic, who was sold to Benfica as part of the deal that brought David Luiz to Stamford Bridge, has been linked with a return to the club.
Matic has scored three goals in 23 league appearances this season, and is set to face Chelsea in the Europa League final on Wednesday week.
Finally, David Luiz has told the Telegraph that he was not laughing at compatriot Rafael Da Silva being dismissed in Sunday’s 1-0 win over Manchester United, but was instead amused by the taunts directed at him by the home supporters.