John Terry returns to the Chelsea FC line-up, while David Luiz misses out as the Blues take on Everton at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea host Everton at Stamford Bridge tomorrow as they look to extend their lead at the top of the table in this early kick-off. In team news ahead of this game, the London side have been boosted with the return of John Terry to the squad. Jose Mourinho has confirmed that the Englishman will start this game and it will be his first appearance for the Blues since the 0-1 victory at the Etihad Stadium against Manchester City earlier this month.
But Chelsea will miss out on their Brazilian center back David Luiz, who has picked up a muscle injury following their FA Cup exit at the hands of Man City last week. Mourinho is hoping for the Brazilian international to return in time for their upcoming Champions League clash against Galatasaray. Marco van Ginkel remains the only long term injury concern for them at the moment.
“John is fit and he will play. I’m not thinking about Galatasaray, the team will be the team I think is strong for the game.
“David Luiz is injured, he’s feeling some pain in his muscle, he’s not ready for this game but hopefully he will be ready for the next one. The next game is in the Champions League where we will have two players less than normal because [Nemanja] Matic and [Mohamed] Salah cannot play. We need him, if possible, to be ready for Galatasaray.” – The Chelsea manager said in his pre-match press conference earlier today.
Mourinho also stressed on the importance of having someone like John Terry back in the line-up and the leadership qualities he brings on the pitch.
“It’s important, especially because now we don’t have David. If we don’t have David and John the situation is even more difficult, so the fact John didn’t play but David did, and now David can’t but John is ready, gives us that balance.
“He’s a stable player, not a player that makes lots of mistakes. He has a basic level of performance that gives stability to the team. Every team, especially one with a lot of young players, needs stability from the back and that stability from the back is something which is keeping us in a good position in the league.
“For me, the captain’s armband doesn’t mean so much. What really matters is the voice on the pitch. Many times I can’t control that, especially when they are defending the goal far away from my position. Sometimes there are things to control, like the distances, position of the defensive line and the line where we start pressing the opponent. To have a player on the pitch with this kind of voice, to transmit what I need, is important.” – Mourinho added.
Jose Mourinho didn’t have any midweek Champions League clash to contain with like most of his rivals, hence he will be able to field a fresh squad without too many concerns about rotations. He is expected to make two changes to the line-up he used against Manchester City in the FA Cup last week. John Terry will replace David Luiz in the center of the defence, while Oscar will return to the starting line-up in place of Mikel. This means Ramires will drop to the pivot alongside Nemanja Matic, while Willian moves to the right wing.
Expected starting line-up (4-2-3-1): Cech (GK); Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry, Azpilicueta; Ramires, Matic; Willian, Oscar, Hazard; Eto’o