Chelsea will be without captain John Terry in their FA Cup fifth-round clash against Manchester City at Stamford Bridge on Sunday, with the Englishman failing to recover from a hamstring issue.
Terry had to be withdrawn due to a hamstring injury after 38 minutes in Chelsea’s 5-1 thrashing of Newcastle United at Stamford Bridge last weekend. The centre-back sat out Chelsea’s Champions League defeat to PSG in midweek, and manager Guus Hiddink confirmed that the 35-year-old will not be available this weekend either.
Meanwhile, January signing Matt Miazga made the substitutes’ bench for the first time in Paris, and Hiddink has revealed that the 20-year-old is closing in on making his first Chelsea appearance.
Terry ruled out for Sunday’s game
Speaking at his pre-match press conference, Hiddink unequivocally ruled out any involvement for John Terry on Sunday against Manchester City. He is quoted by the Chelsea official website as saying: “He will not be fit for this weekend. I saw him this morning, he worked with the physios and yesterday he tried to do a bit on the pitch but he has too many issues to be fit for the weekend.
“I hope next weekend he will be available. I cannot predict it, we have to be cautious with him as he likes to be there every day but we must be careful.”
The Dutchman insisted that there was no reason for him to complain, given the quality of his back-up options. “Of course it’s a disappointment because he’s the leader of the team,” added the 69-year-old. “On the other hand I’m not going to complain or moan because the guys who are taking his place have my full confidence. In Paris they produced a decent performance.”
Miazga getting closer to first-team début
Chelsea signed New York Red Bulls centre-back Matt Miazga in the January transfer window, but the United States international is yet to make his début for the Blues. Hiddink revealed that the youngster was getting ever closer to playing his first minutes, but was non-committal when asked if he would feature this weekend.
“Miazga is close,” revealed the Dutchman. “We are doing some tests but he should be fit. What will the weekend bring? It’s too early to say.”
With the Blues’ boss vowing to field a strong side, Miazga will almost certainly start from the bench. However, if Chelsea are in a strong position towards the end of the game, a Stamford Bridge début — even if it is as a time-wasting substitution — is definitely not out of the question.