Ex-Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas will lock horns with his former assistant Roberto Di Matteo when the European Champions and Premier League leaders travel to White Hart Lane to play Tottenham on Saturday afternoon.
The biggest team news as far as we’re concerned is the fact that John Terry will begin his four-match ban after the FA found him guilty of racially abusing Anton Ferdinand and the Chelsea captain decided not to appeal against the judgement.
Daniel Sturridge is available after recovering from a hamstring injury. Ryan Bertrand and Frank Lampard have recovered after they were sent home whilst on international duty.
The XI I’d pick:
P. Cech (c)
B. Ivanovic – G. Cahill – D. Luiz – A. Cole
J. Mikel – Ramires
Oscar – J. Mata – E. Hazard
With the exception of the game against Atletico Madrid, in which they were horribly exposed by our lazy midfield on the night, Gary Cahill and David Luiz have looked comfortable whenever they have been paired in central defence. Chelsea will miss Terry’s leadership during his suspension, so it’s a good thing we’ve our Champions League final winning defensive duo to count on.
John Obi Mikel and Ramires have also built an impressive partnership in the middle of the park since the latter got the nod ahead of Lampard in a central role and it’s helped keep us more solid as a defensive unit, as well as allowing the flair players do what they do best.
Juan Mata, Oscar and Eden Hazard – not much to say here, these lads have been incredible so far and are developing as a trio with each game.
Hopefully Fernando Torres cares about whether we win or lose on Saturday and stops with the self pity in time to concentrate on dampening the spirits of his former manager Villas-Boas, who celebrated his 35th birthday on Wednesday and he would love to get one over on us after he was sacked in March, so let’s not give him the satisfaction.