Officials from QPR and Chelsea have been in discussions over this weekend’s Premier League encounter between the two sides. The previous two matches between the two London sides have seen the customary pre-match handshake cancelled due to potential complications surrounding the legal case levied against John Terry but with the conclusion of the trial in the summer, Saturday’s match will see a controversial handshake take place unless the two clubs request its abandonment from the FA.
And should the handshake take place, Anton Ferdinand looks unlikely to acknowledge John Terry and Ashley Cole. There has been increasing tension between the Ferdinand brothers and Ashley Cole since the Chelsea and England left-back testified in defence of John Terry and Rio Ferdinand was recently fined for retweeting a slur made on Twitter.
Amidst all the pre-match build-up to Saturday’s game surrounding Ferdinand, Terry and Cole, it is still not certain whether all three will start the game. Terry and Cole pulled out of the England squad due to injuries and Anton Ferdinand is recovering from a shoulder injury. Anton Ferdinand has returned to full training and Terry and Cole both took part in light training with both determined not to miss the match.
Speaking to Champions Matchday magazine, Eden Hazard states that he does not seek to ‘show off’ in games but underlines that he will singlehandedly win a game if the situation requires it. Hazard adds that he ‘loves to set up [his] teammates’. Speaking on the Champions League competition, Hazard reveals his excitement at playing in the competition with holders Chelsea but understands that it will be difficult playing as reigning champions with Chelsea now ‘the team to beat’.
And centre-back Gary Cahill has expressed his disappointment after not starting England’s game against Ukraine on Tuesday. The defender was hoping to fill in for John Terry consequent of the Chelsea captain’s injury but saw Phil Jagielka picked ahead of him to partner Joleon Lescott for the World Cup qualifier. Cahill’s disappointment is poignant considering the 26-year-old looked set to partner John Terry in England’s Euro 2012 campaign before a jaw injury in a pre-tournament friendly with Belgium forced him to pull out of the squad.
Chelsea target Andre Schurrle has hinted that he could leave Bayer Leverkusen next season. The 21-year-old striker was the subject of two Chelsea bids and declared: ‘I’m focused on this season. What happens next year is an open question.’
And another rumoured Chelsea target, Lucas Digne, has stated he has no intention of leaving current club Lille. Reports this week suggested Chelsea were leading the race for the 19-year-old left-back’s signature but Digne has dismissed such speculation by insisting he will stay at ‘the club of [his] heart’.
Raul Meireles visited Chelsea’s Cobham training ground Wednesday afternoon to say his final goodbyes to staff and players. The 29-year-old moved to Turkish side Fenerbahce at the close of the transfer window but maintains that he will miss ‘the club, the fans and the city’. Meireles played a crucial role in Chelsea’s run in the FA Cup and Champions League and he spoke fondly of the last part of the season.
image: © Ben Sutherland