The Premier League has confirmed that a pre-match handshake will take place tomorrow in Chelsea’s game with QPR. The previous two meetings have seen the customary handshake abandoned but the Premier League are adamant that it take place following dialogue between the two clubs.
Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo confirmed in his press conference that John Terry and Ashley Cole will respect the decision to hold the handshake and will abide by protocol by participating accordingly. The two defenders were injury doubts coming into the game but have been confirmed fit by Di Matteo heading into tomorrow’s match.
Chelsea have no other injury concerns ahead of Saturday’s game with Marko Marin having recovered from a hamstring problem that has ruled him out so far. However, Marin will not be in the first-team squad as he will play in tonight’s Under-21 game against Liverpool to gain match sharpness. Juan Mata has been given an extended break, missing international duty with Spain in the past week, and may not feature in the QPR game but will be available for the Champions League tie with Juventus.
Di Matteo also confirmed that Florent Malouda will indeed train with the Under-21 side after failing to agree to a move away from the club this summer.
Branislav Ivanovic has backed captain John Terry to come through the tribulations of tomorrow’s Premier League match and insists the expected abuse from the QPR crowd will not faze Terry. Ivanovic also acknowledged the weight of the London derby and claims he will remember the atmosphere of the game last year for the rest of his life.
QPR striker Bobby Zamora has stated he will shake hands with friend John Terry. The two played together at Senrab when still schoolboys and have remained in contact ever since. Zamora only joined QPR this summer and says he has no first-hand information of the incident and will cast aside the distractions to try and help QPR gain points.
Ryan Bertrand has given an interview to the official Chelsea website revealing his experiences of the past year. Bertrand recently signed a new contract with the club as a culmination of the past six months where he started the Champions League final, represented Great Britain at the Olympics and won his first cap for the senior England team. Bertrand believes that the Chelsea coaches, Roberto Di Matteo, Eddie Newton and Steve Holland have place a great amount of faith in him and looking to the future he hopes to further his development and play more games.
And Victor Moses claims his time at Wigan, under Roberto Martinez, improved him as a player and a man. "Roberto Martinez is a great manager and he loves to play football. Having a manager like him encourages you to play the football in the right way and carry yourself in a more professional way. It was great working with him,” Moses said of Martinez.
image: © Jason Bagley