Ashley Cole has been left out of the starting line-up for England tonight, with Leighton Baines taking his place. This looks like a tactical decision with Cole set to come back for the sterner test away in Poland next week rather than a punishment after the Twitter incident last week, but you can make your own mind up. Blues defender Gary Cahill has started alongside Jagielka in the centre of defence; the Blues man winning his 11th cap for England.
In other international news Chelsea’s new star Oscar scored twice for Brazil as they rattled in six against Iraq last night. The Brazilian, along with Eden Hazard, has been praised by Petr Cech for how quickly he has adapted to life in the Premiership, with the keeper saying “They are good and attuned to each other even if they play together for the first time. Eden is great with his technique and with Oscar they are a dangerous duo.” Cech also believes the two have been instrumental to Fernando Torres’s good start.
Ramires and David Luiz were in action alongside Oscar last night, with Oriol Romeu also playing in an U21 match for Spain. For a full round-up of Chelsea player’s international action, check the club website here.
Juan Mata has criticised the lack of competitiveness in La Liga, believing that Real Madrid and Barcelona’s domination will lead to many Spanish players leaving the division. The midfielder said that it was impossible even for his former club Valencia to win trophies, something he remedied in his first season with the Blues by claiming the FA Cup and the Champions League.
In transfer news, the agent of Barnsley defender John Stones has cooled links with a move to the Premier League. Chelsea were one of a trio of clubs reported to be interested in the 18 year old after his impressive start to the season.
Branislav Ivanovic may be on international duty with Serbia, but he already has Chelsea’s match at Tottenham firmly in his sights. The defender believes having Villas-Boas at Spurs will create extra interest in the match, saying “Our games against Tottenham were very interesting and tough for both sides even before Andre [Villas-Boas] went there. Now it is especially so for both sides with our ex-manager.”
Finally, Russian businessman Boris Berezvosky will pay £35 million pounds towards Roman Abramovich’s legal fees after he lost the court case against Chelsea’s owner in August this year.
image: © Ben Sutherland