Ahead of this weekend’s match at the Hawthorns both managers have received praise from opposition players. Jonas Olsson has commented on how good Di Matteo was when in charge at West Brom, even saying he opposed his sacking in 2011, although the defender did concede the move had ended up being the best for everyone. Di Matteo has also said himself that he holds no grudges from his time at West Brom.
From Chelsea, Petr Cech has talked up Steve Clarke, saying the ex-Chelsea boss should have been given the manager’s job at Liverpool after Kenny Dalglish. Clarke had been Dalglish’s assistant manager at Liverpool.
In team news for the weekend, Chelsea should be able to welcome David Luiz and Ashley Cole back to their defence, but Frank Lampard remains sidelined. John Terry’s injury has been confirmed to be better than initially feared, with the Chelsea captain now expected back in early December.
West Brom have several doubts after the international break, with Morrison, Mulumbu and Morrison all yet to be given the all clear to play. Ben Foster has been ruled out again, with Boaz Myhill set to deputise, and Romelu Lukaku cannot play against his parent club.
The decision on the Mark Clattenburg case will now not be known until next week, with an independent QC studying all the evidence before the FA announced their findings. The delay means that Clattenburg will likely not referee any of the following weekend’s matches, despite potentially being cleared by then.
Roberto Di Matteo has admitted he is a fan of Athletico Madrid striker Radamel Falcao. The rumours surrounding a January move for the striker have grown in intensity this week, and the Chelsea manager has said that any manager would want Falcao in their team.
Falcao himself has again re-iterated his focus on staying at Athletico for the foreseeable future saying:
“There is some talk about my departure at the end of the season, but right now I am perfectly fine in Madrid. I am one with this club and my only concern is to help get it to the top.”
But the striker has also praised the ambition Chelsea are showing by signing top players even after claiming the Champions League title. Make of that what you will.
Meanwhile, Jackson Martinez, the striker currently breaking Falcao’s scoring records at Porto has said that any speculation about a move is an indication he is doing well, but that he ignores any rumours in the papers.
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