Rafa Benitez has already begun to address the problems in Chelsea’s side, saying he has discussed things that could be improved with the players after their first training session yesterday. Chelsea face Manchester City at Stamford Bridge on Sunday, and will once again be without Frank Lampard and John Terry due to injury. A key decision Benitez faces is whether to start Fernando Torres after he was dropped by Di Matteo in midweek.
Manchester City may have a big injury problem of their own, with Vincent Kompany struggling to make Sunday’s match. The Belgian defender completed 90 minutes against Real Madrid midweek, but left the ground on crutches. Mancini has said they won’t know whether Kompany will make the match until tomorrow. Mario Balotelli could return to the City squad, and Gael Clichy is also in contention, but Jack Rodwell and Micah Richards are both expected to remain side-lined.
Whilst Chelsea seem in disarray after a poor run of league form and the sacking of Di Matteo on Wednesday, Mancini is under no illusions of the challenge his side face at Stamford Bridge, with the City manager also wary of the bump a team can have under a new manager:
“When a club changes manager they are always very difficult in the next game.
'Chelsea were a good team under Roberto di Matteo and they will be a good team under Benitez.”
One man who is showing less respect to the new Chelsea manager is his old sparring partner Alex Ferguson, who has described Benitez as very lucky to be in the role. Ferguson noted that Benitez may be about to claim a second Club World Championship, having had nothing to do with the sides that won the Champions League to qualify for the tournament.
The Referee’s Union Prospect has repeated a call for Chelsea to apologise to Mark Clattenburg over the recent allegations he used inappropriate language towards John Obi Mikel. Clattenburg has not refereed a match since the incident, and Prospect believe Chelsea made mistakes in the way they pursued the allegation.
In transfer news, there have been reports Chelsea may be lining up a sensational £60 million double swoop for Falcao and Andre Schurrle in January. Depsite Benitez being mandated with reviving Fernando Torres, Chelsea are still likely to add to their striking options in the Winter window, having looked blunt in recent matches.
One of their Summer signings, Brazilian midfielder Oscar, has spoken of his desire to win titles at Chelsea, including this year’s Premier League.