Chelsea injury worries for the weekend’s match with Wigan have grown with the news that Demba Ba has been withdrawn from the Senegal squad. Ba’s nose was broken during Saturday’s 3-2 loss at Newcastle, and it is unknown whether the striker will be fit in time for Wigan’s visit to Stamford Bridge.
David Luiz will also not be risked by Brazil in their friendly with England tomorrow. The defender has missed the past couple of matches for Chelsea after being injured in the Capital One Cup semi-final against Swansea, but they are hopeful he will be able to face Wigan this weekend.
Petr Cech was also ruled out of international duty earlier in the week with a broken finger, and on HITC today Lewis Doe has suggested former England keeper Paul Robinson could provide some short term cover at Chelsea for the Czech player.
One man who will play this week is Ashley Cole, with Roy Hodgson confirming that the left back will earn his 100th cap in the friendly against Brazil.
Chelsea have been linked with a summer move for Juventus coach Antonio Conte. The Italian coach presided over Juventus’s unbeaten Serie A season last year, and has taken his side to the top of the league standings again so far this season, as well as qualifying top of Chelsea’s Champions League group.
After he was left out of the Spain squad again for this week’s match, on HITC today Jenny Leigh asks if Fernando Torres’ international career is over.
Petr Cech has been named Czech player of the year for a record sixth time. The 30 year old also won the award in 2005, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2012 to break the record held by Ivo Viktor, another goalkeeper. Further good news for the Blues came in the fact that their youngster Tomas Kalas was named Talent of the Year, an award Cech himself has previously won.
Another Chelsea youngster who has been honoured is Nathaniel Cahlobah, who has been named as the England Men’s Youth Player of the Year.
Anzhi Makhachkala might be preparing to offer Florent Malouda an escape route from Stamford Bridge, with speculation they are set to offer the Chelsea outcast an 18 month deal. The Blues are apparently prepared to waive any transfer fee in an attempt to get Malouda’s £80,000 a week wages off their books.
image: © Ben Sutherland