Fernando Torres and John Terry are likely to return to the bench for Chelsea for the FA Cup clash with Manchester United at Old Trafford on Sunday. Both played in the Europa League loss to Steaua Bucharest on Thursday. Demba Ba, Ramires, Victor Moses and Nathan Ake all return to the squad after not travelling to Romania.
Alex Ferguson has opted to rest Ryan Giggs for the match, whilst Phil Jones and Paul Scholes are out injured. Wayne Rooney is likely to return to the starting line-up after being dropped for the match with Real Madrid on Tuesday.
Petr Cech has said he cannot wait for the match, and the whole team is hoping to put the Europa League loss behind them quickly. Both Cech and Branislav Ivanovic have said it will be a challenge to beat Manchester United, who are also looking to bounce back after a European defeat, but that they are hopeful they can defend their trophy.
Avram Grant has heaped more pressure on Rafa Benitez by saying managing Chelsea is very easy because of the budget and players you have at your disposal:
“Let me tell you something, coaching at Chelsea is very easy.
“It’s way easier than coaching West Ham, for instance, because you have a very big budget and top players to choose from. All you have to do is go after the win.”
Alex Ferguson decided against commenting on Rafa Benitez today in his pre-match press conference saying: "I'm not going to kick anyone when they're lying down."
Chelsea youngster Ulises Davila has said he is hoping to return to Stamford Bridge soon, after impressing on loan at Spanish second division side Sabadell. However the 21 year old is aware of the competition at the Blues, and is happy to continue developing on loan.
On HITC today, Dan Coombs says Chelsea fans should be worried about Jose Mourinho choosing to go to Manchester United rather than the Blues when he leaves Real Madrid, and Mathew Nash looks at whether the club is about to replace Fernando Torres with the non-league striker Daniel Carr.
There has been speculation today that Chelsea might pursue AC Milan striker M’Baye Niang in the summer. The 18 year old joined Milan last summer, but might find his playing time limited after the January arrival of Mario Balotelli.
image: © Jason Bagley