Chelsea players have been training at Cobham as they prepare for their tomorrow’s Premier League clash against Aston Villa.
John Terry will return to the Chelsea team on Saturday against Southampton, if reports in today’s press are to be believed.
Terry, 34, had not played a league match for Chelsea since the 3-1 defeat away at Everton and didn’t feature in Tuesday’s Champions League loss to Porto, having being dropped in favour of the Kut Zouma-Gary Cahill partnership.
It has been a sudden fall from grace for a player who did not miss one minute of Chelsea’s Premiership winning campaign last season- Terry won widespread praise for his form last season, but Chelsea’s defending this season has so far been terrible, with and without Terry.
A number of teams have found the net twice in a game against Chelsea and, according to reports, Terry is just one of several senior players to have felt Jose Mourinho’s wrath so far this season with Branislav Ivanovic, Nemanja Matic and Oscar all having been criticised by the manager
André Silva is out for Porto for a knee injury, while Brahimi is a doubt always for a knee problem.
In Chelsea, only long-term injured Thibaut Courtois is out, for a knee injury too.
So, the possible line-ups for tonight’s clash at Estadio do Dragão are:
PORTO – Casillas; Maxi Pereira, Maicon, Marcano, Layún; Rúben Neves, André André, Imbula; Corona, Aboubakar, Brahimi.
CHELSEA – Begović; Ivanović, Cahill, Terry, Azpilicueta; Matić, Fàbregas; Willian, Oscar, Hazard; Diego Costa.
Chelsea midfielder Oscar claims manager Jose Mourinho has helped him develop as a footballer, and that he is quickly beginning to master the number 10 role.
The Brazil international signed from Internacional in 2012 and played for two managers in his first season. He has blossomed under Mourinho’s stewardship is one of the first names on the team sheet every week.
Speaking to adidas, Oscar praised the Portuguese manager for his improvement.
The 24-year-old is quoted as saying:
“I played very briefly under Roberto di Matteo, who I liked. Under Rafa Benitez, I did not play too much, although I do think he was a good manager. But Jose has been the one who has really brought me on and developed my career,” Oscar was quoted as saying by adidas on Monday.
“He has helped me evolve as a player and I think his real strength is in understanding how to get the very best out of his players. It is great working with him,” he said.
“This is where Mourinho has been great for me. He says that I’ve evolved mentally and tactically and he’s right, I’ve learned from him what a no.10 needs to be.
“It’s about coordinating things, analysing the game around you, creating that balance and making things happen.”
Chelsea midfielder Oscar has just posted on his Instagram a photo from a BBQ with his family. The Brazilian player seems to be in a great mood after Chelsea’s victory over Arsenal on Saturday
Chelsea manager José Mourinho analysed the victory in the derby against Arsenal in his post-match press conference:
“It was a very good performance, a deserved victory, I’m happy with the performance and points.
“We improved a lot in the last two matches, in many aspects. Defensively the team was much better. The attacking players defended much better than before, they created a compact zone and reacted very well to the moments when they lost the ball. That gives great stability for the players behind. We were confident and comfortable with the ball. When you play against 10 men, many times teams play bad, but we played very well against 10 men, we gave them no chances and kept good balance behind the ball. The attacking players started moving much more. We deserved the victory.
Mourinho was impressed by the defensive work of his attacking players:
“Tomorrow I will watch the game again and go for stats. I will see how many times my attacking players lost the ball and recovered the ball. Lost the ball and pressed. Their work – Oscar, Diego Costa, Eden Hazard and Pedro– makes it easy to be a defender because you sit there and the attacking players do half of your job for you.
The Chelsea boss also responded to Arsene Wenger’s suggestion that Diego Costa should have been sent off for his part in the Gabriel red card episode
“I played against Arsenal many times and only once he didn’t moan. That day we lost the game, we lost the cup (Community Shield). It wasn’t good for us but we behaved in a fantastic way. No excuses, no crying, no moaning. I played my first derby in September 2000, Benfica against Sporting. I told my players before the game you need emotional control. I’ve played derbies in Portugal, Spain, Italy, England and you don’t win derbies without emotional control, it’s a basic thing. I think you should speak about Gabriel and his mistake. Diego Costa played like he has to play. That’s why you have full stadiums and you sell the game around the world for millions, because the game has to be played like that. That’s why tomorrow I will go to a game which is comparable in terms of passion and dedication, New Zealand against Argentina, I love it. Diego was fantastic, Man of the Match for me.
“It was the same referee that made every decision and didn’t give two clear penalties to us. Gabriel did something to Hazard which is allowed in rugby, not football. In the box it’s a penalty. In the second half another player did the same on Diego Costa. In rugby it’s fantastic, in football it’s a penalty.
“[Wenger] He said before the game I have to cope with my defeat, tonight he has to cope with his defeat.
Mourinho also explained why Terry didn’t start the game today:
“John Terry doesn’t need me to speak with him because he knows what I feel and think. He knows he’s my man. If I have to choose one of 25 to be my man he’s the first. He knows I care about him as a player and a person. He knows my decision had only one intention, which was to help my team win the match. I thought Arsenal would come to play a defensive game, with a very fast striker who gets behind people. If we didn’t need to win the game so much we probably would have kept our block lower and more compact, but because we desperately needed a victory we couldn’t wait, we had to bring our defensive line up.
“Playing against Walcott the best player we have is Zouma. John knows how I think and if he’s normally a great captain, today he was even better. If every player had lots of respect for him, the way he’s reacted in the last days to this situation, he has even more respect from the players. If you want to paint a dark picture, I ask you please don’t because it’s not the reality. He’s in great condition and a great situation with the manager and club.”
Diego Costa took a selfie photo in Chelsea dressing room together with Hazard, Ramires and Oscar after the victory over Arsenal. Chelsea ace wrote on his Instagram page: “Great win today!. Thank you for your amazing support!”
Ahead of Chelsea’s lunchtime clash with Arsenal (12:45 GMT KO), the official lineups have been announced.
The Blues are looking to return to form against their London neighbours, having taken just four points in five games – their worst start since 1986.
CHELSEA: Begovic; Ivanovic (c), Zouma, Cahill, Azpilicueta; Matic, Fabregas; Pedro, Oscar, Hazard; Diego Costa.
Subs: Blackman, Terry, Mikel, Loftus-Cheek, Ramires, Falcao, Remy
Manager: José Mourinho
ARSENAL: Cech; Bellerin, Gabriel, Koscielny, Monreal; Cazorla, Coquelin; Ozil, Ramsey, Sanchez; Walcott.
Subs: Ospina, Debuchy, Gibbs, Chambers, Arteta, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Giroud.
Manager: Arsene Wenger
Referee: Mike Dean Assistant Referees: Stuart Burt and Simon Long Fourth Official: Michael Oliver
Venue: Stamford Bridge, London, UK
With Oscar, Pedro and Falcao being a doubt and Willian and Courtois out for injury, José Mourinho might change his tactical system and switch to a 433 with Ramires in the midfield and Traoré as a winger with Hazard on ther other side with Diego Costa as number 9, instead of a 4231 with two wingers and a number 10, but hoping that Oscar and Pedro can make it, the starting formation can look like this
CHELSEA – Begovic; Azplicueta, Cahill, Terry, Baba Rahman; Matic, Fabregas; Oscar, Hazard, Pedro; Diego Costa.
ARSENAL – Cech; Bellerin, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal; Cazorla, Coquelin; Ramsey, Ozil, Sanchez; Walcott.
During his press conference in the eve of Chelsea v Arsenal José Mourinho revealed that the only player who will be out of the selected squad for sure is Willian, besides long-time-injured Thibaut Courtois.
Pedro, Falcao and Oscar will have all an option to be part of the starters or substitutes tomorrow in the derby against the Gunners.
“I don’t have many many news I selected every player, because we have doubts,” stated the Chelsea boss.
“During the warm-up many players had some bad feeling, Willian is not even an option, but Pedro, Falcao and Oscar can be.”