The Jose Mourinho led Chelsea FC flew out to Spain with a 20-man strong squad as they face La Liga leaders Atletico Madrid in the first leg of the UEFA semi final at Vincente Calderon tonight.
Unfortunately for them, striker Samuel Eto’o would not in action in Madrid as he is yet to recover from the knee injury he sustained in their 2 – 1 loss to Sunderland last weekend. On a brighter note, Eden Hazard would be part of the travelling party and hopefully would play against Atletico Madrid. He had missed the last three matches due to calf injury he sustained in the last leg of their quarter final game against Paris Saint-Germain.
First choice goalkeeper Petr Cech is also back after missing out the weekend encounter against Sunderland due to illness. He is set to be in goal in tonight’s encounter.
Bransilav Ivannovich did not join the team to Madrid. He is on suspension after receiving three bookings in the competition, while Nemanja Matic and Mohammed Salah were left behind at west London. They are both ineligible since they’ve played Champions League this season for their former clubs.
Mourinho’s 20 man list include:
Petr Cech, Mark Scwarzer, Hilario
David Luiz, Cahill, John Terry, Ashley Cole, Nathan Ake, , Cesar Azpilicueta, Tomas Kalas
Marco Van Ginkel, Ramires, Frank Lampard, Oscar, John Obi Mikel, Eden Hazrad, Willian, Andre Schurrle
Fernando Torres, Demba Ba
Cesar Azpilicueta conceded a penalty at the weekend but would now be operating from his natural right back position in this game. Ashley Cole should play on the left-back side while Cahill and John Terry would make up the likely centre-half pairing.
Daivid Luiz had always had good performances against big clubs and hopefully today will be no exception. His most likely partner will be Ramires since Frank Lampard and John Mikel Obi run the risk of suspension should they be booked in this game.
Willian too could miss the return leg if he picks up a yellow card at Madrid. He had created nine chances for his team mates in their loss against Sunderland more than any Premier League player in a single game. Oscar is likely to play his traditional No. 10 position although his form has dipped considerably with Andre Schurrle making up the attacking trio on the right.
Will this 20 man squad be strong enough to contain a very determined, giant-conquering Atletico side? We are just a few hours to finding out.