Champions League

Chelsea bank on Luiz, Cahill

2012-05-15 16:54
David Luiz (AFP)

Cobham - Chelsea's Champions League preparations were boosted on Tuesday as David Luiz and Gary Cahill returned to training but Florent Malouda remains "touch and go" for the Munich showpiece.

Blues manager Roberto Di Matteo told a press conference that Luiz and Cahill - who have not played for several weeks - were ready to train again as they battle to be fit for Saturday's clash with Bayern Munich.

Di Matteo is banking on Luiz and Cahill being available for selection, particularly as two pillars of his defence - captain John Terry and Branislav Ivanovic - are already missing through suspension.

Luiz and Cahill would be given up until the day of the game to prove their fitness, Di Matteo said.

"Gary and David are going to try to train with us today," Di Matteo said of the two centre-halves.

However, Di Matteo was less upbeat about Malouda, who limped off during Chelsea's Premier League victory over Blackburn on Sunday.

"Flo, we'll still assess and it's going to be touch and go for him to be available for Saturday," he said.

In addition to the absent Terry and Ivanovic, Di Matteo is also without the suspended Ramires and Raul Meireles, and admitted that he may be forced to fill out Chelsea's substitutes bench with reserves if Luiz, Cahill and Malouda failed to win their respective fitness battles.

"That's the worse-case scenario," he said. "We will take some reserve-team players onto the bench, into the squad, and just figure out what to do.

"I've been trying different options in training and different solutions just in case."

Meanwhile, Di Matteo, who took over as interim Chelsea manager following the sacking of Andre Villas-Boas in March, once again brushed off questions about his long-term future with the club.

Chelsea have consistently said they will make no decision on a long-term successor until the end of the season.

However, Di Matteo did rule out a possible return to manage West Bromwich Albion, the club he led into the Premier League before being sacked last year.

"In my life, I've gone back to an ex-girlfriend and it didn't work out," he said. "I'm not sure whether it's the right move."


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