English Premiership

Besieged Chelsea return to action

2015-02-20 08:26
John Terry (Supplied)
John Terry (Supplied)

London - After a testing week of negative non-sporting attention, Chelsea will hope to return to making headlines on the pitch this weekend when the Premier League leaders host Burnley on Saturday.

Their preparations for the fixture have been overshadowed by the fall-out from the incident on Tuesday when a group of Chelsea fans pushed a black man off a Paris Metro train and launched into a chorus of racist chanting.

Their 1-1 Champions League draw at Paris Saint-Germain that night has barely been discussed as a consequence and with French and British police both investigating what happened, Chelsea have taken action by banning three of the fans involved from Stamford Bridge.

The conduct, and songs, of the home fans will be under close scrutiny on Saturday, but for the players, it will be a relief to get back on to the pitch against second-bottom Burnley.

Captain John Terry, himself banned for racially abusing an opponent in 2012, has praised young teammate Kurt Zouma ahead of a game that will see Chelsea look to defend their seven-point lead over Manchester City.

The emergence of 20-year-old Zouma has seen Gary Cahill's place alongside Terry in central defence come under threat, but the 34-year-old former England captain believes the competition is healthy for everyone.

"It's difficult when you see young boys come in like Kurt," said Terry.

"He's been a revelation since he came in. He's young, fit, strong and hungry and it makes it even more difficult.

"When Gary Cahill plays he's been great, when Kurt plays he's been great, so it's hard to get the balance, but we're all rotating and there's enough games to share around. We all want to play every game."

Chelsea face Tottenham Hotspur in the League Cup final on March 1, with the second leg of the PSG tie to come on March 11, and Terry knows squad depth will be a key factor in his side's bid for glory on three fronts.

Chelsea host Burnley at Stamford Bridge on Saturday. The match kicks off at 17:00. 

Read more on:    chelsea  |  english premiership  |  john terry  |  soccer

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