Wednesday 15 May 2013

Europa League: Terry boost for Chelsea

Captain is part of Blues squad that has travelled to Amsterdam to face Benfica

  • John Terry injured his ankle during the comeback victory over Aston Villa

  • Eden Hazard has scored nine Barclays Premier League goals this season

Chelsea have received a boost with the news that captain John Terry has travelled with the squad for Wednesday night's UEFA Europa League final against Benfica.

The 32-year-old defender was carried off on a stretcher during Saturday’s Barclays Premier League match at Aston Villa with an ankle injury and remains a doubt for the final in Amsterdam but may play a part. That cannot be said of Eden Hazard, who was also forced off at Villa Park with a hamstring problem and is not in the squad.

Chelsea are looking to become the first club to win the UEFA Europa League the season after triumphing in the UEFA Champions League, when they beat beat Bayern Munich on penalties.

"We must give them plenty of respect"
Ramires on Benfica

One player who will be relishing the match is Ramires, who will be coming up against his former side at the Amsterdam ArenA. It is the 26-year-old's first European final and the Brazilian is focused on trying to help his side claim victory.

"In this final I will be doing everything I can for Chelsea to win and it's easy to separate these feelings," he told the Chelsea website. "Whoever is in your way, it doesn't matter.

"Of course I still have friends like Luisao, Maxi Pereira, Oscar Cardozo and Pablo Aimar. They're very good players and what I can tell you is they are a very good team, well organised and dangerous. They score goals, don't have a doubt about that.

"In a game like this you have to keep attention on all the 11 players. If you focus on one player who might give you trouble, one of the others could do something special and leave you in a difficult situation.

"No player wins anything alone, so we have to be at our best throughout the team. We must give them plenty of respect, which they deserve because a lot of them are internationals and they have been playing together a long time."

Midfielders John Obi Mikel, who has a hip problem, and Oriol Romeu, who has not featured since rupturing his anterior cruciate ligament in December, are also in Chelsea's party. Demba Ba travelled to the Netherlands despite being ineligible for the final as he already featured in the competition this season with Newcastle United.

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Key Points

  • Chelsea play Benfica in the UEFA Europa League final on Wednesday
  • Captain John Terry and playmaker Eden Hazard travel with the squad
  • Blues winger Ramires to take on his former team