Di Matteo: Big Game Every Time

Di Matteo: Big Game Every Time

Roberto Di Matteo spoke to the media on a range of issues ahead of a local derby that could very well have title ramifications come the end of the season.

Daniel Sturridge has been out for the last three games with a hamstring injury and won’t be able to play tomorrow, but Frank Lampard has overcome a minor ankle knock and is available for selection. John Terry is expected to lead the team out tomorrow and he trained with the rest of the squad on Friday. “He (JT) trained well today, as hard as always. He has only missed a couple of days training and he was in yesterday afternoon. I have spoken to him as I speak to all my players regularly, and he is going to be available”

The inevitable questions about John Terry’s mindset cropped up (he was found guilty of an FA charge yesterday and has even retired from international football) but Robbie was not concerned. “John is a professional player and he is a senior player. He has played many, many games and he has all the experience in the world to be able to deal with a big game. He has played difficult games under different circumstances and environments before and if selected, I don’t think there will be a problem.”

His thoughts on facing Arsenal were, “It is a big game every time Arsenal and Chelsea play each other. It is two teams in good form and I think it is going to be an exciting game, so I am looking forward to it. We are in good shape, good form and the spirit is good. I think we have a very good team that is capable of beating Arsenal.

I said at the start that Arsenal are going to be challenging for the league and I am not sure anybody believed me, but that is the way I saw it so I haven’t changed my mind. They have signed some very good players and they have been playing the same kind of football for many years and I think they are up there with the other teams.”

It’s good news that Frank Lampard is available for selction. While the midfielders form has been indifferent so far this season, it’s good to have a proven match-winner fit and available for selection in a match such as this one. Daniel Sturridge is still unfit so Fernando Torres will lead the attack tomorrow. Expect him to play the whole 90 minutes, unless Di Matteo decides to play a False #9 in the middle of the game. One cannot doubt the fact that tomorrow’s match is a big one. Chelsea sit on top of the Premier League table right now but that can all change in an instant. Arsenal are the first major challenge that Chelsea will face in the Premier League this season and it’s important to win such matches. While Chelsea look the stronger team on paper, Arsenal will be no pushovers. Santi Cazorla is my man to watch. The Spaniard has been their key man in midfield and will no doubt pose a major threat. Chelsea and Arsenal are both unbeaten so far this season and both teams will be looking for the victory. Something has to give.

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