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Defensive duo boost Chelsea

Ashley Cole and Gary Cahill have travelled with the Chelsea squad to Basel, ahead of Thursday's Europa League semi-final first leg.

Last Updated: 24/04/13 at 19:17 Post Comment

Ashley Cole: Limped off duing the 1-0 win over Manchester United at Stamford Bri

Ashley Cole: Limped off duing the 1-0 win over Manchester United at Stamford Bri

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The defenders left London for Switzerland on Wednesday morning after recovering from recent injuries.

Cole has shaken off a hamstring strain suffered in the FA Cup quarter-final replay win against Manchester United on 1 April, while Cahill has been passed fit following a minor knee operation on 30 March.

"Both are here and will train. They are fine," said Benitez.

"Obviously fatigue when you play so many games and travel around Europe is a key factor to consider.

"I praise my staff because we try to manage the squad in the best way possible. Still the team is [playing] good games and we have fresh legs in some players. We have to rotate, change and manage players."

Oscar came off at during Sunday's 2-2 draw at Liverpool with a groin problem but is also among the 19-strong party.

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W

e have the personnel. The trick is keeping them fit. Carrick and Blind have missed large chunks of the season, while the defence has been one muddled mess of intermittent stooges, all coming and going at various intervals thus far. We may be just short of title winning quality, but we're half way through. An injury crisis to either of the top two could change things. Optimistic, yes, but not unrealistic.

HarryBoulton
One Point And One Conclusion For United

P

arish is the man to blame for this shambles. Pulis must be chuckling into his left over turkey sandwich. I pray this doesn't mean the Neil Warnock media machine will kick in now and he'll be back on the telly box.

magicfuller
Warnock sacked by Palace

W

e almost found a new way to lose, just when I thought it was getting boring Giroud does that. Although Arsenal are deservedly called 'soft' the entire midfield is out injured. Still must admit MU are managing to win despite a similar raft of absentees. Think the Gunners have good players but poorly coached.

gettalong
Wenger: Giroud deserved red

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