Posted on: Fri 30 Mar 2012

Andre Villas-Boas will start John Terry against Queens Park Rangers this afternoon, and could yet partner him with new signing Gary Cahill in the centre of defence.

The manager has decisions to make having returned from the mid-season trip to Mallorca on Thursday, with 26-year-old Cahill having settled in well to his new surroundings. Villas-Boas says he has had no such difficulty in including Terry, despite the hot reception that is likely to greet the captain at Loftus Road.

'He is fully fit and available. His recent displays and David Luiz's recent displays have been fantastic. The team recently has showed great defensive coherence and organisation so both players are players we should count on for this game independent of other things,' Villas-Boas said. 'You will see more involvement from Cahill, he won't go to the stands, he will have more involvement in some way. We have to decide if he plays from the start or just the bench.'

There were words of praise for Terry, 31, who the Portuguese also revealed had been playing despite knee problems since December.

'John is one of the greatest central defenders in the world and maybe one of the best ever in the game. His progression has been outstanding, his qualities are amazing and he is a player that almost guarantees you success in terms of individual performance and helping the collective. He has been a great captain for club and country and is a player we hold in high esteem.

'Chelsea players get stick from every opposition crowd. There is no opposition crowd loving you, we have to bear in mind it is a London derby fuelled by emotion. The fact Chelsea lost there under dramatic circumstances makes it an even more hyped and emotional game and I think it will be based more on that. It was a great environment.'

Back in October we were beaten 1-0 thanks to Heidar Helguson's penalty, seeing Jose Bosingwa and Didier Drogba both given straight red cards. QPR have since slipped into a relegation battle and dispensed with manager Neil Warnock, replacing him with former Chelsea striker Mark Hughes. Villas-Boas has noticed recent improvement since the Welshman took charge.

'The impact of recent results have the same effect like Martin O'Neill at Sunderland,' said the Portuguese. 'It reaches a motivation point, and willingness and empathy with the manager helps the establishment of new ideas Mark wants to implement and I think we will find it extremely difficult against them.

'The recent signings, we will have to wait and see if Mark uses them or not. The impact that Akos Buszaky is having now he wasn't having with Neil Warnock, and Taye Taiwo and Nedum Onuoha [could also play] if Mark decides to use them.'

Finally, Villas-Boas discussed the anticipated lively atmosphere in W12.

'The game is fuelled by emotions and reactions and you can never get it completely under your control. You have to keep it within the limits of reason, good values and examples. I think the game has evolved tremendously in that sense. The clubs have made a statement together with extremely positive impact.

'The ingredients are set for it to be an exciting domestic cup game.'

You can listen to live audio commentary of today's game with Chelsea TV.