DI MATTEO: COLE OUT, TERRY IN CONTENTION

Posted on: Fri 09 Nov 2012

Roberto Di Matteo is without Ashley Cole for the visit of Liverpool on Sunday, but may start John Terry with the defender fit and available once more.

Terry has now served his four-match domestic suspension, and although he was an unused substitute in midweek against Shakhtar Donetsk, could return to face the Reds, though Cole will be absent once more with a hamstring injury. Frank Lampard also remains out with a calf injury.

'Probably Sunday is a bit too early for him but hopefully he will be back for us for the next game against West Brom a week later,' the manager said on Cole, who sustained the problem at Swansea last weekend.

On Squad News

Terry's availability means the potential return of the captain, whose presence usually coincides with increased defensive discipline through the side, though Di Matteo was quick to stress nobody is guaranteed a place in the team, and that rotation may continue.

'He is going to be available for Sunday. He is in a good position to be involved,' the manager reported. 'I am pleased his ban is over now and we can have him available for the rest of the season. We have a lot of competition in the team, a lot of internationals, who have a lot of quality at a high level.

'[JT] had played only one competitive game in four weeks and you have to take that into consideration. He'll be a big asset for us and I'm so happy that he's back.

'I don't think anybody is guaranteed a starting place, they all have to work and be fighting for their place in the team.

'David Luiz has played a little more than the others but I've been trying to rotate the players a bit to keep the team as fresh as possible and will continue to do so. To play every three or four days is very tough and demanding for everybody, but we have the options to change and bring in fresh players. It's wise to do so or we'll hit the wall at some point.

'It's not just about the defenders, it's about the team and everybody has to help out when the opposition has the ball. We know what we have to do and we will improve over time for sure.

'It's a question of the 11 players on the pitch being responsible for the defensive organisation. We've conceded a goal more than Manchester city and four less than united, so we know we need to improve in certain areas but the other teams don't look that far away from us.'

On Liverpool

Di Matteo will be keen for his men to be on guard against a Liverpool side that has won the last four league meetings between the two sides.

'They're our bogey team,' he said. 'They seem always to play exceptionally well against us and get results. It's always a difficult game against Liverpool and it's difficult to beat them. It hasn't happened too often in the last three seasons and we have to be aware of that, focused, and try to play a good game to be able to win.

'They always seem to play us in a moment where we are not at our best. On Sunday we are in good spirit, full of confidence and the team is playing well so hopefully it will be a different story.'

Brendan Rodgers's side was beaten 1-0 by Guus Hiddink's Anzhi Makhachkala on Thursday evening, but having studied the Liverpool line-up, Di Matteo expects a strong Reds side at the Bridge.

'I think it looks like he has left the whole team that will play on Sunday at home so they will be very fresh,' he said, before discussing striker Luis Suarez.

'He's a magnificent player, and very dangerous. They don't have many other strikers but they have some young talented players and some experienced players, Glen Johnson, Skrtel, Agger, Gerrard, Enrique are all Premier League players with a lot of games in their legs.'

On Club Profits

Di Matteo also reacted to the news that Chelsea made a £1.4 million profit for the year to June 2012, the first time this has been achieved since Roman Abramovich bought the club in 2003.

'I said in the past we are in favour of financial fair play. We are doing everything in our power to comply with the rules and this is great news for the club,' he said. 'For the first time we have been able to achieve a profit, also thanks to the success on the field but off the field with new sponsor deals and the transfer market, so going forward I think that puts Chelsea Football Club in a strong position to remain competitive domestically and internationally.'