COLE LINED-UP FOR STAMFORD BRIDGE BOW

Posted on: Thu 05 Oct 2006

Amongst all the interest in Ashley Cole's arrival at Chelsea, it is easy to forget that Saturday's opponents Charlton were last season's toughest domestic visitors to the Bridge. The fact hasn't slipped the mind of Jose Mourinho.

 

He has drafted his new left-back straight into an 18-man squad as he looks to improve on last campaign's results against the team from south-east London.

 

"Of the18 players, three are goalkeepers so normally Ashley will be involved in the game," explained Mourinho on Friday afternoon.

 

"We play three games in a row at Stamford Bridge and for sure his debut for Chelsea will be at Stamford Bridge.

 

"We have no injuries after the international week," the boss reported. "Nobody involved lost a game and nobody came back injured so everybody is available. That is very, very good.

 

"We have just the same problems we had before - Robben is out of the game and Joe Cole is also out."

 

Arjen Robben is recovering from a calf strain suffered in the warm-up at Middlesbrough, Joe Cole from a pre-season knee ligament injury.

 

"They are not far from coming back but not yet ready," added Mourinho.

 

"I think it is an alert for us to remember that Charlton was the only team to leave Stamford Bridge with a point last season. We also played them in the Carling Cup at home and it was another draw, so they have a good side.

 

"I have to say I think they were a bit lucky last season to go with a point but they did it well. They had a good manager and now they have a new good manager."

 

New Charlton boss Iain Dowie has been busy in his early months at The Valley, bringing in ten fresh players, either on permanent or loan moves. One is Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink.

 

"The Chelsea fans know Jimmy even better than me," decided Mourinho. "Everybody knows he is a danger and can score goals. Charlton are well organised and they are a difficult team."

 


by Paul Mason