David Luiz hopes to be available for Chelsea against Leicester

 

David Luiz is determined to play in Chelsea's FA Cup clash with Leicester, despite hobbling out of Stamford Bridge after their Champions League triumph over Napoli.

Luiz could barely walk following Wednesday night's thrilling 4-1 extra-time win, having played the full 120 minutes of the last-16 second-leg clash.

But the defender, who arguably had one of his best games in a Chelsea jersey, insisted he did not need a rest for Sunday's cup quarter-final.

A limping Luiz said: "It's my ankle. I hurt it when I got a kick but that's normal. This is football.

"I'll go to the training ground for treatment to help me for Sunday. I want to play."

Chelsea could make wholesale changes after their midweek exertions, including resting captain John Terry, who failed to complete the Napoli match.

That was only the 31-year-old's second game back following his remarkable recovery from knee surgery but his leadership qualities have already shone through.

Luiz said: "For Chelsea, it is important to have all the players back from injury.

"JT is the captain and a legend for the club. He is a fantastic player and of course it makes me happy when he plays."

Another player deserving of a rest is Ramires, who never stopped running on Wednesday night.

Luiz said of his former Benfica team-mate: "The last 20 minutes, it was impossible for some of us to walk and he was running box to box. This is Ramires.

"He is unbelievable. He is a fantastic player.

"I'm happy because he plays for my team."

Chelsea had looked certain to endure their worst season since Roman Abramovich bought the club while Andre Villas-Boas was in charge.

But caretaker manager Roberto Di Matteo has transformed the Blues' fortunes in a matter of days and, suddenly, almost anything looks possible.

Luiz, who found himself held up as a example of everything that was wrong with Villas-Boas' doomed regime, said: "For me, the story is much better now, it shows the magic of football."

However, the 24-year-old acknowledged there was far more work to do to salvage something from the campaign.

"What we did against Napoli is in the past," he said.

"Now I'm thinking about the future."

That future includes Sunday's cup tie, where Chelsea will be firm favourites to seal a place in a Wembley semi-final.

The odds of them edging closer to Champions League glory may depend on today's quarter-final draw, which could pair them with the ominous-looking Barcelona, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich or AC Milan.

More appealing would be a tie against APOEL Nicosia, Marseille or Benfica.

Asked who he wanted, Luiz said: "I don't know. All the teams are fantastic."

PA

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