Villas-Boas tells players to shake and move on...

Chelsea manager wants a show of respect to cool tensions but bullet sent to QPR training ground

Andre Villas-Boas believes it is important that Anton Ferdinand and John Terry shake hands before today's FA Cup fourth-round tie despite the continuing fall-out from the last meeting between Chelsea and Queen's Park Rangers last October.

Then, Terry was accused of racially abusing Ferdinand – an accusation Terry denies – and the case against the Chelsea captain will be heard by West London magistrates' court next Wednesday, four days after the centre-back has led his side out for today's highly charged lunchtime meeting between the two teams.

Tensions surrounding the game have been increasing to the extent that the two clubs this week put out a joint statement pleading for calm from both sets of supporters. Although police said yesterday they are investigating a bullet addressed to Ferdinand being sent to the QPR training ground. The pre-match handshake between the two teams will inevitably be closely scrutinised. Despite Terry's denials Ferdinand is understood to be reluctant to shake Terry's hand and Tony Fernandes, the QPR owner, was due to speak to the player yesterday to encourage him not to snub the England captain.

Villas-Boas, the Chelsea manager, insists he has not spoken to Terry specifically about the issue but entered the debate yesterday.

"I think it's important they shake hands," he said. "This game is based on good values more than anything else. These two players should continue to promote those good values.

"Firstly, it's a question of respect for the opponent and everybody should do it. When it reaches that moment, the players should set out an example. A lot of the situation has been spoken about, but it's good for the players to show that whatever is happening off the pitch, they are playing against each other."

Mark Hughes, the QPR manager, adopted a different approach, distancing himself from the issue and insisting the decision was Ferdinand's alone. "That has to be his own personal decision," said Hughes. "If he feels it is not appropriate to do that, that has to be his own decision. It won't be influenced by myself or the club. I don't think there has been any talks about handshakes whatsoever. It could change from one day to the next – Anton could wake up in the morning, think, 'What's the big deal?' and shake hands, or he might feel strongly about it and decide he definitely won't. I don't know if he will shake hands – I'm not Anton."

Terry has experienced a similar situation when speculation surrounded his first meeting with Wayne Bridge after allegations emerged about the Chelsea player's relationship with his ex-team-mate's former partner – and Villas-Boas insists his captain will be unaffected by the attention.

"John is one of the greatest central defenders in the world, maybe one of the best ever in the game," said the Portuguese manager. "His progression has been outstanding, his qualities are amazing.

"All these players went through performances in their lives that make them ready to play in any circumstance. Chelsea players get stick from every opposition crowd. No opposition crowd loves you or incentivises you. It's a London derby fuelled by emotion, and the fact Chelsea lost there [in October] in dramatic circumstances makes it an even more emotional game."

While Terry and Ferdinand will attract most attention, Villas-Boas confirmed the significance of this game to his side by reasserting his belief that the Premier League title is already way beyond them.

"It's absolutely impossible in the Premiership," he said. "The distance is massive and we don't expect this record- breaking leader to lose points. They're doing their job well. We have to find the consistency to get the best position in the league possible. This is what we will try to do. The FA Cup and the Champions League, they're trophies we will try and win and hope to win."

The Chelsea manager, meanwhile, has ruled out a move for Willian after Shakhtar Donetsk placed a £17m valuation on the Brazil midfielder. "It's an extremely interesting player, but I don't think we'll progress with our interest," said Villas-Boas. "Different issues, from work permit to price valuation."

However, he confirmed Chelsea's interest in Kevin De Bruyne although he admitted the Genk winger was a target identified by the club's scouting network and not himself.

"It's a target that's decided by the club, that I knew about for quite some time," he said. "He was under the scrutiny of the club for some time; we've been following this player. In the sense that it is the club policy for the future, it's the right thing [to buy him] and I'll do everything in my power for him to reach maximum potential. But it's down to the club in decision-making."

A move for De Bruyne is unlikely to be completed this month. Sao Paulo's 19-year-old Brazil international striker Lucas Moura is also a target for Chelsea.

QPR v Chelsea

QPR: Kenny, Onuouha, Ferdinand, Gabbidon, Young, Wright-Phillips, Buzsaky, Barton, Mackie, Macheda, Helguson

Chelsea: Cech, Ivanovic, Luiz, Terry, Cole, Meireles, Romeu, Ramires, Mata, Torres, Sturridge

Kick-off: 12pm (Highlights ITV 1, 10.45pm)

Ref: M Dean (Wirral)

Odds: Home 9-2; Draw 3-1, Away 8-13.

Last: FA Cup meeting 2008 Third round, Chelsea 1 Queen's Park Rangers 0.

Team news: Mark Hughes has doubts over Akos Buzsaky (achilles), while Danny Gabbidon, Matthew Connolly and Heidar Helguson are also struggling. Chelsea will field John Terry, but midfielders Frank Lampard (calf) and Jon Obi Mikel (hamstring) miss out for Andre Villas-Boas's side.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Orthorexia nervosa: How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition

Orthorexia nervosa

How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition
Lady Chatterley is not obscene, says TV director

Lady Chatterley’s Lover

Director Jed Mercurio on why DH Lawrence's novel 'is not an obscene story'
Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests

Set a pest to catch a pest

Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests
Mexico: A culture that celebrates darkness as an essential part of life

The dark side of Mexico

A culture that celebrates darkness as an essential part of life
Being sexually assaulted was not your fault, Chrissie Hynde. Don't tell other victims it was theirs

Being sexually assaulted was not your fault, Chrissie Hynde

Please don't tell other victims it was theirs
A nap a day could save your life - and here's why

A nap a day could save your life

A midday nap is 'associated with reduced blood pressure'
If men are so obsessed by sex, why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?

If men are so obsessed by sex...

...why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?
The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3

Jon Thoday and Richard Allen-Turner

The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3
The bathing machine is back... but with a difference

Rolling in the deep

The bathing machine is back but with a difference
Part-privatised tests, new age limits, driverless cars: Tories plot motoring revolution

Conservatives plot a motoring revolution

Draft report reveals biggest reform to regulations since driving test introduced in 1935
The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border