John Terry return will help Chelsea regroup but Juan Mata is key absentee

Swansea City 1 Chelsea 1

Chelsea will finally conclude one inglorious non-footballing episode this week even as another one gains momentum. Their captain John Terry's availability after ending his four-match domestic suspension puts an end at last to the saga of his abuse of Anton Ferdinand 13 months ago just as the club pursue grave allegations of their own against the referee Mark Clattenburg.

Terry is expected to play both in Wednesday's Champions League tie at home to Shakhtar Donetsk, who beat them 2-1 a fortnight ago, and then at home to Liverpool on Sunday, by which time Chelsea could have fallen four points behind Manchester United at the top of the table. Conceding a late equaliser to Swansea City's Pablo Hernandez on Saturday meant dropping two points in a 1-1 draw and allowing United to overtake them, as well as extending the run without a clean sheet to six games.

"John's a big player for us and we welcome him back," the manager Roberto Di Matteo said. "He is a fantastic defender, very influential and used to the big games like the one against Shakhtar." Di Matteo calls Wednesday's game the most important since his team somehow managed to win last season's final; they trail Shakhtar by three points and are vulnerable to Juventus, only one point behind them.

Saturday's evidence was that more important than Terry's input is that of the midfielder Juan Mata, who hopes to have recovered from a hamstring injury. Victor Moses, deputising, may have scored his first league goal for the club but is not yet at anything like the same level; Oriel Romeu was so poor he was substituted at half-time.

In the meantime Chelsea will again find players and officials being interrogated by the Football Association governance department as the Clattenburg investigation begins. As The Independent on Sunday revealed, the club felt that under the FA's own rules, they had no option but to make a formal complaint once both John Obi Mikel and Ramires claimed to have heard the former racially abused.

How straightforward in comparison is life at Swansea, where they have effected a smooth change of manager, maintained their style and beliefs and after matching Manches-ter City, Liverpool and Chelsea in the past week now need focus only on achieving better results against lowlier opposition. That task begins at Southampton on Saturday.

Champions League: Eye on the opposition

Shakhtar Donetsk maintained their 100 per cent league record with a 2-0 win over bottom club Metalurg Zaporizhya ahead of Wednesday's trip to Stamford Bridge. A Douglas Costa penalty and Luiz Adriano bicycle kick secured Shakhtar's 14th win from 14 games to keep them 12 points clear at the top.

Match facts



Goals: Swa Hernandez 88. Che Moses 60. Subs: Swa Graham 7 (Britton, 65), Dyer 7 (Routledge, 65), Shechter (Michu, 79). Che Ramires 6 (Romeu, h-t), Sturridge (Moses, 72), Bertrand (Oscar, 79). Booked: Swa Britton, De Guzman, Ki, Shechter. Che Azpilicueta. MoM Hernandez. Match rating 6/10. Poss: Swa 46% Che 54%. Attempts on target: Swa 7 Che 7. Ref K Friend (Leics). Att 20,527.

Get Adobe Flash player
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

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

Day In a Page

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

The acceptable face of the Emirates

Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk
Nepal earthquake: One man's desperate escape from Everest base camp after the disaster

Escape from Everest base camp

Nick Talbot was sitting in his tent when the tsunami of snow and rock hit. He was lucky to live, unlike his climbing partner just feet away...
Adopting high fibre diet could dramatically cut risk of bowel cancer, says study

What happened when 20 Americans swapped diets with 20 Africans?

Innovative study in the US produces remarkable results
Blake Lively and 'The Age of Adaline': Gossip Girl comes
of age

Gossip girl comes of age

Blake Lively is best known for playing an affluent teenager. Her role as a woman who is trapped forever at 29 is a greater challenge
Goat cuisine: Kid meat is coming to Ocado

Goat cuisine

It's loved by chefs, ethical, low in fat and delicious. So, will kid meat give lamb a run for its money?
14 best coat hooks

Hang on: 14 best coat hooks

Set the tone for the rest of your house with a stylish and functional coat rack in the hallway
Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?