Chelsea news: John Terry poised for Blues return in EFL Cup clash against West Ham United

The former England international has not made a start for Chelsea in six weeks

Tuesday 25 October 2016 20:45
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John Terry is "fit to start" according to Blues coach Antonio Conte
John Terry is "fit to start" according to Blues coach Antonio Conte

Captain John Terry could come into Chelsea's starting XI for Wednesday's EFL Cup fourth-round tie at West Ham United.

Blues head coach Antonio Conte is likely to rotate his options, with the likes of Willian and Nathaniel Chalobah also in contention to start.

Captain Terry was an unused substitute in the wins over Leicester and Manchester United, but could start for the first time in six weeks following an ankle injury.

The 35-year-old’s injury originally hadn’t been viewed as serious at Cobham, but he has since suffered more than one training ground setback.

But after weeks on the sideline, the former England international is ready to make his return.

"John is fit," Conte said. "He's fit to start. He's in good shape, but tomorrow I decide the starting XI."

"He trained very well this week, last week, and he's ready."

Willian, who came off the bench against United, could also start for the first time since taking compassionate leave following the death of his mother.

"Willy is in a good moment now [mentally]. Before the moment wasn't good for him. You know the reason,” Conte remarked.

"He's a fantastic man, a very good boy and we love him because he's a fantastic man before a fantastic player."

Terry with his former manager Jose Mourinho

Although Conte will have been boosted by increased options, he stressed that it is his priority to pick a team strong enough to win.

He added: "It's important to arrive at the right message. Tomorrow we want to win.

"Then, if I decide to put in the team, in the starting XI some young players, it's only because I trust in these players, not to gift (an appearance).

"This cup is an important cup for us. (But) this season we have only FA Cup and this cup to see the other players. For this reason tomorrow we can see probably some changes."

Long-term absentee Kurt Zouma played 45 minutes for the club's development side on Monday and is likely to return to full training with Chelsea's first team on Thursday.

Provisional squad: Courtois, Begovic, Alonso, Kante, Oscar, Hazard, Pedro, Mikel, Loftus-Cheek, Moses, Costa, Matic, Willian, Batshuayi, Cahill, Terry, Azpilicueta, Chalobah, Luiz, Eduardo, Aina, Solanke.

PA.

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