Chelsea pushing defensive pair hard to be fit for final
UPDATED @ 09:51:26 AM 12-05-2012LONDON, May 12 — Chelsea are still sweating on the fitness of central defenders David Luiz and Gary Cahill for next week's Champions League final against Bayern Munich.
Both players have been sidelined by hamstring injuries in recent weeks and will again be missing for the club's final Premier League fixture of the season at home to relegated Blackburn Rovers tomorrow.
"We are trying our hardest to have them in the group training next week," interim coach Roberto Di Matteo told reporters yesterday.
"They have been out for three or four weeks so it is not like three months and with the suspensions we have, we have to push them as hard as we can."
Di Matteo is desperate to have Brazil international David Luiz and England defender Cahill available for next Saturday's final in Munich because fellow centre halves John Terry and Branislav Ivanovic are banned.
Chelsea were without John Obi Mikel (knee problem) for Tuesday's 4-1 defeat at Liverpool, the team they beat 2-1 in last Saturday's FA Cup final at Wembley, but Di Matteo expects the Nigeria midfielder to be fit to take on Bayern.
The London club, who are certain to finish sixth in the Premier League, also have midfielders Raul Meireles and Ramires suspended for the Champions League final and will take the chance to shuffle their pack of players against Blackburn.
"My team selection is going to be a mix, one or two youngsters and some of the other guys that need a game," said Di Matteo.
"We have to find a balance. There are also going to be players in the team who are going to be involved next Saturday." — Reuters