Chelsea v Cardiff City Match preview
Premier League action today from Stamford Bridge. Kick off 3:00pm
Early team news:
Striker Fernando Torres could return from a knee injury sooner than expected when Chelsea play Cardiff in the Barclays Premier League on Saturday, but Ashley Cole (ribs) and Andre Schurrle (leg) are out.
Torres, who was expected to be sidelined for three weeks and also served a suspension at Norwich, is back in contention, but left-back Cole, who missed England's recent matches, is set to be replaced by Ryan Bertrand.
Forward Schurrle is not fit despite performing well with Germany, while goalkeeper Petr Cech is expected to make his 300th Chelsea appearance.
Striker Andreas Cornelius remains the only injury absentee as Cardiff look to move on from recent off-field events.
The Dane has been sidelined since the Capital One Cup win against Accrington in August, but manager Malky Mackay has made it clear he will not rush his return to action.
Mackay may again decide to choose Peter Odemwingie over Craig Bellamy in attack following the latter's exertions during his final two appearances for Wales over the international break, while Jordon Mutch is in contention for a midfield berth.
On Cardiff's off field issues
“I don't think it's a problem for the dressing room. It's a problem for the club, for the closed circle, for Mackay, for the owner, but it doesn't touch the players or the dressing room,” he said.
“They are motivated. They play in the Premier League, are getting results. They beat Man City, won away from home, have experienced players and players in international duty, who come back with good results -- the boys from Chile and Iceland -- and good feelings. It's for the owner, not the boys.”
“We won’t go there with any fear - that is not our style at all.
“We’ll be going there fully aware how difficult it is going to be, but fully determined to relish the occasion.
“Chelsea are a top, top team, but we have had some very positive results so far this season ourselves and we will be looking to keep improving and to keep moving our season forward.”
Referee: Anthony Taylor. Assistants: M McDonough, R West. Fourth Official: T Kettle.
ChelseaChelsea have won all three of their Premier League home games this season, extending their unbeaten league run at Stamford Bridge to 11 matches - 10 victories and a draw. The Blues have scored two goals in each of their last eight league games at Stamford Bridge. Oscar has three goals in seven Premier League games this season. He is the only Chelsea player to score more than once this term. Petr Cech will make his 300th Premier League appearance, joining Frank Lampard and John Terry in reaching the landmark.
CardiffCardiff's only away win this season came a mile away from Stamford Bridge - a 2-1 win at Fulham on 28 September. The Bluebirds have had the fewest shots on target in the Premier League this season (17). Cardiff have only scored one first-half Premier League goal this season. Only Aston Villa (six) have earned more points from losing positions than Cardiff this term (four). Goalkeeper David Marshall has made a Premier League-high 31 saves this season.
Chelsea (from): Cech, Ivanovic, Luiz, Essien, Ramires, Lampard, Torres, Mata, Oscar, Mikel, De Bruyne, Hazard, Ba, Willian, Schwarzer, Cahill, Terry, Azpilicueta, Eto'o, Bertrand.
Cardiff (from): Marshall, Connolly, Taylor, Caulker, Hudson, Turner, Whittingham, Cowie, Medel, Campbell, Brayford, Kim, Smith, Gestede, Noone, Gunnarsson, Mutch, Odemwingie, Mason, Maynard, Lewis, Moore, Bellamy, Theophile-Catherine.
Source: Cardiff City Online
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