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Etoo makes case for start against West Brom

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Updated 08 Nov 2013 01:16:53

Etoo makes case for start against West Brom

Chelsea striker Samuel Eto'o has handed manager Jose Mourinho a selection dilemma ahead of the London club's home meeting with West Bromwich Albion in the Premier League on Saturday.

Eto'o was brought into the starting line-up for the mid-week Champions League meeting with Schalke in one of six changes as Mourinho reacted decisively to last weekend's 2-0 defeat at Newcastle United.

Mourinho went public with his criticism of his players, but his actions achieved the right result, with Eto'o scoring twice in a 3-0 victory that revived spirits ahead of the West Brom encounter.

Centre-back Gary Cahill believes that Eto'o, who is vying for a starting spot with Fernando Torres, is nearing a return to his best after a slow start to his Chelsea career following a summer move from Anzhi Makhachkala.

"Now Samuel has found his feet, he is looking sharp and getting goals for us," Cahill said.

"He took his second (goal) fantastically and worked hard for the side. He has been on this stage many times, so it is great to have him in the squad.

"Samuel set the tempo with the first goal and after that I felt we were in control. He took his second goal like we have seen him do it over the years. It was a great finish.

"He has got nothing to prove, but as a player you are always proving something to yourself. He has come to the Premier League for the first time and he wants to perform."

Frank Lampard was one of the players left out following the Newcastle defeat, but the veteran midfielder believes his manager got his team selection right.

"When you're longer in the tooth, you realise you have to take defeats and blips and bad performances on the chin and come back quickly from them," said the England midfielder.

"There's no point in sulking too long. It's a case of getting over Newcastle. We're still in a healthy position in the league. We need to learn from those kind of games and react. And we did that."

Eden Hazard will return to the squad after being dropped for the Schalke clash after failing to return from a trip to France in time for training on Monday morning.

West Brom head coach Steve Clarke, meanwhile, has insisted that he is not a Mourinho clone as he prepares to come up against his old Stamford Bridge mentor.

The Scot worked under Mourinho as his assistant during the Portuguese's first spell in west London and will come up against him as a manager for the first time on Saturday.

"Certainly Mourinho was one of my mentors. It was good for me at that time in my career," Clarke said.

"He gave me good ideas, showed me a different way to work -- a way of working which was more global. You could do everything on the pitch within the training session: the tactical, technical, physical, psychological.

"I don't think I've copied Jose's style. I'm very different, quiet. I can be quite reserved, definitely not a shouter."

West Brom hope to welcome back Victor Anichebe (hamstring), but former Chelsea players Nicolas Anelka (groin) and Scott Sinclair (hamstring) are both doubtful.

Billy Jones (hamstring) is also out and Zoltan Gera and Ben Foster remain long-term absentees.

Meanwhile, Clarke insists he was not surprised by national coach Roy Hodgson's decision to leave in-form striker Saido Berahino out of his latest England squad.

"He is in a good place, he has done well for us this year, but I wasn't expecting a call-up," Clarke said.

"I am sure he will make a good contribution for the England Under-21s."


AFP

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