Chelsea in bullish mood for Champions League test against Barcelona despite likely absence of David Luiz
The Chelsea centre-back, David Luiz, is resigned to missing Wednesday’s Champions League semi-final first leg at home to Barcelona even though the club are continuing to assess scans on his injured hamstring.
The Brazilian was carried off during Sunday’s 5-1 win against T*ttenham in the FA Cup semi-final, with interim manager Roberto Di Matteo immediately admitting that he did not expect the Brazilian to be available for the biggest match of the club’s season to date against the European champions.
Luiz’s hamstring has been scanned and, although he does not expect to play on Wednesday, there was no definitive indication on the timescale for his absence. It means there is still some hope that he could return for the second leg in Barcelona next week.
The absence of Luiz will be mitigated, however, by the willingness of captain John Terry to continue playing through the pain of two cracked ribs and the fact that Branislav Ivanovic is available for European competition despite serving a three-game domestic ban.
Chelsea have just three days to recover from the exertions of their Wembley win over T*ttenham, with Di Matteo still weighing up selection quandaries throughout his team.
Didier Drogba was outstanding against T*ttenham and expects to have recovered from a slight hamstring injury while Frank Lampard, who has been dropped from some key European games this season, has made it clear that he is physically ready to play.