Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo has confirmed that Juan Mata and David Luiz are major doubts for this weekend’s Premier League clash against Swansea City.
The duo both featured in the Blues’ enthralling 5-4 win over Manchester United in the League Cup in midweek, and appear to have paid the price for a hectic 120 minutes at Stamford Bridge.
Ashley Cole provided the Italian with more positive news however, with the left-back in contention to feature against the Swans after missing the second of back-to-back matches against Sir Alex Ferguson’s side.
“We’ve got a few issues with a couple of players from the last few games with the extra time that we played. Juan Mata is struggling with his hamstring. David Luiz is struggling with his ankle,” he said during his pre-match press conference.
“There are a few others with niggly injuries tomorrow. They are very doubtful. Ashley Cole is back in contention, and if we lose David (Luiz) then Branislav Ivanovic will be at centre back.”
Di Matteo also gave the latest on Frank Lampard, who hobbled off during the Champions League defeat to Shaktar Donetsk last Tuesday.
The England international will miss the match against Michael Laudrup’s side tomorrow, and is also unlikely to feature in the return against the Ukranian giants next week.
“Wednesday might be a bit too early for Frank,” he concluded.
The Chelsea boss also spoke about defensive issues in west London ahead of the trip to the Liberty Stadium, admitting the loss of John Terry has had an affect on the number of goals conceded in recent matches.
However, Di Matteo did not want to make excuses, and insists improvements must be made in the centre back’s absence.
“I think the last few games we’ve conceded a few more goals than at the start of the season. It’s been down to individual mistakes,” he added.
“Our track record is very good. We’ll continue to do it. John Terry is an influential player for us for sure. When he plays he plays very well. The other players have done a fantastic job.
“We have to improve but I don’t think it’s as simple as that. You look at other teams conceding goals. We have to improve over the last few games, our defensive organisation.”