Chelsea hopeful Cole will be fit for City clash

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Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho is optimistic that first-choice left-back Ashley Cole will be available for selection against Manchester City this Sunday, reports The London Evening Standard.

The 32-year-old last appeared for the Blues in a 3-1 victory over Norwich at Carrow Road earlier this month, but the Portuguese manager revealed in a press conference he is confident the player will be fit to return for this weekend's blockbuster Premier League clash.

Cole was excluded from the squad that travelled to Gelsenkirchen for the west London club's Champions League Group E meeting with Schalke on Tuesday evening, despite resuming normal training earlier this week.

Mourinho gave Cole's usual deputy Ryan Bertrand the nod in Chelsea's 4-1 win over against Cardiff at Stamford Bridge in their last league fixture, but elected to experiment with Cesar Azpilicueta – a right-back by trade – for the European outing in Germany midweek.

The England international is the only doubt for the match against Manuel Pellegrini's men with young Dutch midfielder Marco van Ginkel out long-term with a serious knee injury.

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