Chelsea v Arsenal: Match Preview

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Football News

Chelsea v Arsenal
Stamford Bridge
Saturday 29 October 2011, 12:45
Barclays Premier League

Team News

Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas will be without the services of Didier Drogba, who is suspended following his sending-off against QPR last weekend.

His absence means Fernando Torres could return to the starting XI after the Spaniard completed his three-game ban.

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has indicated that Thomas Vermaelen is in line for his first Barclays Premier League start since August, despite limping off in the Gunners' Carling Cup victory over Bolton.

Fellow defender Carl Jenkinson faces a late fitness test, but Kieran Gibbs is unavailable.

Terry is ready, insists AVB

Andre Villas-Boas insists Chelsea captain John Terry is mentally right to play against Arsenal when Arsene Wenger's side visit Stamford Bridge for Saturday's Barclays Premier League encounter.

The 30-year-old defender has been in the spotlight this week having been accused of racially abusing QPR defender Anton Ferdinand in last weekend's 1-0 west London derby defeat at Loftus Road.

Terry, who categorically denies any wrongdoing, is fully focused on football matters, and according to the Portuguese tactician, is in the right frame of mind to face the Gunners.

"I see no reason why not," Villas-Boas responded to questions on whether he had any concerns about playing him. "Not in the sense of his state of mind - never."

Villas-Boas also denied the saga had been a distraction for the rest of his Blues squad, as they look to close the six-point gap on Barclays Premier League pace-setters Manchester City at the top of the table.

"I don't think, for us, it's been a distraction," he concluded. "We haven't lost too much focus on the situation because there is nothing to lose focus on."

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