Chelsea v Portsmouth: Match preview

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Chelsea v Portsmouth

FA Cup third round

Stamford Bridge

Sunday, January 8. Kick-off: 1500


Didier Drogba and Salomon Kalou are unavailable for Chelsea as they set off for the Africa Cup of Nations with the Ivory Coast.

A decision on the fitness of captain John Terry - who has been struggling with a knee injury - will be made before kick-off.

For Portsmouth, Greg Halford and Joel Ward will return to the fold after serving respective suspensions.

Luke Varney is a doubt with a knee complaint, but Ricardo Rocha should be fit after missing the last two matches with a calf injury.


Di Matteo praises Appleton


Chelsea assistant manager Roberto Di Matteo is looking forward to locking horns with former understudy Michael Appleton at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.

Appleton was working as West Brom's reserve team boss when Di Matteo took over at the Hawthorns, and promptly promoted him into the first team set-up.

The 36-year-old remained at with the Baggies after Di Matteo's departure, until he was offered the chance to take his first senior management role with Portsmouth.

It's been a difficult baptism for Appleton at Fratton Park so far, but Di Matteo expects his former colleague to be a hit on the south coast.

"He was unfortunate with the timing because only a few weeks after he was appointed, the owners of the club had some financial problems and went into administration," said Andre Villas-Boas' No.2.

"But at the moment it seems like they might have a new owner very soon. I hope that is going to happen for him and they will have some more financial resources.

"I sent him my best regards but I haven't spoken to him. I think we will catch up at the game but it will have to be quickly because we are both going to be very busy, but I wish him all the best - after Sunday."

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