Thursday, March 23, 2017

Di Matteo undecided on FA Cup starters

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 30 Apr 2012

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Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo says he is yet to finalise his starting lineup for Saturday’s FA Cup final against Liverpool.

Di Matteo’s biggest selection headache is up front, where he is likely to leave one of Fernando Torres or Didier Drogba on the bench.

Since taking over from the sacked Andre Villas-Boas in March, Di Matteo has steered the club to 11 wins in his 16 matches in charge, a run of form which has seen them reach the FA Cup and Champions League finals.

A recurring theme during that superb run has been the willingness with which Di Matteo has utilised his whole squad, often opting to rotate between both Torres and Drogba, rather than starting both.

But the 41 year-old is not looking beyond the Blues’ Premier League clash against Newcastle in midweek, as the club remain well in the hunt for fourth spot.

“We have to play Newcastle on Wednesday and I need to reassess my players in the next couple of days to see how they have recovered and how they are, to pick a strong team,” Di Matteo told reporters.

“Then we’ll think about the final.”

After Drogba’s heroics against Barcelona in the Champions League semi-final and Torres’ first hat-trick for the club in Sunday’s 6-1 demolition of QPR, Di Matteo is spoiled for choice in his attacking stocks.

And the Italian welcomes being spoiled for choice in team selection.

“It’s great for this football club that we’ve got all these players now full of confidence and belief in themselves, and everybody wants to play. It’s fantastic,” Di Matteo said.

“It’s the only way we can achieve our targets.”

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