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(UK time) 21:17:50

Premier League

21 February 2012

Villas-Boas to risk Terry’s fitness in attempt to save Chelsea job

Chelsea boss expected to revert to his old guard in Naples despite fitness concerns

Villas-Boas to risk Terry’s fitness in attempt to save Chelsea job

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CFollowing their FA Cup draw with Championship side Birmingham at Stamford Bridge on Saturday, it is widely believed that Andre Villas-Boas’ 8/13 price to be the next Premier League manager to leave will be fulfilled, should Chelsea lose at Napoli in midweek.

In desperate need of a positive result in Naples, Villas-Boas is reportedly willing to gamble on the fitness of his captain John Terry, who he feels will be essential in quelling the attacking threats posed by their hosts in the form of Edinson Cavani, Ezequiel Lavezzi and Marek Hamsik.

Terry has missed Chelsea’s past four matches with a knee injury, and although he made a return to light training in the past week, he failed to make the squad for Saturday’s FA Cup tie and his chances of leading the Blues out in Italy were said to be ‘highly doubtful.’

However, such is the magnitude of importance of this game now for Villas-Boas, that he will leave it as late as he possibly can before deciding whether or not to include Terry in his squad.

He told BBC Sport: “What we are trying to do with John is to respect his importance for the team. We will try and give him a late fitness test to give him every chance.”

Villas-Boas was also quick to dispel rumours that Didier Drogba gave his side their half-time team talk during the weekend draw with Birmingham.

Chelsea, who were behind at the break, went on earn a replay, and Drogba was seen rallying his teammates in the tunnel at half-time, though his Portuguese boss reacted angrily to suggestions that his words were the catalyst for the turnaround, saying: “This is ridiculous, I have nothing to say on this because it makes no sense at all.”

With his job reportedly on the line, the former Porto boss is likely to go with experience for Chelsea’s Champions League clash this week, and Drogba is likely to be recalled in place of Fernando Torres, while Frank Lampard could also start.

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