Chelsea boss Roberto Di Matteo has been handed a massive boost as he prepares the Blues for a vital Champions League fixture against Portuguese side Benfica.
Di Matteo, in temporary charge of the English club, oversaw a slim but crucial 1-0 win for his side in the first leg of this Champions League quarter-final tie, a week ago. The result puts his side in pole position to qualify for the semi-finals, where they will face defending Spanish and European champions Barcelona.
A report in the Daily Mail confirms Di Matteo has a full squad available for selection against Benfica, something which will no doubt please the Italian after there were concerns over fitness of first-team regulars Petr Cech, Frank Lampard, Ashley Cole, Branislav Ivanovic and Daniel Sturridge. Apparently all the players took part in Tuesday training sessions. Striker Didier Drogba and defender David Luiz have also been cleared to play, after suffering injury scares in the weekend's league game against Aston Villa.
"All the players are available, so that will help us. It's very demanding, but we're in a good place. Fortunately we have a fully fit squad. This is half-time and we're leading 1-0, but a 1-0 lead is basically nothing. We need to go and qualify," Di Matteo said.
Meanwhile, in an interview posted on Chelsea's official Web site, the club's Brazilian midfielder Ramires has emphasised Stamford Bridge is focused on beating Benfica and will not take their opponents for granted.
"It will certainly be a difficult game," Ramires confirmed, adding, "We have an important advantage from the first game, obviously, but we have 90 tough minutes in front of us and we are going to face a serious challenge tomorrow. When facing Benfica you know they will come out motivated and do everything to win. Despite the disadvantage from the first game I am sure they will do everything to stop us."
Finally, to add a bit of spice to the already tense tie, Benfica coach Jorge Jesus has hit out at "lucky" Chelsea, claiming the English side do not deserve to be leading, going into the second leg.
"Chelsea obviously have the upper hand, but we are going to approach this game in the same manner as we would have if we had won the first game," he said, in another Daily Mail report, "Chelsea had quite a lot of luck in the first match, considering we dominated the match. We have the quality to win this game, obviously, and I'm sure that - this time round - we can turn the tables on Chelsea and do the same as they did in Lisbon."