Chelsea manager Guus Hiddink has confirmed the Blues will be without Loic Remy, Radamel Falcao and new signing Alexandre Pato for their Premier League clash against Manchester United at Stamford Bridge on 7 February. The Dutchman admitted Pato is some way off appearing for the Chelsea first team, having only just arrived on loan from Brazilian club Corinthians.
Pato, 26, is currently undergoing a specially arranged fitness programme in order to get him up to speed. Hiddink refused to confirm when he will be available for the first team, though he revealed the former AC Milan star would play no part in Chelsea's next fixture.
"Pato is in his pre-season. We have made a training plan that he is doing now, training at least once but most of the days twice, which means he is getting his fitness but not full fitness yet," he said during a pre-match press conference, according to Chelsea's official website. "He will not be in for the upcoming few games because we want to have him fit because we don't want the risk of injury in this tough league."
Pato is joined on the sidelines by Remy – who was linked with a move away from the club during the January transfer window – and Falcao, both of whom are currently injured. "The squad is looking okay after the midweek game against Watford. The players have come back in and look very fit except for Falcao and Remy. Remy will be involved next week," the Chelsea boss said.
Meanwhile, Hiddink revealed he was hopeful Pedro would return from his recent groin injury to play some part against Louis van Gaal's side. "Pedro was not available then because of a groin injury but he trained well this morning and we will see how he reacts to it. I don't think there will be big problems," he said.