Chelsea manager Rafa Benitez has refused to confirm whether captain John Terry will retain his place in the starting XI against Liverpool this weekend.

The Blues captain scored twice as Chelsea beat Fulham 3-0 in a west London derby on Wednesday evening, a result which saw his side move back into third place in the Premier League and a prized Champions League spot.

Terry scored a goal in each half following David Luiz's sublime long range effort at Craven Cottage, but the former England skipper could find himself back on the bench when Benitez takes his side to his former side on Sunday, as the Spaniard attempts to find balance between Chelsea's domestic and European aspirations.

"He has to be happy, scoring goals," Bentiez said following the win over Martin Jol's side, the Mail report. "Everyone is.

"I prefer these problems [of whether to leave him out]. I told the players before it is important that they have to be ready.

"We have eight or nine games to play and everyone has to be on his toes and ready to play and perform. We will try to stay in the top three and we have the Europa League as well. We want to compete in both competitions."

John Terry
Chelsea captain Terry could find himself back on the bench this weekend.

Terry was an unused substitute during the 2-1 defeat to Manchester City in last Sunday's FA Cup semi-final tie at Wembley, but began last night's match alongside Luiz in what was only his third Premier League start for the club since Benitez's appointment in late November of last year.

The former England international has started all but one of Chelsea's Europa League games this year, and Benitez maintains that squad rotation, a penchant of the Spaniard's game in English football, will be imperative to Chelsea salvaging some silverware this season.

"I think the most important thing is the team," the former Liverpool manager added. "I'm really pleased with his [Terry's] performance but at the end of the day the team has to be winning.

"We have been playing two games a week for four or five months, so it's not easy keeping the players focused, concentrated and now tired.

"We have to keep them ready for every game. Every player wants to play every game, but they have to realise they can't do that and be 100 per cent in each game.

Chelsea's win over their west London neighbours saw them move above a point ahead of Arsenal into third place, with the Blues still to play their game in hand.