Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo says captain John Terry remains in his plans as he looks set to return from a four-match ban for racial abuse.

Terry missed Wednesday evening's Champions League win over Shakhtar Donetsk but is likely to return to first-team duties for the visit of Liverpool on Sunday.

The Blues opted against sacking or stripping Terry of the captaincy after being found guilty by The Football Association's independent panel, of racially abusing Anton Ferdinand. Di Matteo has confirmed the 31 year old remains in his plans.

Roberto di Matteo
Di Matteo says Terry is in his future plans.

"JT is a fantastic player and has many qualities and I am very happy that he is back available, but considering in the last four weeks he has had one competitive game I thought we needed players that were 100 per cent match fit for a game like this," Di Matteo said.

"But we will certainly need him."

Full-back Ashley Cole and midfielder Frank Lampard, who both featured in last season's European Cup winning side, were both absent with respective hamstring and calf problems, and the lack of experience showed as Chelsea were twice pegged back by a stylish Donetsk side.

Fernando Torres' fortunate opener was cancelled out by Brazilian winger Willian, before Oscar's long-range effort restored the hosts' advantage.

Willian struck again in the second half, before Victor Moses' header in the 94th minute secured a crucial victory to give Chelsea's Champions League hopes a boost.

Di Matteo admitted the task of overcoming the Ukrainian side was made all the more tougher by the absence of a series of experienced players.

"We probably lacked a little experience in terms of we didn't have Frank Lampard or Ashley Cole available and JT didn't play, so there was a lot of Champions League experience that wasn't on the pitch," Di Matteo added.

"In normal circumstances you would like them to be with you but the players who played did tremendously given the enormous pressure we were under in this game. We knew we needed to win and it was difficult given the quality Shakhtar have and the way they play."