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Apr 16, 2012

Chelsea facing defensive headache

Chelsea interim boss Roberto Di Matteo faces a defensive headache ahead of the Barcelona clash after David Luiz picked up an injury - although John Terry is expected to play in the Champions League semi-final at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday.

Luiz was substituted during Chelsea's 5-1 FA Cup last-four victory over Tottenham on Sunday, having picked up a hamstring problem while trying to chase down Emmanuel Adebayor in the move that ended up with Gareth Bale bringing the score back to 2-1.

There are also concerns about the fitness of Gary Cahill, who sustained a knock to his foot late in the game. At least Chelsea will have Branislav Ivanovic available as his current ban affects domestic games alone.

Chelsea face a hectic fixture list between now and the end of the season, but Di Matteo feels his players are fit enough to meet the challenge.

"We've picked up some niggly injuries, so it's a matter of assessing the team tomorrow," Di Matteo said. "David Luiz picked up a hamstring injury so we'll have to have a look at him tomorrow but he looks to be doubtful.

"Terry should be able to play again on Wednesday. The boys are looking quite fit at the moment. It's always a matter of seeing how they are after the games and assessing each individual player for the game. I was just focusing on this game to get to the final."

German referee Felix Brych will take charge of the first leg. The 36-year-old, who has a doctorate in law, also officiated the Blues' incredible last-16 second-leg comeback against Napoli.

Brych - who is renowned as a disciplinarian - controversially sent off Manchester United captain Nemanja Vidic in their group-stage fixture with Otelul Galati in Romania. And he dismissed Peter Crouch for two bookable offences when Tottenham lost 4-0 to Real Madrid in last season's quarter-final first leg.

Chelsea's previous clashes with Barcelona since 2005 have been dogged by refereeing controversy.

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