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Sep 17, 2012

Sturridge to be given Chelsea game-time

Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo has given bench-warming striker Daniel Sturridge hope that he will be given playing time, as the Blues prepare for a hectic schedule of seven games in just three weeks.

Sturridge, 23, who was heavily linked with a move to Liverpool during the summer transfer window, has played just 31 minutes of Premier League football this season.

However, despite the England international's lack of game-time, Di Matteo suggests his chance to shine is imminent.

Saturday's 0-0 draw at QPR was the start of a hectic three weeks for the European champions, who start the defence of their Champions League crown with a clash against Juventus at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday night.

"Sturridge can play more minutes, for sure," he said. "As long as he keeps training well and shows his qualities when he has the opportunities, that's the way forward. He will get chances to play and this is the case for all the players in the squad, as we are now in the middle of a period where we have seven games in 21 days."

The Italian believes Chelsea's status as European champions may hamper their ambitions this season, as opposition players will raise their game in a bid to claim the scalp of the reigning kings of the continent.

"Every team is going to play with extra motivation playing against Champions League holders and that could make our life more difficult," he added. "I'm sure Mark Hughes reminded his players ahead of their game against us on Saturday that they were playing against the European champions. It's good motivation for our opponents."

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