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Jan 29, 2013

Cech and Luiz absent for Chelsea

Rafael Benitez will be without goalkeeper Petr Cech and defender David Luiz for Wednesday's Premier League meeting with Reading.

The duo were both absent through injury for Chelsea's 2-2 draw with Brentford in the FA Cup fourth round at the weekend.

Cech has failed to recover from a calf injury in time for the trip to the Madejski Stadium, meaning Ross Turnbull will again deputise in goal.

Luiz is also suffering from a calf complaint while Eden Hazard serves the second instalment of his minimum three-match ban.

Benitez said at his pre-match press conference: "Petr Cech is not available. David Luiz is injured. When they're back, we'll be stronger and we'll be fighting for a place in the top four.

"He (Cech) had a problem with his calf the other day. We thought he'd be fine, but he's still complaining a little bit. It was a tough game the other day because the pitch was quite heavy, so we have to analyse the players physically and then make a decision on selection.

"I hope he'll be back for the weekend. We were testing him today, but it was a light training session and he was still uncomfortable, so we won't take a risk.

"David Luiz is still maybe one week. He's still working very hard with the physios. We'll see in four or five days.

"Yes (Turnbull will start). When you're not playing too many games, it's always more difficult. It's a question of settling down. He's training well. We don't have an issue there."

Blues captain John Terry made his first start versus Brentford following a spell on the sidelines and he looks set to continue in Benitez's starting XI.

He said: "John Terry we need to discuss. I was really pleased with him after a long time to play 90 minutes on that pitch - that was quite hard. But we have to speak."

The Spaniard, who has come under pressure of late, added: "I'm really focused on my job. We know we are training well and preparing properly, and that's my job."

"Reading will be a tough game, we know they play with high intensity and we have to be ready."

"My focus is to improve the team and keep the players believing that we can win. I like managing top sides and this is one."

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