Chelseas caretaker manager Roberto Di Matteo is hoping to avoid what he described on Tuesday as the worst-case scenario with reserves and youngsters on the bench for the Champions League final against Bayern Munich on Saturday.
Di Matteo,whose future whether Chelsea win or lose the game at Bayern’s Allianz Arena is far from certain,said he was facing one of the biggest challenges of his career especially as Chelsea have four players suspended and possibly three senior men missing with injuries.
Captain John Terry,defender Branislav Ivanovic and midfielders Raul Meireles and Ramires are all banned from the final while Di Matteo said Florent Malouda was touch and go after pulling a hamstring during the first half of Sunday’s final Premier League match against Blackburn Rovers. David Luiz and Gary Cahill also have hamstring injuries,but were training on Tuesday after missing most of the last month.
Di Matteo told a packed marquee at Chelsea’s training ground in Cobham,south of London: Flo (Malouda),well still assess and its going to be touch and go for him to be available for Saturday.
Di Matteo would be forced to complete his bench with reserves and youngsters if Luiz and Cahill were also out. That’s the worse-case scenario, he said. We will take some reserve-team players onto the bench,into the squad,and just figure out what to do. I’ve been trying different options in training and different solutions just in case.
While Saturday’s game could be Di Matteo’s last in charge of Chelsea,he said all he was thinking about after the final was having a holiday. He refused to be drawn on a possible move back to one of his former clubs,West Bromwich Albion,after being sacked from there as manager last year.