LONDON ENGLAND - AUGUST 14: Roman Bednar of West Bromwich competes for the ball with Alex of Chelsea during the Barclays Premier League match between Chelsea and West Bromwich Albion at Stamford Bridge on August 14 2010 in London England. (Photo by Phil Cole/Getty Images)
Good news regarding our old friend Alex at long last. It's easy to forget that we have a Brazilian international defender who isn't named David Luiz at Chelsea, but we do, and he's back in the squad for tomorrow's home match against Wigan Athletic after being absent since early December, when he tried to play on an injured knee to help paper over Chelsea's defensive crisis and only succeeded in giving up a goal and then being out for four months. But anyway, he's going to make the bench this weekend, at least according to Carlo Ancelotti.
Alex is okay, he is fit. He doesn’t start tomorrow but he will be involved on the bench. I hope to give him maybe 30-45 minutes just to have a test on his condition.
-Carlo Ancelotti. Source: Fulham & Hammersmith Chronicle.
Obviously Ancelotti's decision will have to be based on how the match is going, but being able to give Alex a run-out against Wigan to assess his form would be huge for the upcoming visit to Old Trafford in the second half of Chelsea's Champions League quarter-final clash - a must-win game in which Luiz is cup-tied. A lack of defensive versatility has seen Jose Bosignwa as the automatic pick at right-back in European matches, and although the Portuguese impressed going forward in Chelsea's 1-0 loss to United at Stamfrod Bridge this week, his error allowed the visitors to snatch the winning goal and give them a major advantage heading into the second leg.
We've also got a fun-sounding Yossi Benayoun update as well:
[Benayoun] is not 100 per cent because he has had six-months out but he is doing really well in the training sessions. The good news for the first-time in the season is that we have all the players without injury.
Obviously, this is great news. We've actually missed Yossi greatly this season, especially during the Great November Midfielder Crisis, but he's a more intelligent distributor of the ball than anyone else on the side who isn't named Josh McEachran and could be just the tonic Fernando Torres needs to start notching some goals. Him coming back to 100% strength also allows Ancelotti to rest Frank Lampard, which would be... most welcome.