LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 28: John Terry of Chelsea in action during the FA Cup with Budweiser Fourth Round match between Queens Park Rangers and Chelsea at Loftus Road on January 28, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)
Today just isn't a good day for John Terry. First he was stripped of the England captaincy, and then he was ruled out of Sunday's clash with United due to a knee injury. John Obi Mikel and Ramires have also been ruled out of the contest, but there seems to be a chance we'll have Frank Lampard available. Lampard will undergo a fitness test on Saturday to determine whether or not he will play a part.
This leaves a pair of interesting decisions to be made about the lineup. The first would be our back four. The official site seems to indicate that the decision at left back has come down to Bosingwa or Bertrand. If AVB doesn't feel Bertrand is up to the challenge it would leave us with a back four of Ivanovic, Luiz, Cahill, and Bosingwa. If AVB gives Bertrand a go it would leave us with options at both right back and center back. Personally I'd rahter just give Bossy the day off and go Bertrand, Luiz, Cahill, and Brani in the back.
The other dilemma will be in the midfield. We've already seen that Malouda should not be playing as a central mid, but if super Frank is not fit then we'll have a bit of a numbers issue to deal with. If Michael Essien is fit enough to play 90 minutes we will likely be just fine, but if not we'll likely be seeing a less than ideal midfield. I suppose the best case scenario for Sunday would be if we could run out the same 4-2-3-1 we finished the Swansea contest with.
All in all, the ACoN's timing and injury situation is going to turn this into a very nervous contest. We won't have much experienced cover on the bench even if Lamps passes his fitness test, so finishing a few chances early on would certainly be a nice change of pace. At least United are nicked up a bit as well...