Champions League: Di Matteo to shuffle Chelsea pack

Di Matteo pointing out how many defenders he has available

With success comes matches and Roberto Di Matteo now has an almighty juggling act on his hands to manage his squad as they prepare for two cup finals...

"Chelsea have six matches to contend with in the space of four weeks, with the small matter of an FA Cup final just ten days away."

As Geoff Shreeves was so keen to point out last night, Chelsea's heroic efforts at the Nou Camp came at a cost, of sorts. If they were thin on the ground defensively before their semi-final success, they are now down to the bare bones.

With David Luiz nursing a hamstring injury, Gary Cahill has joined the walking wounded with a hamstring problem of his own. Chelsea probably need both to walk out at the Allianz Arena on May 19, but their respective prognoses are still unclear.

Whatever happens, they won't be lining up alongside John Terry or Branislav Ivanovic, who will both be enjoying the occasion in their finery. Not that they will be short of company either. Raul Meireles and Ramires are also banned, having collected their second cautions of the knockout stages.

Chelsea will learn their Champions League fate this evening, not least whether Jose Mourinho will be occupying the opposite dugout in Munich. Chelsea are currently 3.259/4 to win the final.

Di Matteo's side have six matches to contend with in the space of four weeks, with the small matter of an FA Cup final now just ten days away. To add to the confusion though, Terry can return to the side at the weekend against QPR, whereas Ivanovic is to serve the final game of a three-match domestic ban, after being retrospectively punished for an incident with Wigan's Shaun Maloney.

It all amounts to a sizeable headache for Di Matteo, albeit a most welcome one. Jose Bosingwa and Ryan Bertrand are the most likely to benefit, both of whom have made considerable contributions in recent weeks.

And Chelsea's interim boss will not want to finish their league campaign with a whimper, particularly with fourth-placed Newcastle still to play at Stamford Bridge. But needs must, and a potential cup double will inevitably weigh heavy on Di Matteo's thoughts, so expect the likes of Ashley Cole, Frank Lampard and Didier Drogba to be used sparingly.

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