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Chelsea v Sparta Prague


Terry: Back in the squad

Terry: Back in the squad

European champions Chelsea will be looking to finish off their Europa League last-32 tie strong when they welcome Sparta Prague to Stamford Bridge on Thursday.


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The Blues face a potentially dangerous fixture when they take their 1-0 away lead, courtesy of a late Oscar strike, back to London, and will need to be on their game to ensure their hosts don't cancel out their crucial away goal.

Rafael Benitez's men will be eager to see out the match in their last legitimate quest for a trophy this season, but with Sunday's important Premier League clash with champions Manchester City looming, the Spaniard faces a selection dilemma.

The former Liverpool boss does, however, look set to rest Frank Lampard and Branislav Ivanovic for the tie, paving the way for John Obi Mikel to return to the Blues line-up following his return from international duty with Nigeria.

Sparta Prague, meanwhile, will be hoping to shake off any rustiness after only returning to competitive action recently from their lengthy winter break.

On the team front, the Blues will be without suspended defender David Luiz for the match, while January signing Demba Ba is cup-tied.

Petr Cech will continue in goal despite concerns over a broken finger, and John Terry will be in the squad after returning from a lengthy spell on the sidelines.

Elsewhere, Sparta manager Vítězslav Lavička has no fresh injury concerns, with his players only returning to competitive action from the festive break in last week's first leg clash.

Posted: 20/02/13 14:33

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