Chelsea host Manchester United in the FA Cup fifth round tie at Stamford Bridge on Monday, as a series of tough tests lie ahead for Maurizio Sarri’s side.
Chelsea assistant manager Gianfranco Zola handled the press conference on Friday as he spoke on related matters leading up to the visit of Manchester United.
The Italian revealed that Chelsea do not have any injury problem and that Ruben Loftus-Cheek who missed the midweek fixture against Malmo could feature on Monday against Manchester United.
“We have no injuries,” said Zola. “Yesterday was good because we went 2-0 up so we had the opportunity to rest some players like Jorginho, Willian and Pedro also came off. We don’t have any concerns.
“We have Ruben Loftus-Cheek who is maybe going to be available. We haven’t spoken about the team but because it’s the fifth round, and who we are playing against, we want to win and go through so I believe it’s going to be a strong team. But we haven’t made full consideration yet.”
Chelsea face three difficult games in less than ten days, as the Manchester United clash is followed by the Europa League home game against Malmo, then the League Cup final against Manchester City, and then the visit of Tottenham for a Premier League fixture at Stamford Bridge.
With pressure mounting on Sarri since the 6-0 defeat to Manchester City, Zola has admitted that the team needs to get a good result in these games.
Zola said: “We know it’s a crucial moment, we have some very important matches. The next three are United in the fifth round, then we have the Carabao Cup final and then we have Tottenham in the league, where we are going to be playing for a Champions League spot. It’s an important moment.
“It’s very challenging and I think the key will be to face each task by only thinking about that task. The first is United and we come into the game after a good performance in the Europa League, that’s the most important thing, then we’re going to think about City and Tottenham.
“Nobody is pleased when you lose games the way we have recently. The players, coaches, everyone. We know it’s a moment in which we’ve alternated results and that’s something we don’t like.
“We know we have to be consistent. We have the team to afford to do that and it’s important everyone understands the situation and is working on it, players, coaches and the club. It’s not the challenge, but it’s the unity facing the challenge which makes the difference and I believe we have that.”