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Chelsea trio return
Chelsea were boosted by the presence of Didier Drogba, David Luiz, and Raul Meireles in their Tuesday evening training session ahead of the UEFA Champions League quarter-final second leg against Benfica.
The trio were all injury doubts for Wednesday night's match at Stamford Bridge but interim first-team coach Roberto Di Matteo is optimistic about their fitness.
Luiz (ankle) failed to finish Saturday's 4-2 Premier League win at Aston Villa due to an ankle problem, while Drogba (foot) and Meireles (knee) missed the game.
Di Matteo would therefore have welcomed their return to fitness, which provides him with greater strength in depth from which to select, ahead of the second leg against Benfica.
Chelsea lead the Portuguese team 1-0 after an impressively organised first-leg victory in Lisbon courtesy of Salomon Kalou's second-half goal.
But Di Matteo has already spoken of his concern about complacency and he has repeated the need for full focus ahead of the return meeting against Benfica.
The Italian said: "It is a danger. This is half-time and we're leading 1-0. But a 1-0 lead is basically nothing.
"Our players are aware of this, and we'll have to go into this game with the right attitude, the same attitude as against Napoli.
"Nothing has been done yet. We're aware of that. We need to go and qualify for the next round."
Doomed to fail
The return to fitness of Drogba, Luiz and Meireles comes at an important time for Chelsea when a nightmare schedule of matches means they are likely to need all of their squad.
Should Chelsea reach the Champions League semi-finals, they will end up playing 11 times in just 40 days.
The Blues had been hoping to convince the Football Association to bring forward the kick-off time of their FA Cup semi-final against Tottenham on 15th April from 6pm to give them more time to prepare for a potential clash with Barcelona or Milan.
But it is understood they are doomed to fail and Di Matteo refused to discuss the matter, as commenting on their fixture congestion, he said: "I think there are a lot of clubs that would like to have so many games, to be involved in all these competitions.
"It's very demanding for the players, but we're in a good place. All the players are available, so that will help us."
He added: "It might become an issue at some point. I don't know.
"Fortunately, we have a fully fit squad, which will help us in the run-in, to be able to play every player we have and give everybody a chance."
Date: 2012-04-04 13:18:17